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 While some may believe that this phrase, with its ancient and rather abstruse origin, is obsolete, novelist Archer Mayor clearly disagreed, for he entitled his 1999 murder mystery Occam’s Razor.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 ?
Concerning her example of the key, I argued that her position goes against Ockham's razor and contradicts Lewis's and her definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic properties.
Applying Ockham's Razor again, let us cut away entities that are not central to teaching.
Ockham's razor asks that we not multiply entities beyond necessity.
Ockham's Razor are really pushing the boundaries of circus and aerial theatre, but Charlotte reckons it is more dangerous riding a bicycle than crawling up a giant Perspex box.
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.
Ockham's Razor will be showcasing their new work The Mill at The Dream Factory, Shelley Avenue, on October 8.
Since the application of paradigms from other disciplines to historical questions sometimes proves illuminating, I kept Ockham's razor in its sheath, hoping to find some empirical support for the author's contention in the second chapter on the myth of Venice.
Ockham's Razor: The Law of Minimum Hypotheses," the law is stated as follows:
He firmly believed in the usefulness of Ockham's razor, the principle that one should not unnecessarily multiply entities in attempting to explain the universe.
All appearances can be preserved by supposing that qualities mutually support and adhere to one another, and so by Ockham's razor, the idea of substance is unnecessary.
Ockham's Razor, Dance City, Newcastle October 11-14, www.dancecity.co.uk Aerial theatre company Ockham's Razor returns to Dance City with yet another breath-taking, mind-bending performance, this time involving the audience a bit more with an 'immersive, promenade production'.
First I went to see Ockham's Razor with their stunning, spellbinding pieces of aerial theatre, then Pacitti Company's somewhat disturbing and thought-provoking promenade performance of Finale and finally Northern Broadside's political farce, AccidentalDeath Of An Anarchist, which was extremely well acted, cleverly adapted, topical and hilarious in places!
Essential to this Nominalist logic was the use of what came to be called "Ockham's razor," or "law of economy": "Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity." In other words, unnecessary causes should not be assumed in providing explanation for an event or action.
A scene from Tipping Point by dance company Ockham's Razor NIK MACKEY
Ockham's Razor: The Mill at Dance City, Newcastle THERE is an enchanting moment in The Mill when the human cogs free themselves of the weight of steel and wood and swing delightedly on ropes: only to be forced back to 'resume labour'.