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Ad­ding Up to Normality

TagLast edit: 12 Feb 2021 9:06 UTC by Yoav Ravid

“It all adds up to normality” is a common phrase used on LessWrong (also known here as Egan’s law[1]). Adding Up to Normality is the property of an explanation which adds to our understanding without changing what we already know to be true. for example:

The purpose of a theory is to add up to observed reality. Science sets out to answer the question “What adds up to normality?” and the answer turns out to be “Quantum mechanics adds up to normality” or “General Relativity adds up to normality”.

A weaker extension of this principle applies to ethical and metaethical debates, which generally ought to end up explaining why you shouldn’t eat babies, rather than why you should.

See also

[1] After the science fiction writer Greg Egan, who first wrote this phrase in Permutation City.

[Question] Egan’s The­o­rem?

johnswentworth13 Sep 2020 17:47 UTC
17 points
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orthonormal24 Mar 2020 21:53 UTC
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Liv­ing in Many Worlds

Eliezer Yudkowsky5 Jun 2008 2:24 UTC
46 points
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Chang­ing Your Metaethics

Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Jul 2008 12:36 UTC
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Causal­ity Adds Up to Normality

johnswentworth15 Jun 2020 17:19 UTC
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0 comments4 min readLW link