Li­tany of Tarski

TagLast edit: 20 Jan 2021 17:16 UTC by dankuck

The Litany of Tarski is a template to remind oneself that beliefs should stem from reality, from what actually is, as opposed to what we want, or what would be convenient. For any statement X, the litany takes the form “If X, I desire to believe that X”.

Quoting The Meditation on Curiosity:

If the box contains a diamond,
I desire to believe that the box contains a diamond;
If the box does not contain a diamond,
I desire to believe that the box does not contain a diamond;
Let me not become attached to beliefs I may not want.

The name refers to Alfred Tarski, who sought to define what, exactly, “truth” means.

See also: Map and Territory, Litanies & Mantras.

Blog posts

See also

The Med­i­ta­tion on Curiosity

Eliezer Yudkowsky6 Oct 2007 0:26 UTC
65 points
96 comments4 min readLW link

Belief in Self-Deception

Eliezer Yudkowsky5 Mar 2009 15:20 UTC
74 points
112 comments4 min readLW link

Get Curious

lukeprog24 Feb 2012 5:10 UTC
67 points
100 comments5 min readLW link

Mu­si­cal set­ting of the Li­tany of Tarski

komponisto23 Mar 2017 11:18 UTC
27 points
12 comments1 min readLW link

Tarski State­ments as Ra­tion­al­ist Exercise

Vladimir_Nesov17 Mar 2009 19:47 UTC
12 points
10 comments4 min readLW link
No comments.