Difference between revisions of "Least convenient possible world"

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The "least convenient possible world" is a tool of intellectual honesty, to be used when arguing against an idea.
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'''Least convenient possible world''' is a technique for enforcing intellectual honesty, to be used when arguing against an idea. The essence of the technique is to assume that all the specific details will align with the idea against which you are arguing, i.e. to consider the idea in the context of a least convenient possible world, where every circumstance is colluding against your objections and counterarguments. This approach ensures that your objections are [[epistemic hygiene|strong enough]], running minimal risk of being [[rationalization|rationalizations]] for your [[color politics|position]].
  
==Summary==
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==Main article==
The essence of the principle is to, when disputing a general argument, assume that all specific details will align with the argument, ''i.e.'', the least convenient possible world in which to make your counterargument. If this world is so unlikely as to be all but impossible, accept the validity of the argument and instead dispute its applicability to the real world.
 
  
==References==
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*[http://lesswrong.com/lw/2k/the_least_convenient_possible_world/ The Least Convenient Possible World], by [[Yvain]]
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==Related concepts==
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*[[Rationalization]]
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*[[Epistemic hygiene]]
  
=====Less Wrong Articles=====
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[[Category:Techniques]]
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[[Category:Concepts]]
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[[Category:Jargon]]
*[http://lesswrong.com/lw/2k/the_least_convenient_possible_world/ The Least Convenient Possible World], by [[Yvain]]
 
[[Category:Tools]]
 

Revision as of 20:52, 14 June 2009

Least convenient possible world is a technique for enforcing intellectual honesty, to be used when arguing against an idea. The essence of the technique is to assume that all the specific details will align with the idea against which you are arguing, i.e. to consider the idea in the context of a least convenient possible world, where every circumstance is colluding against your objections and counterarguments. This approach ensures that your objections are strong enough, running minimal risk of being rationalizations for your position.

Main article

Related concepts