Occam's razor

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Occam's razor

A maxim that the simplest theory should be applied to a situation or experiment first. This concept is named for its ardent defender, 14th-century philosopher William of Occam. I think our initial hypothesis is too complex. Occam's razor would suggest we consider the simplest possible explanation.
See also: razor

Occam's razor

the principle that in explaining something no more assumptions should be made than are necessary.
This principle takes its name from the English philosopher and Franciscan friar William of Occam ( c .1285–1349 ): the image is that of the razor cutting away all extraneous assumptions.
See also: razor

Occam's razor

The simplest explanation of something is apt to be the correct one. This principle is named for the English scholar William of Occam (or Ockham), who lived from 1280 to 1349. A Franciscan monk, he so angered Pope John XXII through both his writings on the nature of knowledge and his defense of his order’s vow of poverty that he was excommunicated. William, whom his colleagues called Doctor Singularis et Invincibilis (“singular and invincible doctor”), put his principle in Latin: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, “Entities should not be unnecessarily multiplied.” In effect, he held that any unnecessary parts of a subject being analyzed should be eliminated. Obviously, this could simply be called Occam’s Principle, and indeed, the razor did not enter into it until a French philosopher, Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, in 1746 called it Rasoir des Nominaux, “the razor of the nominalists,” that is, cutting through complicated arguments to reach the truth. In 1836 Sir William Hamilton, lecturing on metaphysics and logic, put the two ideas together, saying, “We are therefore entitled to apply Occam’s razor to this theory of causality.” While some may believe that this phrase, with its ancient and rather abstruse origin, is obsolete, novelist Archer Mayor clearly disagreed, for he entitled his 1999 murder mystery Occam’s Razor.
See also: razor
References in periodicals archive ?
--Historia de la filosofia, de Ockham a Suarez, Ariel, Barcelona, 1981.
Guilherme de Ockham e um dos vultos da escolastica tardia ou baixa escolastica.
Ockham establece una respuesta negativa a esta pregunta desde sus primeros escritos.
Pero la situacion no es tal: los principios mencionados por Ockham son todos tautologicos, esto es, carentes de contenido: "debe evitarse lo deshonesto", "la voluntad debe adecuarse a la recta razon" (3).
PUSHING BOUNDARIES Above and right, Ockham''s Razor: Not Until We Are Lost, featuring performers hanging by their fingertips from scaffolding
Indeed, the moderate realism of Scotus is already holding out its hand to Ockham's "modern way", and the manner in which it does so is illustrative of the complexities of the era.
Ockham parts company from the other three in thinking the categorial/quantitative distinction inadequate and argues instead that divine power must be able to bring about multiple locations of bodies and body parts (163).
Vaughan, en el ultimo articulo de este libro, en el cual examina las concepciones de las consecuencias entre Burleigh y Ockham, asi como las clasificaciones que ambos hacen de las consecuencias.
It is perhaps three years since I first sat spellbound by the aerial theatre company Ockham's Razor on what was then its first visit to the Lawrence Batley Theatre.
Performed by aerial theatre company Ockham's Razor, The Mill combines circus skills, dance and daring feats.
Ockham Explained: From Razor to Rebellion tells of a group of 1328 Franciscans who steal the official seal of the Franciscan Order and one William of Ockham, who had a new approach to the concept of church-state separation.
Marsilius of Padua and William of Ockham. Thomas Renna, Saginaw Valley State University
WHEN Ockham's Razor first visited the Wales Millennium Centre I was completely hooked - and eagerly awaited the magical company's return.
Resumen: La epistemologia de Guillermo de Ockham expuesta en los Quodlibeta Septem conduce a conclusiones escepticas.
Counter to political theorist Leo Strauss, Oakley sees the development of a secular social theory not in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with Hobbes and Grotius, but much earlier in the thirteenth century with the thinking of William of Ockham. Now, Ockham was no secularist.