Methods of Inquiry that have immediate credibility to the modern-ear begin with the early Greek philosophers.
Inquiry must begin, they said, with the assertion of Axiom, the investigative analogue of the atom. [You can’t prove an Axiom. Bad idea. The idea of ‘proof’ itself is rooted in an Axiom. But people try all the time.]
But in most cases we have to settle for the Assumption. In a fogged-in world it is the reasonable man’s truth. And often our deepest convictions begin in the flimsiest of assumptions.
Unlike its ancestor the Monastery, every subject taught at a Modern University begins with implicit, mostly unstated assumptions called ‘First Principles’.
Every known ‘First Principle’, in Philosophy, in Logic, in Language, in Science, in Art, takes life atop this platform. They range from the thoughtful to the fearlessly flippant.
All ‘First Principles’ however are granted legitimacy only when mounted on the critically important ‘First Presumption’. The First Presumption that there is an ‘Independent and Separate Observer, Self, Subject’.
Most Inquiry however cheerfully begins well-past all ‘First Principles’. The professors, busy folks, are unlikely to remember what they are. Ask the lady at the front-desk for the ‘First Principles List’. And wreck her day.