User:Alti/13 virtues

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Virtues for practical rationality

The 12 virtues[1] of Eliezer Yudkowsky are mostly relevant to epistemic rationality, with only four of the virtues addressing practical reason to any extent:

  • The virtue of argument concerns getting help from ones friends;
  • The virtue of simplicity addresses "design, planning, and justification";
  • The virtue of humility addresses error in general; and
  • The virtue of scholarship talks of decision theory, which is applicable to practical reason; one can additionally imagine other areas of scholarship that directly address practical reason.

Two of the virtues, curiosity and relinquishment, do not seem to extend beyond epistemic rationality. The other six virtues seem to naturally generalise to encompass practical reason:

  • Lightness is also the virtue of quickly abandoning plans whose prospects turn dark;
  • Evenness is also the virtue of balancing optimism and pessimism;
  • The virtue of empiricism extends to ensuring that ones plans engage the world as it is, not as we suppose it to be; so too the nameless twelfth virtue;
  • The virtue of perfectionism applies to practical matters; and
  • Precision is also the virtue of ensuring there to be appropriate detail in ones planning.

A 13th virtue

This might be called urgency or a sense of alarm: urgency in that Yudkowsky's reason for rejecting the traditional rationality grounded in the scientific method and embracing its Bayesian alternative is principally that the scientific method takes so long; a sense of alarm in that he says in effect of people who have come to rationality from escaping cults that they have lost the complacent sense of trust in the crowd that stops most people from truly embracing rationality - such rationalists have been alarmed out of their sense of trust.