Occam's razor


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Oc·cam's ra·zor

(ŏk'imz rā'zŏrh),
The principle of scientific parsimony. William of Occam (ca. 1282-1340) stated it thus: "The assumptions introduced to explain a thing must not be multiplied beyond necessity."
The simplest expression of scientific truth; where 2 theories exist to explain a similar phenomenon, the one making the fewest assumptions should prevail—i.e., it should be no more complicated than necessary. In keeping with Occam’s razor, generalisations should be based on observed facts and not on other generalisations

Occam's razor

A principle in science and philosophy, much applied in medicine, that one should try to account for an observed phenomenon in the simplest possible way and should not look for multiply explanations of its different aspects. For instance, a range of symptoms and signs occurring together should always, if possible, be attributed to a single disease rather than to several different diseases occurring simultaneously. (William of Occam, ca. 1290–1349, English philosopher).

Occam's razor

see OCKHAM'S RAZOR.

Occam's razor

a principle named after William of Occam, a 14th century philosopher. The generalization states that, if there are a number of explanations for observed phenomena, the simplest explanation is preferred. Called also scientific parsimony.
References in periodicals archive ?
As noted above, Occam's razor holds that when scientists are forced to choose between competing plausible explanations for a particular data set, they should select the simplest explanation.
As for Occam's razor, it is a philosophical device and is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a science.
The post Applying the Occam's Razor principle appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
Other topics that are distilled through these concepts include Occam's razor, the Bell Curve and IQ testing practices in the United States.
Occam's razor tells us that if something can be explained using known principles, it's pointless to introduce even one unproven speculation--let alone an infinite number of them.
OCCAM'S Razor - it's a philosophical and scientific principle that usually applies well to everyday life, too.
The complicated, nonlinear models also fail the test known as Occam's razor, says Paul Nelson, a physicist at Texas A&M University in College Station.
I should have known all along that Occam's Razor would apply.
As Tabb explains, it's more than just naked speed, in terms of messages per second, pointing out that as Occam's Razor states in a world where all things are equal, the simplest solution is often the correct answer.
Occam's razor - the principle that the simplest explanation is usually the best - favors Pishioneri's explanation of all this: He filled out the time card by mistake, and took the county car instead of his own because of a last-minute change in plans.
Avinash Kaushik is the author of the recently published book "Web Analytics: An Hour A Day" and the highly rated web analytics blog, Occam's Razor.