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Occam's Razor

Edited by: Published: 2010
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Occam's Razor (also spelled Ockham) is known as the principle of parsimony or the economy of hypotheses. It is a philosophical principle dictating that, all things being equal, simplicity is preferred over complexity. Traditionally, the Razor has been used as a philosophical heuristic for choosing between competing theories, but the principle is also useful for defining methods for empirical inquiry, selecting scientific hypotheses, and refining statistical models. According to Occam's Razor, a tool with fewer working parts ought to be selected over one with many, provided they are equally functional. Likewise, a straightforward explanation ought to be believed over one that requires many separate contingencies.

For instance, there are a number of possible reasons why a light bulb does not turn on when a switch is ...

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