Occams razor is credited to William of Ockham, a 14th-century Franciscan friar, theologian and philosopher.
In philosophical debate a razor is an abductive rule of thumb or heuristic that infers that unlikely predictions, or explanations, are to be "shaved off" on balance of probability.
It is also referred to as a law of parsimony which is a principle that says that: ‘Entities should not be multiplied without necessity.’ (In Latin, Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.)
However, it seems that William of Ockham never actually said this in any of his writings!
In plain modern english, Occams razor, or the law of parsimony, means that:
The best explanation is the one that requires you to make the fewest possible assumptions about what's involved.
There are exceptions to every rule:
“It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.”
“Everything should be made as simple as
possible, but not simpler.”
"We could still imagine that there is a set of laws that determines events completely for some supernatural being, who could observe the present state of the universe without disturbing it. However, such models of the universe are not of much interest to us mortals. It seems better to employ the principle known as Occam’s razor and cut out all the features of the theory that cannot be observed."
"We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.”
Return to: How To Think
Like A Prayer - Life Is A Mystery
How Things Really Are - The Inbuilt Design Flaws
Intuition Or Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Crawling Here?
What Is Truth - How To Tell A Partial Truth From The Whole Truth?
Duality And Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind
The Conscious Mind Is Limited - Be Aware And Be Prepared
Your Inner Map Of Reality - Here's Why You Think The Way You Do
The Failure Of Cancel Culture - Suppression Not Engagement
4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck In Our Attempts At Personal Change
How Do I Change And Why Is It So Hard?
The Illusion Of A Separate Self - Windows 11 With Self Awareness!
Finite And Infinite Games - Dazed, Confused & Ultimately Transcendent
The Gap And The Gain - How Your Brain Sabotages Your Happiness
How To Wake Up - 4 Simple Practices To Help You Wake Up Now
Situational Communication - Different Strokes For Different Folks
How To Influence Without Authority - 6 Key Tips
Change Questions To Change Your Outcomes
Group Culture - The Invisible Software That Rules Your Life
Why Getting From A to B Is Not Aways A Straight Line
The Art Of Persuasion Planning For Success - Here's How To Do It!
The Art Of Persuasion Advanced Communication Skills - Gaining Buyin
The Art Of Persuasion The One Fundamental Principle - Create A Win-Win
Communication Persuasion And Change - Key Skills To Survive & Succeed
The Eisenhower Box - What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent
Zen Enlightenment [Satori] - The Stink Of Zen
5 Zen Mindsets For Mastery - In Any Area Of Your Life
Dealing With The Toxicity Of Online Dating - 6 Key Tips From A Clinical Psychologist
Why Understanding Ergodicity Is Critical To Your Long Term Survival
Dealing With Imposter Syndrome - Ego Is The Enemy
The Challenges Of The Road Less Traveled