“first principle” can have different meanings depending on the context, but in various fields, it generally refers to a fundamental concept or basic assumption that is foundational and not derived from anything else. Here are a couple of common contexts where the term is used:
- Physics and Mathematics:
- In physics and mathematics, the first principle, also known as a fundamental principle, refers to a basic, self-evident assumption or law that is accepted without being deduced from any other principle. For example, Newton’s laws of motion or the laws of thermodynamics are considered first principles.
- In philosophy, first principles are the basic, self-evident truths or propositions from which other truths can be derived. They are the foundation of a philosophical system.
- Business and Decision-Making:
- In business and decision-making, first principles thinking involves breaking down complex problems into their most basic components or truths and then rebuilding from there. It’s a way of approaching problems by understanding the fundamental truths involved.
In essence, first principles are the foundational concepts or truths that serve as the basis for understanding, reasoning, or building knowledge in a particular field. They are often the starting points for further exploration and deduction.