There are countless actions we could take to try to improve the world. Identifying the most effective actions is difficult.
The effective altruism community conducts research aimed at addressing this problem, drawing on existing disciplines like economics, epistemology, ethics, and decision theory.
The EA Concepts project is an attempt to organize the most relevant ideas in a rough conceptual map of the effective altruism research space. It’s far from perfect, and organizing the concepts requires difficult trade-offs between clean conceptual divisions and practically useful groupings. We nonetheless hope it will prove useful.
At the highest level, we divide the research space into the following categories:
- Relevant features of the world, which includes inquiries of how the world is and how our actions can impact it.
- Ethical decision-making, which provides tools for translating facts about the world into decisions that advance our values.
- Assorted recommendations, which catalogs applications of the above decision-making process in various contexts.