MadSci Network: Other

Re: What is Occam's Razor?

Area: Other
Posted By: David Winsemius, MadSci Admin
Date: Sun Sep 28 14:26:09 1997
Area of science: Other
ID: 874876876.Ot

This is an excerpt from the Physics FAQ original by Phil Gibbs 17-September 1996 Occan's Razor Page The Physics and Relativity FAQ, as a collection, is Copyright 1992 - 1997 by Scott I Chase, Michael Weiss and Philip Gibbs.

Occam's (or Ockham's) razor is a principle attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan monk William of Occam. Ockham was the village in the English county of Surrey where he was born.

The principle states that 'Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.' Sometimes it is quoted in one of it's original Latin forms to give it authenticity.

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate"
"Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora"

Another Occam's Razor Page

Hope this helps,
David Winsemius

Admin Note: In essence, Occam's Razor states, "Let simplicity prevail." It is most commonly involved to "cut out" the metaphysics behind relativity. In the biological sciences, the concept of "evolutionary parsimony" -- organisms will evolve from one state to another via the simplest path, also falls within the general sense of Occam's Razor.

-L. Bry, MadSci Admin

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