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思考方法的重要性

How Powerful People Think (Animated)

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在之前的视频里
In the previous video,
我们讨论了力量的概念
we discussed the idea of power
并且建立了思考力量的框架
and created a framework for thinking about it.
我认为人要想强大需要两大基本元素
I claimed that someone needed two fundamentalingredients to be powerful:
一是对世界正确的认知
a true understanding of the world
二是塑造认知的资源
and the resources to shape it.
正如所承诺的 我们要从上个视频没讲完的地方讲起
As promised, we ’ re going to go over what I left out of the last video
也就是关于如何形成对世界的正确的认知
which was how to obtain a true understanding of the world.
我想这篇文章可以阐明这个事实
I believe this essay will shine light on the fact
那就是有些思考方式比其他的更有用
that some ways of thinking are more useful than others.
在所有我曾写过的文章中
Out of all of the essays that I ’ ve ever written,
这篇是最重要的
this one is the most important.
今天我们要讨论如何根据首要法则去思考
Today, we’ll be discussing how to thinkfrom first principles.

首要法则就是一个想法的基本组成部分
First principles are the fundamental building blocks of an idea;
它们是我们知道事实的最不可分割的部分
they are the most indivisible parts that we know to be true
并且我们用它们来构建更复杂的思想
and that we use to build more complex thoughts.
我知道现在听起来这有一点抽象
I know this sounds a little abstract right now
但接下来我会介绍一些历史 一个类比 和一个例子来说明
but let me give you some history, an analogy, and an example.
从首要法则出发来思考问题不是一个新兴的或开创性的概念
Thinking from first principles isn’t a newor groundbreaking idea.
事实上 这已经成为当代伟大的科学家和哲学家所使用的主要思考模式有一阵子了
In fact, it ’ s been the dominant mode of thinking among all great scientists and philosophers for awhile now.
这可能是伟大的思考者之间最相似的一个因素
it ’ s probably the single most consistent factor among great thinkers.
尽管已经存在过许多使用这种方式思考的实践者了
Although there have been many practitioners of this way of thinking,
我想通过引入一位
I ’ d like to zoom in an known one
你们应该听过的名人来介绍
that you may have heard about:
亚里士多德
Aristotle.
他是一位高产的组织者
He was a prolific organizer
他认为所有事情都能归类到类别或者子类别中
who believed that everything could be divided into categories and subcategories.
在任何领域中最小的子类别
The smallest subcategory in any domain
就是我们所说的首要原则
is what we would call a first principle.
并且他还是我们所知的最早的经验主义者之一
He was also one of the earliest empiricists that we know about.
经验主义者就是那些
An Empiricist is someone who believes
认为从实践中才能获得真知的人
that all knowledge is achieved through experience.
作为最早期的生物研究的主要贡献者
As one of the earliest major contributors to the study of biology,
亚里士多德是一位首要原则的思考者 是有道理的
it makes sense that Aristotle was a first principles thinker.
他能通过解剖动物来获取真实世界的知识
He would dissect animals to gain real world knowledge
并使用他的理性能力
and then use his capacity
来对信息进行组织与分类
for reason to organize and categorize this information.
这种通过经验获取知识
This cycle of seeking knowledge through experience
并利用理性加以结构的过程
and using reason to give it structure
就是人们用来了解一个科目的首要原则的方法
is how one comes to know the first principles ofa subject.
亚里士多德认为我们不能掌握真正的知识
Aristotle believed that we couldn ’ t possess true knowledge
除非我们理解这些原则
unless we understood these principles.
现在既然你对历史有了一些理解
Now that you have a slight understanding of the history
接下来我要通过类比来说明一下首要原则思考
Let me give you an analogy about thinking from first principals.
将你对于某个特定领域的知识想象成一棵树
Think of your knowledge in a specific domainas a tree.
使用首要原则思考的人
Someone who thinks from first principles
即非传统的思考者
