Ad­ding Up to Normality

TagLast edit: 15 Sep 2021 19:46 UTC by benjamincosman

“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 Quarantine.

Liv­ing in Many Worlds

Eliezer Yudkowsky5 Jun 2008 2:24 UTC
57 points
80 comments5 min readLW link

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Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Jul 2008 12:36 UTC
47 points
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Ad­ding Up To Normality

orthonormal24 Mar 2020 21:53 UTC
82 points
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Causal­ity Adds Up to Normality

johnswentworth15 Jun 2020 17:19 UTC
13 points
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[Question] Egan’s The­o­rem?

johnswentworth13 Sep 2020 17:47 UTC
17 points
12 comments1 min readLW link

Ethics in Many Worlds

fin6 Nov 2020 23:21 UTC
8 points
24 comments9 min readLW link

On­tolo­gies Should Be Back­wards-Compatible

Thoth Hermes14 May 2023 17:21 UTC
3 points
3 comments4 min readLW link