Kant’s Categorical Imperative: Act the Way You Want Others to Act

  The categorical imperative is a moral principle which denotes that you should “act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law”, meaning that you should act a certain way only if you’re willing to have everyone else act the same way …

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The Brown M&M’s Principle: How Small Details Can Help Discover Big Issues

  The brown M&M’s principle is the idea that small details can sometimes serve as useful indicators of big issues. This principle is named after a rock band (Van Halen), who had a “brown M&M’s clause” in their contracts with event organizers, stipulating that the organizers must provide M&M’s in the backstage area, but that …

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Tempus Fugit: Time Flies, So Use It Wisely

  Tempus fugit is a Latin phrase that means “time flies”. It’s meant to remind you that your time is limited and continuously passing, both in general and when it comes to specific things such as pursuing your goals or being with the people you care about. This concept can help guide your thoughts and …

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The Sagan Standard: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

  The Sagan standard is the adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (a concept abbreviated as ECREE). This signifies that the more unlikely a certain claim is, given existing evidence on the subject, the greater the standard of proof that is expected of it. Accordingly, if a certain claim is considered extraordinary, meaning that …

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Memento Mori: Remember That You Will Die

  Memento mori is a Latin phrase that means “remember that you will die”. It is meant to remind you of your own mortality, and of the brevity and fragility of human life. ‘Memento mori’ has been mentioned as an important principle by many people throughout history, and implementing it in your own life can …

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Carpe Diem: Seize the Day

  Carpe diem is a Latin phrase that means “seize the day”. It encourages people to focus on the present, appreciate the value of every moment in life, and avoid postponing things unnecessarily, because every life eventually comes to an end. For example, the principle of ‘carpe diem’ suggests that if there’s an event that …

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Cui Bono: Why You Should Ask “Who Benefits?”

  Cui bono is a Latin phrase that means “who benefits?”, and is used to suggest that there’s a high probability that those responsible for a certain event are the ones who stand to gain from it. For example, if a certain crime has been committed, ‘cui bono’ suggests that the person who committed that …

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The Golden Rule: Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated

  The golden rule is a moral principle which denotes that you should treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. For example, the golden rule suggests that if you would like people to treat you with respect, then you should make sure to treat them with respect too. The golden rule is …

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Parsimony: Why You Should Prefer Simpler Explanations

  Parsimony is a guiding principle that suggests that all things being equal, you should prefer the simplest possible explanation for a phenomenon or the simplest possible solution to a problem. For example, if you hear barking from inside your house, and you own a dog, it’s more reasonable to assume that you’re hearing your …

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