an unconventional thinker –
他们理解知识的主体是从果实一路延伸到树根
will understand that body of knowledge from the fruit all the way down to the root.
果实就是我们面前所看到的
The fruit is what we see in front of us:
这是一目了然的知识
it ’ s the unearned knowledge
我们可以获得和体验并且可以马上重复
that we can obtain, experience, and repeat right away.
我们用一颗苹果树举例
We can look at an apple tree,
比方说 它是一个生产苹果的东西
say that it ’ s just a thing that produces apples,
仅此而已
and call it a day.
它是一种对树非常浅显的理解
It ’ s a very shallow understanding of the tree
但也不能说它不对
but it’s not untrue.
另一方面
On the other hand,
首要原则思考者们会想知道
first principles thinkers will want to know
这到底是如何形成的
how this creation really came to be.
他们会看见苹果是连接在树枝上的
They will see that the apple is connectedto a branch.
而每个树枝是一个更大的整体即被称作树干的部分的子集
Every branch is a subset of a greater whole called the trunk.
最终他们又会发现
Finally they’ll see that
树根才是整棵树结出果实最基本的部分
that the root is the most fundamental part of the tree which gives rise to the fruit.
他们通过经验收集了
They have gathered multiple pieces of information
大量的关于树的信息
about the tree through experience but they
他们又整理了相互关联的信息
have also organized the pieces of information in relation to each other.
这些独立的信息就转变成了一个组织有序的知识主体
These free-floating facts have been transformed into an organized body of knowledge.
而传统的思考者则认为
The conventional thinker will believe
他们可以把苹果种子撒在任何地方
that they can put the apple seeds anywhere and
都能长出美味的果实 他们缺乏正确的理解
grow delicious apples; they lack true understanding.
通过考察树根
Upon examining the roots,
首要原则思考者会发现美味的水果源于肥沃的土壤
the first principles thinker will see that a delicious fruit starts with good soil
他们有非常细腻的思维
they have a nuanced understanding.
传统思考者就像是
The conventional thinker is the guy
鸡尾酒晚会上顶有趣的人
at the cocktail party who has all of the interesting facts:
他的知识也仅有他可以展示的果实罢了
his knowledge consists solely of fruitthat he can display.
相反
On the contrary,
而非传统的思考者则在
the unconventional thinker is consistently focused on building trees
不断地构建知识之树
of knowledge.
就像亚里士多德这类人 他或她在
Like Aristotle, he or she goes back and forth
经验与理性之中反复斟酌推理
between experience and reason to build an
从而构建有组织有结构的知识主体
organized and structured body of knowledge.
生长在肥沃土壤里的树
A tree planted in good soil will have
拥有粗壮健康的树根 因此可以结出
strong and healthy roots and thus produce delicious
美味的果实 同样的
fruit. Likewise,
从真而美的
an idea that blooms
首要原则里产出的思想
from true and beautiful first principles will itself be
也会是真实而美好的 自然的
beautiful and true. Naturally,
如果构建复杂整体的简单部分是
if the simple parts that make
真实而美好的 那么它所构成的
up a complex whole are good and true, then the
复杂整体也必然是真实而美好的
complex whole must be good and true as well.
这很重要因为
This is important because,
正如我们上一条视频所讲的
as we discussed in the last video, a true understanding of
对世界真实的了解对于获取力量是很必要的
the world is necessary to obtain power.
任何我们所相信的复杂事情只有
Any complex beliefs we hold can only be true
构成部分是真实的才能是真实的
if the parts that make it up are true.
更具体点儿来说
To make this more concrete,
我们思考一下利用首要原则写一篇文章的过程
let ’ s think about the process of writing an essay from first principles.
写得好的文章就如同美味的果实
A well-written essay is like a delicious fruit:
理解起来很容易
it ’ s enjoyable to consume and difficult
但若不了解其中的根本 便很难创作出来
to produce without understanding its fundamentals.
我们可以通过拆分其构成成分来分析其基本构成
We can identify its fundamentals by breaking it down into its component parts.
一篇文章就是许多段落的合集
