Ra­tion­al­ist Taboo

TagLast edit: 2 Oct 2020 0:12 UTC by Ruby

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

Other Posts

Ta­boo Your Words

Eliezer Yudkowsky15 Feb 2008 22:53 UTC
144 points
129 comments3 min readLW link

Disput­ing Definitions

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

Ta­boo “ra­tio­nal­ity,” please.

MBlume15 Mar 2009 22:44 UTC
24 points
54 comments1 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
45 points
42 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
57 points
15 comments5 min readLW link

Words as Hid­den Inferences

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

De­tached Lever Fallacy

Eliezer Yudkowsky31 Jul 2008 18:57 UTC
50 points
40 comments7 min readLW link

Avoid Con­tentious Terms

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

Grasp­ing Slip­pery Things

Eliezer Yudkowsky17 Jun 2008 2:04 UTC
31 points
16 comments7 min readLW link


CannibalSmith8 Apr 2009 13:01 UTC
16 points
20 comments1 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
85 points
24 comments9 min readLW link

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
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