Simply put, Occam’s razor suggests that you should prefer the simplest possible explanation for a phenomenon, if that explanation is equal to other possible explanations based on the other criteria involved.

What is Occam’s razor theory?

Definition of Occam’s razor

: a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.

When can you use Occam’s razor?

Occam’s razor can be used in a wide range of situations, as a means of making rapid decisions and establishing truths without empirical evidence. It works best as a mental model for making initial conclusions before the full scope of information can be obtained.

What is the simplest answer that explains the most evidence?

Occam’s Razor, put simply, states: “the simplest solution is almost always the best.” It’s a problem-solving principle arguing that simplicity is better than complexity. Named after 14th-century logician and theologian William of Ockham, this theory has been helping many great thinkers for centuries.

Why is Occam’s razor called that?

The one with the fewer number of moving parts, so to speak, is most likely to be correct. The idea is always to cut out extra unnecessary bits, hence the name “razor.” An example will help illustrate this.

What is an example of Occam’s razor?

Occam’s Razor Simplified

The idiom “when you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras” refers to this principle that the most likely solution is the simplest one. This is not because simpler explanations are usually correct, but because you make fewer assumptions when looking for horses instead of zebras.

Who said the simplest explanation is the best?

Occam’s razor is a philosophical principle that states the simplest explanation is usually the best one.

Does Occam’s razor work?

It’s important to remember that Occam’s razor proves nothing. It serves instead as a heuristic device — a guide or a suggestion — that states that when given two explanations or competing theories that make the same predictions for the same thing, the simpler one is usually the correct one.

What is the opposite of Occam’s razor?

Hiccum’s Dictum

And the razor means having a simple explanation is best and a single explanation. But some patients have multiple problems, and so that’s Hiccum’s Dictum, which is the opposite of Occam’s Razor: a patient can have as many diseases as they pleases. But in general, you prefer the Razor to Hiccum’s Dictum.

What is Ockham’s main thesis in nominalism?

In metaphysics, Ockham champions nominalism, the view that universal essences, such as humanity or whiteness, are nothing more than concepts in the mind. He develops an Aristotelian ontology, admitting only individual substances and qualities.