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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 19

Britannica: Ockham's Razor Reference

From: Sherry Cardinal <cardinal@bconnex.net>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 07:53:34 -0700
Fwd Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 10:32:37 -0400
Subject: Britannica: Ockham's Razor Reference

Hi all...

Thought I would post this for those who are wondering.. "WOT is
this Occam's Razor???"  I wondered for the longest time.  ;-)

Take care,


William (of) Ockham/Occam and Ockham's Razor

William of Ockham, also called William Ockham (Ockham also
spelled " Occam") (1285-1347/49), was a medieval monk.. (a

Ockham's razor, also spelled "Occam's razor", but also called
"law of economy" or "law of parsimony", is a principle stated by
William of Ockham, that entities are not to be multiplied beyond
necessity (non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem).
This principle was, in fact, invoked before Ockham by Durand de
Saint-Pourcain, a French Dominican theologian and philosopher of
dubious orthodoxy, who used it to explain that abstraction is
the apprehension of some real entity. Galileo did something
similar by defending the simplest hypothesis of the heavens, and
other later scientists stated similar simplifying laws and
principles. It is called "Ockham's razor" because he mentioned
the principle so frequently and employed it so sharply. For
instance, he used it

1. To dispense with relations which he held to be nothing
   distinct from their foundation in things;

2. With efficient causality, which he tended to view merely as
   regular succession;

3. With motion, which is merely the reappearance of a thing in
   a different place;

4. With psychological powers distinct for each mode of sense;

5. And with the presence of ideas in the mind of the Creator,
   which are merely the creatures themselves.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1994


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