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Occam's razor

The principle (attributed to the English philosopher and Franciscan friar William ofOccam, c. 1285–1349) that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. ...

Occam's razor

Occam's razor   Reference library

Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
8 words

...'s razor a variant spelling of Ockham's razor...

Occam's razor

Occam's razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Public Health (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...Occam's razor ( principle of scientific parsimony ) An important principle in logic and scientific reasoning, enunciated by the 14th-century philosopher William of Occam. In his words, Essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem ; i.e., the number of axioms or assumptions required to establish a truth or explain a phenomenon should be kept to the minimum possible. ...

Occam's razor

Occam's razor   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
122 words

...still use Ockham , the spelling Occam appears more than twice as often in modern print sources. Another term for Occam's razor is the law of parsimony . Current ratio ( Occam's razor vs. Ockham's razor ):...

Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...’s razor n . A variant spelling of Ockham’s razor . The latter spelling is preferable, because the village in Surrey, England, from which its name is derived is called Ockham, believed to derive from ock an oak, and ham a village or...

Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Plant Sciences (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
56 words

...’s razor ( Ockham’s razor , parsimony ) The axiom proposed by the medieval Franciscan friar and philosopher William of Occam ( William Ockham , c .1280–1349) that pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate (plurality should not be assumed without necessity). It means that when there are alternative hypotheses, the one requiring the fewest assumptions should be...

Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Geology and Earth Sciences (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020

...’s razor ( Ockham’s razor ) The axiom that pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate (multiplicity ought not to be posited without necessity); i.e. when alternative hypotheses exist, the one requiring the fewest assumptions should be preferred. This was first proposed by William of Occam (William Ockham) (c. 1280–1349 ). See also parsimony...

Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Ecology (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...’s razor ( Ockham’s razor ) The axiom, proposed by William of Occam ( William Ockham , c .1280–1349 ), that pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate (‘multiplicity ought not to be posited without necessity’); i.e. when alternative hypotheses exist, the one requiring the fewest assumptions should be...

Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Zoology (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
48 words

...’s razor ( Ockham’s razor ) The axiom, proposed by William of Occam ( William Ockham , c . 1280–1349 ), that pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate (‘multiplicity ought not to be posited without necessity’); i.e. when alternative hypotheses exist, the one requiring the fewest assumptions should be...

Occam’s razor

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A Dictionary of Economics (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
39 words

...Occam’s razor A principle stating that ‘entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily’. A common interpretation of this principle in science is ‘between two competing theories which make exactly the same predictions, the one that is simpler is the better’....

Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...’s razor Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem (Latin, ‘No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary’), a maxim that means that all unnecessary facts or constituents in the subject being analysed should be eliminated. These exact words do not appear in Occam’s works but the principle expressed occurs in several other forms. William of Occam ( see under william ) ( 1285–1349 ), the great franciscan scholastic philosopher, was born at Ockham, Surrey, ‘Occam’ being the Latinized form of the name. See also ...

Occam’s razor

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A Dictionary of Genetics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
52 words

...Occam’s razor a rule attributed to the medieval philosopher William of Occam. In modern times, the rule states that when there are several possible explanations of a phenomenon, one selects as most probable the explanation that is the simplest and most consistent with the data at hand. Also called the parsimony principle...

Occam’s Razor

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A Dictionary of Epidemiology (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

...Occam’s Razor (Syn: Ockham’s razor ) The philosophical principle of scientific parsimony (parsimony in the sense of unwillingness to use unnecessary resources, frugality, austerity). An ancient principle often attributed to the philosopher and Franciscan friar William of Ockham (c.1285–c.1349), who said: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem (i.e., assumptions to explain a phenomenon must not be multiplied beyond necessity). In The Grammar of Science (1892), Karl Pearson called this the most important canon in the whole field of logical...

Occam's razor

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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...'s razor the principle (attributed to the English philosopher and Franciscan friar William of Occam , c. 1285–1349 ) that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. The principle is often invoked to defend reductionism or...

Occam's razor

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New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
79 words
Occam's razor

Occam's razor noun   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
99 words
Occam's razor

Occam's razor noun   Reference library

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
33 words
Occam's razor

Occam's razor noun   Reference library

The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
33 words
Occam's razor

Occam's razor noun   Reference library

Australian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
185 words
Occam's razor

Occam's razor  

Reference type:
Overview Page
The principle (attributed to the English philosopher and Franciscan friar William ofOccam, c. 1285–1349) that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. The ...
Ockham

Ockham  

A variant spelling of Occam. See Occam's razor.

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