An essay is a collection of paragraphs. Well,
而一个段落也是许多句子的合集
a paragraph is a collection of sentences.
一个句子也是许多单词的合集
A sentence is a collection of words.
单词就是字母的合集
Words are a collection
那么字母就是一篇文章的基本构成
of letters and letters are the fundamental building blocks of an
元素
essay.
一旦理解了文章的构成元素
Once the components of an essay are understood,
我们就可以着眼于由最简单到复杂部分的提升
we can look at improving each one from the simplest to the complex.
如果我们可以使每一个单独部分
If we can make each individual
都很完美 那么整体就应该是完美的
component remarkable then the totality should be remarkable and
而这就是首要原则思考的艺术
that is the art of first principles thinking. Now,
现在我们来讨论一下优点
let’s talk about the benefits.
从最基本的成分理解一个想法的好处在于以下几点
Several benefits come from understanding an idea down to its fundamental components.
首先是创新
The first is innovation.
一旦你了解了一个想法的基本构成
Once you understand the fundamentals of an idea,
你就可以对其进行重组 改变
you can rearrange them, change them,
用完全不同的方式创造一个新的想法或产品
or put them together differently to create a new idea or product.
在我们的写作例子中 我们可以串起另一条线
In our writing example, we could have createdanother layer above the essay: we could call
我们可以说篇章的合集构成了一本书
a collection of essays a book.
我们就创造了新的东西
We have now invented something new.
第二个好处是优化
The second benefit is optimization.
基本成分是可以改变的
A fundamental component can be changed
就是为了提升某个想法或者产品
in order to improve an idea or a product.
例如一旦我们知道了文章的基本构成
For example, once we knew the fundamental components
我们就可以仔细观察
of the essay, we could put each
如何使这些成分变得更好但是
of them under scrutiny to see how each component could be its best. But,
如果不知道这些成分
without knowing these components,
那就根本不可能会有任何提高
it ’ s impossible to make any sort of improvement.
第三个好处是综合集成
The third benefit is integration.
一旦你知道了某个想法的基本构成
Once you understand the foundational components of an idea,
将新的知识融入之前的理解
it becomes a lot easier to integrate
就相当容易了
new knowledge into your understanding.
例如你知道如何写好字母
For example, once you know how to
那么写好单词就很容易
write letters it becomes easier to make words.
一旦你会写单词你就知道如何写句子
Once you know how to write words you can makesentences.
而你写出了句子你就可以写出段落
Once you can make sentences, you can make paragraphs,
接着篇章然后书籍然后就是
then essays, then books, then
整个文学世界
entire libraries.
最后的好处是便于传播和宣传
Then the final benefit is dissemination.
理解某个想法的基本构成
Understanding the foundational components
让向别人传递复杂的想法
of an idea makes it easier to transfer that
变得更加容易
complex idea to another person.
你可以从最基本的构成开始
You can start with the simplest component and
从那里开始构建整个想法
build up the idea from there; this is
而这一切就是我们在学校里做的
exactly what we try to do in schools.
我们教孩子写字母
We teach kids how to write the alphabet,
然后是单词 等等
then words, and so on.
首要原则思考者是更好的教师
First principle thinkers are better teachers
因为他们可以准确的分析出
because they can determine the exact level
孩子们理解能力的上限
where a student’s understanding falls apart. So,
所以你们知道了好处是什么
you see the benefits
但是如何成为一个首要原则思考者呢
but how can someone become a first principle thinker?
从首要原则思考很简单却并不容易
Thinking from first principles is simple,but not easy.
我只有一条可行的建议 是受到亚里士多德的启发
I just have one piece of actionable adviceand it’s inspired by Aristotle: create hierarchies
那就是分层级 就如同我们举的文章例子一样
(like what we did with the essay example).
大多数的想法互相
Most ideas are nested
嵌套而首要原则思考者的工作就是
inside or outside one another and it ’ s the job of a first principles
