Mozi, Mengzi, and Effective Altruism

[Author’s note: Another old paper makes it online!]

A while back I took a class on ancient chinese philosophy, taught by David Wong (who is great, by the way.) One of the things that Professor Wong noted was the similarity between modern-day ethical debates surrounding effective altruism and the ancient dispute between Mozi and Mengzi. I dug a little deeper and made a list of all the similarities I could think of; this is that list. Comments welcome:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xlGJ8_mV2vRB8ig1jIqsdWVPFcoNQXqYxBeBWc08NzE/edit?usp=sharing

I’m sufficiently impressed by these similarities that I think it is fair to say that Mozi and Mengzi really were talking about the same issues that feature prominently in debates about EA today; they were even making many of the same arguments and taking many of the same positions. I think this is really cool. If I ever teach intro to philosophy (or ancient philosophy, or non-western philosophy, or intro to ethics) in university, I intend to include a section on Mozi/Mengzi/EA.


Great Map of the Mind

We have all these theories and debates about parts of the mind; why not make a big map to show how they all fit together? 

Obviously, minds aren’t all the same. But having a map like this helps us organize our thoughts, to better understand our own minds and the minds we are trying to design and reason about. I’d love to see better versions, or elaborations of this one, or entirely different mind-designs.

If you want the original document: Get draw.io, then follow this link and click “Open with…” and then select draw.io. I’d love it if people spin off improved versions.