A consideration is information that can change our view on at least one intervention or focus area (cf. philosophers’ interpretation of the notion of evidence). A crucial consideration, in turn, is a consideration which is likely to cause a major shift of our view of interventions or areas. A focus on crucial consideration in research is thus based on the notion that we should try to maximize the positive value of research—i.e. maximize the value of information—just as we should try to maximize the positive value of all other actions. Using the terms of the ITN framework, a crucial consideration is a consideration which, if found, would be extremely important.
The term ‘crucial consideration’ was introduced into the effective altruism lexicon by Nick Bostrom (Bostrom 2014). It is now frequently used by a number of organizations in the effective altruism community (Sentience Politics 2016).
Bostrom, Nick. 2014. Crucial considerations and wise philanthropy.
Foundational Research Institute. 2016. Crucial considerations.