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orion Re: Orion: Occam's Razor

Dr. Naomi G. Cohen wrote:

>   Though I am aware that it is assumed by participants in this, as
>well as on other lists, that "everyone" knows the connotation of the idiom,
>Occam's razor, in this instance at least, I cannot be counted among "everyone".

>        From the context of a recent posting it's connotation seems to be:
>the simplest way of explaining something that accounts for all the known facts.

>        I have the temerity to publicly ask for confirmation or correction,
>as well as an explanation of this strange idiom, because my educated guess
>is that I am not alone.
William of Occam was a Franciscan scholastic philosopher
 (Doctor Singularis et Invincibilis), born Ockam, Surrey, 
England (Occam is the latinized form of his name),   died
 1347.  He is best known for dissecting every question as he
would with a razor, in accordance with the principle (Occam's Razor)
that "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" ("Entities
should not be multiplied except from necessity"), which means
that all unnecessary facts or constituents to the subject being
analyzed should be eliminated.

As is all too evident,  Occam's razor is often invoked but its
meaning and implications are rarely   understood or applied


Sic transit glorious Monday... 

Marsha B. Cohen (no relation)
Florida Int'l University