Cutting through unnecessary complexity. (The Bus 1.2)
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Ockham’s Razor1 is an essential - and often very useful - tool in the philosopher’s kit. Also known as the ‘law of parsimony’,2 Ockham’s Razor is a technique of logic used to cut through rival arguments to uncover the truth of a given claim.
The general idea is that - given two competing arguments for any given issue - the simpler, less-complex argument is usually correct. The adverb isn’t accidental. Complexity certainly has its place and at times the more complex answer is the correct one. Scholars also point out that as a heuristic,3 Ockham’s Razor is a suggestion - more a guideline than a hard and fast rule - and if a more complex theory better explains the facts, then the more complex theory is preferred. However, empirical evidence is essential when making this decision - fantasies, wishes and beliefs running contrary to evidence must be eliminated as valid claims.
An example of how Ockham’s Razor works:
Common Cold … or Black Death?
You have a headache …
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