Ra­tion­al­ist Taboo

TagLast edit: 25 Sep 2015 3:47 UTC by John_Maxwell

Rationalist taboo is a technique for fighting muddles in discussions. By prohibiting the use of a certain word and all the words synonymous to it, people are forced to elucidate the specific contextual meaning they want to express, thus removing ambiguity otherwise present in a single word.

Mainstream philosophy has a parallel procedure called “unpacking”. Unpacking has the requirement that the contentious or doubtful term be expanded out—not just replaced with a synonym—and only used as a collection of subcomponent concepts.

Main posts

Ta­boo Your Words

Eliezer Yudkowsky15 Feb 2008 22:53 UTC
243 points
130 comments3 min readLW link

Ta­boo “Out­side View”

Daniel Kokotajlo17 Jun 2021 9:36 UTC
348 points
33 comments8 min readLW link3 reviews

Disput­ing Definitions

Eliezer Yudkowsky12 Feb 2008 0:15 UTC
111 points
46 comments5 min readLW link

Ta­boo­ing “Frame Con­trol”

Raemon19 Mar 2023 23:33 UTC
66 points
41 comments10 min readLW link

Words as Hid­den Inferences

Eliezer Yudkowsky3 Feb 2008 23:36 UTC
89 points
23 comments3 min readLW link

Ta­boo­ing Science + an xkcd comic about the eclipse—“Hon­estly, it’s not that sci­en­tific.”

Voltairina16 Aug 2017 15:19 UTC
6 points
3 comments1 min readLW link

The Tech­nique Taboo

lsusr30 Oct 2019 11:22 UTC
54 points
43 comments1 min readLW link

In fa­vor of taboo­ing the word “val­ues” and us­ing only “pri­ori­ties” instead

chaosmage25 Oct 2018 22:28 UTC
21 points
11 comments2 min readLW link

Work harder on taboo­ing “Friendly AI”

ChrisHallquist20 May 2012 8:51 UTC
27 points
52 comments2 min readLW link

Steel­man­ning as an al­ter­na­tive to Ra­tion­al­ist Taboo

cousin_it25 Jul 2017 16:27 UTC
1 point
2 comments1 min readLW link

Re­place the Sym­bol with the Substance

Eliezer Yudkowsky16 Feb 2008 18:12 UTC
85 points
17 comments5 min readLW link

Ta­boo “ra­tio­nal­ity,” please.

MBlume15 Mar 2009 22:44 UTC
28 points
54 comments1 min readLW link

De­tached Lever Fallacy

Eliezer Yudkowsky31 Jul 2008 18:57 UTC
80 points
42 comments7 min readLW link

Avoid Con­tentious Terms

jefftk24 Feb 2021 3:10 UTC
59 points
6 comments1 min readLW link

Take 8: Queer the in­ner/​outer al­ign­ment di­chotomy.

Charlie Steiner9 Dec 2022 17:46 UTC
28 points
2 comments2 min readLW link

[Question] Writ­ing tools for taboo­ing?

abramdemski13 Dec 2020 19:50 UTC
15 points
25 comments1 min readLW link

Ex­er­cise: Ta­boo “Should”

johnswentworth22 Jan 2021 21:02 UTC
96 points
28 comments9 min readLW link2 reviews

A sim­ple ex­er­cise in ra­tio­nal­ity: rephrase an ob­jec­tive state­ment as sub­jec­tive and ex­plore the caveats

shminux18 Apr 2015 23:46 UTC
31 points
7 comments1 min readLW link

Ta­boo “hu­man-level in­tel­li­gence”

Sherrinford26 Feb 2023 20:42 UTC
12 points
7 comments1 min readLW link

Com­plex Signs Bad

Evenstar3 Jul 2023 13:09 UTC
5 points
2 comments3 min readLW link

Dreams of AI al­ign­ment: The dan­ger of sug­ges­tive names

TurnTrout10 Feb 2024 1:22 UTC
92 points
58 comments4 min readLW link

Method of state­ments: an al­ter­na­tive to taboo

Q Home16 Nov 2022 10:57 UTC
7 points
0 comments41 min readLW link

Grasp­ing Slip­pery Things

Eliezer Yudkowsky17 Jun 2008 2:04 UTC
36 points
17 comments7 min readLW link


CannibalSmith8 Apr 2009 13:01 UTC
17 points
20 comments1 min readLW link
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