找出这些想法是如何相互关联的
thinker to map out how these ideas are linked.
正如亚里士多德和其他的经验主义者说的知识来源于经验
As Aristotle, like all empiricists, wouldsay, knowledge begins with experience.
你的周围到处都是知识的果实
The world is presenting fruit all around you:
神奇又复杂的创造
amazing and complex acts of creation.
挖掘这些创造的根源始于提出例如为什么和怎么做的问题
Discovering the roots of these creations starts with questions such as why or how.
寻找最终真相的人一定不满足于果实
The ultimate truth-seeker must not be satisfied with fruit,
他们发现对根源的寻找是永无止尽的
yet they realize that the search for roots is never ending.
一旦他们将某个观念分解成
Once they ’ ve reduced an idea down
他们以为的最小构成
to the smallest fundamentals that they can conceive of,
他们就做到了首要原则的要求
they have arrived at the first principles.
这个基本构成可以用来创新 优化
These fundamentals can be used to innovate, optimize,
了解更复杂的观念或者
learn more complex ideas, or to
教授别人
teach others.
发掘基本构成的最好方法之一是
One of the best ways to discover these fundamentals is
通过分层级或思维导图
by actually writing down and organizing the information in a subject
将你感兴趣的东西写下来 并组织好信息
that you ’ re interested in by using a hierarchy or a mind map
就和我们做文章分析一样
like how we did with the essay. So,
有关力量的迷你系列就到这里了
So that concludes my little mini-series onpower.
我在上一条视频里提出了一个关于力量的框架
I put forth a framework for power in the last video
并讨论了如何有价值地获得它
and discussed the idea of being valuable to obtain it.
在这条视频里我举出了伟大的思考者们思维的大致模型
In this video, I put forth a common mode of thought among great thinkers.
在下一视频里我打算聊聊能使你惊奇的东西
In the next video, I plan to discuss somethingthat might catch you by surprise:
那就是作为首要原则思考者的危险因素
the danger of being a first principle thinker.
朋友们 你的教育经历的最重要的一个方面
Hey guys, one of the most important aspects of your educational journey
就是确保你有各种各样的高质量的老师
is making sure that you have a diverse range of high-quality teachers.
感谢伟大课程+
Thanks to the great courses plus,
你可以得到一个免费试用机会 在这里你可以接触到来自全世界最棒的教授大腕的演讲和课程
you can get a free trial that gives you access to top-notch lectures and courses from some of the best professors in the world.
他们有超过8000个视频的大型资料库
They have a huge library of over 8,000 videos
几乎任何你能想到的都有 例如科学 心理学 厨艺 甚至摄影
about nearly anything you can think of from science, philosophy, cooking and even photography.
现在我正在上来自David K Johnson教授的课程:关于心理学的的大疑问
Right now I’m going through the course called the big questions of philosophy by Professor David K Johnson,
确切地说是关于如何仔细推理的演讲
and more specifically the lecture on how to reason carefully.
严谨与犀利的推理技能是成为首要原则思考者的绝对必备条件
Careful and sharp reasoning skills are an absolute necessity for becoming a first principles thinker,
所以我强烈推荐好好利用这一次机会 仔细研究明白
so I highly recommend taking advantage of the offer and checking it out.
你可以前往 great courses plus.com/freedom得到免费试用机会
You can get access to your free trial by going to the great courses plus.com/freedom,
或者点击简介里最上方的链接 会跳转到那里
or clicking the link at the top of the description to take you over there.
正如往常一样 感谢收看 我们下期再见
As always, thanks for watching and I’ll see you soon.

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视频概述

首要原则的思考方式可以帮助你更好地更轻松地理解这个世界

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

zizy0_0

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审核员 D

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZRDUZuIKg4

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