First Principles and Scientific Temper

FAST: First Principles and Scientific Temper

First Principles is a framework for deconstructing complex problems, applied by Elon Musk for his enterprises, and inculcating a Scientific Temper is a Constitutional duty cast upon all of us under Article 51A(h). Implicit in these is the skill of critical thinking. 

In the NEP2020, the phrase is mentioned at 4 places: on pages 5 and 6, on pages 16,34 and 38. 

Elon Musk has said that if he hadn’t used first principles thinking to advance Tesla technology, he would have been stuck in the horse-and-carriage stage of the transportation revolution. The real power of first-principles thinking is moving away from incremental improvement and into possibility. 

These together help in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and are essential to flourish, thrive and prosper in an unknown and uncertain future. This course is perhaps a rare effort to make these concepts accessible to a large number of interested learners, simply through WhatsApp on a mobile device. We elucidate what are and more importantly what are not ‘first principles’.  We also share strategies to enhance our scientific temper and improve our critical thinking. 

In popular listings of skills in demand in future ( critical thinking appears very close to top. Formal education actually discourages critical thinking, and imparts a lot of value to authority. 

This weekend course is offered on the first weekend of every month. 

The flow of topics for this weekend course is as follows:

Day 1 ( Saturday): What are first principles?

1.1: Philosophical Origins

1.2: Elon Musk on the importance of first principles and its applications

1.3: The step-wise approach to first principles thinking 

1.4: What is not a first principle? Barriers to First principles thinking

1.5: First principles in marketing strategy, in law and in daily life

Day 2( Sunday): Developing a Scientific Temper ( critical thinking) 

2.1: A directive in the Indian Constitution

2.2: Reasoning: inductive and deductive

2.3: Fallacies: ‪Ad hominem‬, Ad ignorantiam, False dilemma,Ergo hoc propter hoc, Non sequitur 

2.4: The Scientific approach : Science and pseudoscience

2.5: Critical Thinking is not criticising someone, but is about thinking clearly and rationally on the basis of available evidence (data).

The listed topics are self-explanatory. Further information will be provided to those who express interest by sending a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724

Enrolment and fee payment: 

  • As the course is delivered through WhatsApp, the enrolment process is simply that of sending a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724
  • The fee for each of the above weekend course is Rs 1000/- and can be easily remitted through PayTM to MM Pant ( mobile number : +919810073724).
  • For those who would rather pay into a Bank account, the relevant information is : 
  • Madan Mohan Pant
  • HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon 

        A/c 26451000000301


  • (The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)