Definition of first principles in English:

first principles

plural noun

  • The fundamental concepts or assumptions on which a theory, system, or method is based.

    ‘I think we have to start again and go right back to first principles’
    • ‘Otherwise there will be truths prior to them from which they can be derived - and thus they will not after all be axioms or first principles.’
    • ‘I suspect that the universe is deterministic and based upon a set of first principles that are probably not comprehensible to any sort of being that is bound to causality.’
    • ‘Incorporating these features enables the method to more effectively identify first principles.’
    • ‘The first principles of a science must be true, primary and immediate, hold necessarily and be explanatory of the results that they are the first principles of.’
    • ‘It is in these first principles that natural causes are expressed.’
    • ‘When that country began to lose its way there was a concerted effort to start again from first principles, make a reality of youth academies, and make the national team a priority.’
    • ‘Without appealing to God, Aquinas sees no way of explaining how we recognize the truth of first principles.’
    • ‘This may be translated as ‘the first principles and causes’ namely, of being.’
    • ‘We do so on the basis of those first principles I set out before you at the beginning of this week.’
    • ‘But it is perhaps truer of Spinoza than of his contemporaries that his enterprise was one of radical deduction from first principles.’
    • ‘A second description of natural law is: the first principles or starting points of practical reasoning.’
    • ‘Godel did not argue for realism on the grounds of first principles, prior to practice.’
    • ‘Thus, the inquiry moves from what is commonly known to first principles.’
    • ‘It can only contested through a broad critique of the system from first principles, an uphill struggle that Lessig is leading.’
    • ‘The purpose of Rawl's work was to create a system of justice from first principles, creating a philosophical basis for a just society.’
    • ‘What alternative means is there whereby the first principles of sciences are known?’
    • ‘Despite my attempts to define a few first principles, and thereby derive the whole of knowledge, I always find myself stuck fairly early in the process.’
    • ‘According to Aristotle, the first principles of the sciences are not merely contingently true.’
    • ‘All that would be known from first principles - the reductionist approach to analysis.’
    • ‘First, knowledge of first principles is certain because the intellect has only to form such judgments to see that they are true.’
    fundamentals, basics, rudiments, principles, foundations, preliminaries, groundwork
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Pronunciation

first principles

/fərst ˈprɪnsəpəlz/