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Dylan comments on The Martial Art of Rationality - Less Wrong

42 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 November 2006 08:00PM

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Comment author: Dylan 22 July 2009 10:24:54PM 0 points [-]


I'll go with the martial arts metaphor, it has at least limited application, and is already the reference point for the discussion. As far as there being no rationality dojos, what about Buddhism, or any other mystic or contemplative path along religious lineages?

As far as measuring rationality or rational skills, the main problem is there is no generally agreed upon Truth or even agreement as to whether Truth even exists. This discussion is not about the actual content of truth per se but about the integrity of the approach to truth. This may be soundly based on the idea that we are only approaching knowledge of truth, but truth itself is still not known. So we cannot measure the soundness as a function of measurable results, since the results are either non-existent,unknown or not agreed upon.

It seems that if this is the case then any form of measurement cannot be objective or externally made, but must be subjective and internally assessed. So the question would become not what is true as fact, but what is true as honest. My vote would be for rational integrity as the context within which skill or understanding would be viewed.

Comment author: orthonormal 22 July 2009 10:44:21PM *  6 points [-]

Welcome to Less Wrong, Dylan! Check out the welcome thread and introduce yourself.

I agree that one can develop a pretty impressive Art based on destroying self-deception rather than on seeking truth, particularly when 'seeking truth' sounds like an exceptionally problematic phrase.

But it might not have to be that problematic. Read The Simple Truth if you want to know what Eliezer means by truth; it's much less naive than I'd expected when I was new around here.