Authors
Abstract
Occam’s razor – that is, the methodological principle of parsimony that advocates for the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions possible – is largely considered to be a sound epistemological practice. Indeed, it was and remains a valuable tool for scientific and philosophical inquiry. However, we argue that a too rigid application and, in some instances, an almost obsessive mandatory use, has frequently turned away from a reasonable and sound heuristic approach, making of it an unwarranted and ineffective epistemological method. Some words of caution are necessary to clarify how, contrary to common belief, a too strict adherence to such a principle does not guarantee scientific rigor, rather it can obstruct further progress.
Keywords Occam's razor  Occam  parsimony  principles of parsimony   epistemology  science
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.
Occam’s Razor in Science: A Case Study From Biogeography.A. Baker - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):193-215.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Modified Occam’s Razor.Ben Phillips - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):371-382.
Is Occam's Razor a Physical Thing?J. J. C. Smart - 1978 - Philosophy 53 (205):382 - 385.
Occam’s Razor and Possible Worlds.Peter Forrest - 1982 - The Monist 65 (4):456-464.
Simple or Simplistic? Scientists’ Views on Occam’s Razor.Hauke Riesch - 2010 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 25 (1):75-90.
Causal Learning with Occam’s Razor.Oliver Schulte - 2019 - Studia Logica 107 (5):991-1023.
Simple or Simplistic? Scientists' Views on Occam's Razor.Hauke Riesch - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (1):75-90.
Simple or Simplistic? Scientists' Views on Occam's Razor.Hauke Riesch - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (1):75-90.
Occam’s Razor, Dogmatism, Skepticism, and Skeptical Dogmatism.Mark Walker - 2016 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6 (1):1-29.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-12-14

Total views
115 ( #101,541 of 2,504,877 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
76 ( #10,436 of 2,504,877 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes