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Philos­o­phy of Language

Lan­guage is an im­por­tant part of the way we frame prob­lems, think about the world, and dis­cuss things with oth­ers. The study of lan­guage is par­tic­u­larly rele­vant to LessWrong be­cause many very smart peo­ple con­fuse them­selves and oth­ers by mi­sus­ing words.

The com­pre­hen­sive in­tro­duc­tion to the LessWrong ap­proach to Philos­o­phy of Lan­guage is A Hu­man’s Guide To Words

37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong

Eliezer Yudkowsky
6 Mar 2008 5:09 UTC
121 points
78 comments9 min readLW link

Con­cep­tual en­g­ineer­ing: the rev­olu­tion in philos­o­phy you’ve never heard of

Suspended Reason
2 Jun 2020 18:30 UTC
81 points
15 comments21 min readLW link

Fuzzy Boundaries, Real Concepts

orthonormal
7 May 2018 3:39 UTC
64 points
8 comments7 min readLW link

Where to Draw the Boundaries?

Zack_M_Davis
13 Apr 2019 21:34 UTC
90 points
51 comments13 min readLW link

Schel­ling Cat­e­gories, and Sim­ple Mem­ber­ship Tests

Zack_M_Davis
26 Aug 2019 2:43 UTC
53 points
10 comments7 min readLW link

Philos­o­phy in the Dark­est Timeline: Ba­sics of the Evolu­tion of Meaning

Zack_M_Davis
7 Jun 2020 7:52 UTC
83 points
12 comments14 min readLW link

The Parable of the Dagger

Eliezer Yudkowsky
1 Feb 2008 20:53 UTC
97 points
102 comments1 min readLW link

The Cluster Struc­ture of Thingspace

Eliezer Yudkowsky
8 Feb 2008 0:07 UTC
70 points
25 comments4 min readLW link

Dis­guised Queries

Eliezer Yudkowsky
9 Feb 2008 0:05 UTC
97 points
107 comments5 min readLW link

How An Al­gorithm Feels From Inside

Eliezer Yudkowsky
11 Feb 2008 2:35 UTC
143 points
80 comments4 min readLW link

The Dark Mir­a­cle of Optics

Suspended Reason
24 Jun 2020 3:09 UTC
27 points
5 comments8 min readLW link

The Cat­e­gories Were Made For Man, Not Man For The Categories

Scott Alexander
21 Nov 2014 14:34 UTC
51 points
7 comments18 min readLW link

The Parable of Hemlock

Eliezer Yudkowsky
3 Feb 2008 2:01 UTC
44 points
18 comments4 min readLW link

Words as Hid­den Inferences

Eliezer Yudkowsky
3 Feb 2008 23:36 UTC
52 points
22 comments3 min readLW link

Ex­ten­sions and Intensions

Eliezer Yudkowsky
4 Feb 2008 21:34 UTC
50 points
25 comments4 min readLW link

Similar­ity Clusters

Eliezer Yudkowsky
6 Feb 2008 3:34 UTC
34 points
5 comments2 min readLW link

Typ­i­cal­ity and Asym­met­ri­cal Similarity

Eliezer Yudkowsky
6 Feb 2008 21:20 UTC
29 points
68 comments3 min readLW link

Neu­ral Categories

Eliezer Yudkowsky
10 Feb 2008 0:33 UTC
35 points
12 comments4 min readLW link

Feel the Meaning

Eliezer Yudkowsky
13 Feb 2008 1:01 UTC
32 points
11 comments3 min readLW link

The Ar­gu­ment from Com­mon Usage

Eliezer Yudkowsky
13 Feb 2008 16:24 UTC
37 points
23 comments4 min readLW link

Disput­ing Definitions

Eliezer Yudkowsky
12 Feb 2008 0:15 UTC
65 points
46 comments5 min readLW link

Mean­ing is Quasi-Idempotent

Chris_Leong
24 Jul 2020 4:08 UTC
5 points
7 comments2 min readLW link

2-Place and 1-Place Words

Eliezer Yudkowsky
27 Jun 2008 7:39 UTC
58 points
36 comments5 min readLW link

En­forc­ing Type Distinction

lionhearted
31 Jul 2020 11:39 UTC
27 points
1 comment2 min readLW link

Wrong Questions

Eliezer Yudkowsky
8 Mar 2008 17:11 UTC
54 points
128 comments2 min readLW link

Sneak­ing in Connotations

Eliezer Yudkowsky
19 Feb 2008 19:41 UTC
50 points
22 comments3 min readLW link

Hedge drift and ad­vanced motte-and-bailey

Stefan_Schubert
1 May 2016 14:45 UTC
39 points
8 comments2 min readLW link

How webs of mean­ing grow and change

Hazard
14 Aug 2020 13:58 UTC
10 points
0 comments10 min readLW link

Si­tu­at­ing LessWrong in con­tem­po­rary philos­o­phy: An in­ter­view with Jon Livengood

