The Seven Da Vincian Principles

According to Michael J. Gelb’s How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci these are the seven principles Da Vinci used for guiding his thinking and life.The names of the principles are in Da Vinci’s native Italian.

Curiosita – An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

Dimostrazione – A Commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

Sensazione – The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience.

Sfumato (literally “Going up in Smoke”)– A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.

Arte/Scienza – The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination.
“Whole-brain” thinking.

Corporilita – The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.

Connessione – A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.

Gelb goes into detail for each of these principles. He first documents how Da Vinci applied the principles to his own life. Then he provides exercises for developing each of these principles. There are also checklists for each of the principles, and advice to parents as to how to instruct children in them.

Needless to say, all these principles serve to benefit cognition, life, and most certainly a healthy memory. The problem is that there is so much that can be done. So we do what we can. We should most definitely benefit.

Also included in How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci is “The Beginner’s Da Vinci Drawing Course.”

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