Overview

Among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

Takeaways

  1. The best method for reducing complexity is to avoid it in the first place.
  2. Analyze each element and remove as many as possible, without compromising the overall function.
  3. Consider completion only when no additional items can be removed.

Origins

Occam’s razor (also Ockham’s razor; Latin: lex parsimoniae "law of parsimony") is a problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the one that makes the fewest assumptions. The idea is attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian.

Source

Further Reading

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