Suspended Reason
1 Jul 2020 0:37 UTC
106 points
21 comments19 min readLW link

Dis­solv­ing the Question

Eliezer Yudkowsky
8 Mar 2008 3:17 UTC
85 points
111 comments5 min readLW link

Ter­mi­nal Values and In­stru­men­tal Values

Eliezer Yudkowsky
15 Nov 2007 7:56 UTC
70 points
41 comments10 min readLW link

How Speci­fic­ity Works

Liron
3 Sep 2019 12:11 UTC
88 points
48 comments7 min readLW link

The Re­la­tion Pro­jec­tion Fal­lacy and the pur­pose of life

Academian
28 Dec 2012 4:14 UTC
81 points
42 comments3 min readLW link

Only say ‘ra­tio­nal’ when you can’t elimi­nate the word

Eliezer Yudkowsky
31 May 2012 6:56 UTC
60 points
49 comments1 min readLW link

The First Step is to Ad­mit That You Have a Problem

Alicorn
6 Oct 2009 20:59 UTC
58 points
87 comments3 min readLW link

The Fu­til­ity of Emergence

Eliezer Yudkowsky
26 Aug 2007 22:10 UTC
54 points
140 comments3 min readLW link

En­tropy, and Short Codes

Eliezer Yudkowsky
23 Feb 2008 3:16 UTC
57 points
27 comments4 min readLW link

Re­place the Sym­bol with the Substance

Eliezer Yudkowsky
16 Feb 2008 18:12 UTC
47 points
15 comments5 min readLW link

Ra­tion­al­ity and the English Language

Eliezer Yudkowsky
12 Sep 2007 22:55 UTC
52 points
33 comments4 min readLW link

Ar­gu­ing “By Defi­ni­tion”

Eliezer Yudkowsky
20 Feb 2008 23:37 UTC
59 points
40 comments4 min readLW link

Words, Lo­cally Defined

abramdemski
3 May 2018 23:26 UTC
50 points
28 comments3 min readLW link

Defend­ing points you don’t care about

Hazard
19 Jun 2019 20:40 UTC
44 points
6 comments4 min readLW link

Fal­la­cies of Compression

Eliezer Yudkowsky
17 Feb 2008 18:51 UTC
45 points
26 comments4 min readLW link

Sim­pli­cio and Sophisticus

Zvi
22 Jul 2018 13:30 UTC
42 points
1 comment4 min readLW link
(thezvi.wordpress.com)

Plu­ral­is­tic Mo­ral Reductionism

lukeprog
1 Jun 2011 0:59 UTC
53 points
326 comments15 min readLW link

Di­ag­no­sis: Rus­sell Aphasia

Zack_M_Davis
6 Aug 2019 4:43 UTC
47 points
1 comment1 min readLW link
(status451.com)

Con­cepts Don’t Work That Way

lukeprog
28 Sep 2011 2:01 UTC
61 points
91 comments8 min readLW link

Con­cep­tual Anal­y­sis and Mo­ral Theory

lukeprog
16 May 2011 6:28 UTC
67 points
481 comments8 min readLW link

Empty Labels

Eliezer Yudkowsky
14 Feb 2008 23:50 UTC
25 points
7 comments2 min readLW link

Ta­boo Your Words

Eliezer Yudkowsky
15 Feb 2008 22:53 UTC
109 points
129 comments3 min readLW link

Cat­e­go­riz­ing Has Consequences

Eliezer Yudkowsky
19 Feb 2008 1:40 UTC
40 points
13 comments3 min readLW link

Where to Draw the Boundary?

Eliezer Yudkowsky
21 Feb 2008 19:14 UTC
45 points
49 comments3 min readLW link

The sen­tence struc­ture of mathematics

countedblessings
7 Oct 2019 18:58 UTC
40 points
15 comments2 min readLW link

SotW: Be Specific

Eliezer Yudkowsky
3 Apr 2012 6:11 UTC
45 points
306 comments12 min readLW link

Surely, rhetor­i­cal ques­tion?

Gust
11 Jan 2018 20:56 UTC
39 points
0 comments1 min readLW link
(gusbicalho.com.br)