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Effective altruism: an elucidation and a defence

By John Halstead, Stefan Schubert, Joseph Millum, Mark Engelbert, Hayden Wilkinson, and James Snowden. Cross-posted from the Centre for Effective Altruism blog . A direct link to the article can be found here . Abstract In this paper, we discuss Iason Gabriel’s recent piece on criticisms of effective altruism .... Read More
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Hard-to-reverse decisions destroy option value

This post is co-authored with Ben Garfinkel. It is cross-posted from the CEA blog . A PDF version can be found here . Summary: Some strategic decisions available to the effective altruism movement may be difficult to reverse. One example is making the movement’s brand explicitly political. Another is growing... Read More
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Understanding cause-neutrality

I'm pleased to be able to share Understanding cause-neutrality , a new working paper produced by the research team at the Centre for Effective Altruism. ( PDF version .) Executive summary The term “cause-neutrality” has been used for at least four concepts. The first aim of this article is to... Read More
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Should people be allowed to ear-mark their taxes to specific policy areas for a price?

This is a contribution to the Moral Economics sequence. At a given price level, there is a an optimal bundle of goods and services that maximizes a consumer's preference satisfaction. This means that given that you are consuming such an optimal bundle, you cannot increase your preference satisfaction by buying... Read More
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Effective Altruism’s fact-value separation as a weapon against political bias

Follow up to “ Political Debiasing and the Political Bias Test ”. Connected to “ Effective altruism is a Question (not an Ideology) " There are a number of different psychological effects which contribute to political bias. These include the halo effect , wishful thinking and confirmation bias , all... Read More
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Political Debiasing and the Political Bias Test

Rationally, your political values shouldn't affect your factual beliefs. Nevertheless, that often happens. Many factual issues are politically controversial - typically because the true answer makes a certain political course of action more plausible - and on those issues, many partisans tend to disregard politically uncomfortable evidence. This sort of... Read More
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Why the triviality objection to EA is beside the point

Robert Wiblin recently wrote a good post with the self-explanatory title  "Disagreeing about what’s effective isn’t disagreeing with effective altruism" . At the end, there is one parapgrah which I think concedes too much, however, regarding the triviality of the EA message. He writes:  Have I now defined ‘effective altruism’... Read More
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Opinion piece on the Swedish Network for Evidence-Based Policy

Follow up to: The effectiveness-alone strategy and evidence-based policy A translation of the opinion piece can be found  here . I Effective altruism is a great concept, but it's not trivial to sell. There are therefore good reasons to ally ourselves with other rationalist memes to increase the level of rationality... Read More
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The effectiveness-alone strategy and evidence-based policy

Effective altruism could be said to consist of three claims. Call them Effectiveness,   Altruism and EA-morality , respectively:   Effectiveness : When you're acting altruistically, you should be effective. Altruism : You should act altruistically a lot. EA-morality : Global empathy, future lives are very valuable, animal lives are valuable,... Read More

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