Occam's razor

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Related to Parsimonious explanation: law of parsimony, Parsimony Principle

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 ?
This proposal is based on the recognition that the failure to make progress with the most parsimonious explanation is justification for exploring hypotheses that are more difficult to investigate.
They suggested there were a number of potential interpretations of these fossils and that being a human ancestor was by no means the simplest, or most parsimonious explanation.
Our results support protracted vocal ontogeny as the most parsimonious explanation for variation in song structure in these populations, but we did not directly assign age or mark individual birds which may limit our ability to exclude alternative explanations.
Simple site disturbance throughout the sequence seems a more parsimonious explanation than modern carbon contamination of the older 14C determinations in this site.
We believe the most parsimonious explanation for the observed behavior is that it consisted of an encounter between a resident (perching individual) and intruding (displaying) male within what was likely a lek territory.
Our own data don't show the same association, so the most parsimonious explanation is that it's not A2M but something nearby," agrees Peter H.