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Might be useful to distinguish mainstream and philosophical longtermism. The former is espoused by people like Elon Musk and is usually the more extreme version. The philosophical one is more moderate as some have said. But then again, why call it “longtermism” if the arguments are moderate? Probably not a smart choice of a label if one wishes to avoid misunderstandings.


@redundant: it’s called the motte and Bailey fallacy.

David Thorstad

Thanks redundant! I do try to focus when possible on academic discussions of longtermism (and of effective altruism more broadly).

I do think that I am fairly well qualified to discuss philosophical longtermism. I am co-editing the first academic anthology on longtermism. I work at an institute whose research agenda centers around longtermism. Depending on how you count, I have authored at least three research papers on longtermism and organized at least eight academic workshops focused on longtermism.

I would not presume to speak for the longtermist community or for the effective altruist community more broadly. Indeed, part of my aim is to suggest that some views which are broadly held in the community are not true.

But I do try to speak from a place of engagement with the most academically sophisticated versions of longtermism.

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