Occams Razor

Occams razor, also known as the law of parsimony or the principle of parsimony, is the problem-solving principle that states that ‘entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity’. Occams Razor is usually understood thus – when there are multiple probabilities for the same event, the model with the least number of parameters (basically the simpler one) is to be preferred. This idea is attributed to English Franciscan Friar William of Ockham, a philosopher and theologian, even though he never really used these exact words. 

Occam’s Razor is a tool in philosophy that advocates that when presented with competing hypotheses about the same prediction, a person is supposed to select the solution with the fewest assumptions. It is important to note that Occam’s Razor cannot be used in a situation where the competing hypotheses make completely different predictions.

Similarly, in the realm of science, Occam’s razor is used rather as a forced shortcut in the development of theoretical models instead of as a strict arbiter between candidate models. Neither in the realm of science or philosophy is Occam’s razor viewed as an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result. The preference for simplicity is on the basis of the criterion of falsifiability. For every accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there might be an extremely large, maybe even an incomprehensible, number of possible and complex alternatives. Since unsubstantial claims or explanations that do not hold true can always be burdened with impromptu hypotheses on the premise of being falsified, simpler theories are preferred to more complex ones because they have the advantage of being testable.

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