What is Occam’s Razor?

What Is Occam's Razor

“pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate”

–William of Occam (1285–1347/49)

A principle in philosophy, mathematics, and science that assumptions introduced to explain something must not be multiplied beyond necessity, and, therefore, that the simplest of several hypotheses is, usually, the best explanation of the facts.

There are two essential elements to Occam’s razor, from the Latin:

  • The Principle of Plurality – Plurality should not be used as a fact or put forward as a basis of the argument without the necessity
  • The Principle of Parsimony – It is pointless to do with more, what can be done with less

Origin of the concept of Occam’s razor