Occam's Razor 

By on

Occam's Razor - to use it, not to use it or what is it?

Willam of Occom (1280 to 1285)

  • Nunquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate (Pluralities ought not be posited without necessity)
    - William of Occam, from Quaestiones et decisiones in quattuor libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi

What is Occam's Razor

  • We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
    - Isaac Newton

Essentially, it is the idea that one should not believe something for which one has no evidence; or, alternatively, that of two ideas which explain the same evidence, the simpler idea is to be preferred.

Why Did I Write This

I was reminded of Occam's Razor while reading a book. It's quite a simple principal of logic which has stood the test of time and is accepted as central to scientific thought. Without thinking about it I quite often apply the principals of the razor in my day to day works and it has very rarely let's me down.  Ensuring you have evidence of what you are being told told and preferring simple over complicated can't be a bad thing.

Related Links



More interesting Notes:
Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



Welcome back Bottle

‘Kept looking at a card, y’see? Kept looking at it. Welcome back Bottle. Gods below welcome home. The Crippled God A Tale of the Malazan Book of the...

Magicians of Engineering

The other day I was reading 'Night of the New Magicians' by Mary Pope Osborn with my son.  The story is about a young boy and girl who travel back in time...

Large Hadron Collider

The 27 km, Euro 6 billion  Collider lies on the border between France and Switzerland, took nearly 30 years to complete.  Some of the lofty goals for the...

Motor Efficiency Classification

Electric motors are one of the most widely used items of electrical equipment. Improving motor efficiency benefits include, reduced power demand, lower...

How to Write an Electrical Note

Electrical notes are a collaborative collection of electrical engineering information and educational material. Any registered user can add content. ...

How to Check a Circuit is Dead

If you want to check a circuit is dead (not live), you should always use the three point method. First check a known live circuit, then check the dead...

Why is electricity so hard to understand?

It's been a busy few months on different projects or busy couple of decades depending on how I look at it. I can say that on the odd (frequent) occasion...

Medium Voltage Switchgear Room Design Guide

Many medium voltage (MV) indoor switchgear rooms  exist worldwide. The complexity of these rooms varies considerably depending on location, function and...

Sony Pocket eBook Reader

For the past few years I have reading eBooks on my HTC touch phone. On and off I have debated buying an eReader and recently purchased a Sony PRS-300 ...

Cables for MV Power Distribution - Earthed versus Unearthed Systems

Power cables can basically be classified into earthed and unearthed cables, where earthed and unearthed refer to the application for which the cable is...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note