What is Occam’s razor, and does it actually work?

If you’re contemplating a complex problem, think of Occam’s razor, as simplicity is often best. (Image credit: Laurence Dutton via Getty Images)

Occam’s razor (also spelled Ockham’s razor) cuts through complexity with a no-nonsense approach. The philosophical maxim “Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate,” written by 14th-century Franciscan friar William of Ockham, translates to “Plurality must never be posited without necessity.” In other words, all else being equal, simplicity is best. 

So is this actually true? Is the simplest explanation usually the best one? 

Leave a Comment