Occams Razor

A scientific and philosophic rule which is interpreted as requiring the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex.

William of Occam didn’t invent the rule associated with his name.   Others had espoused the “keep it simple” concept before that 14th-century philosopher and theologian embraced it, but no one wielded the principle (also known as the “law of parsimony”) as relentlessly as he did.  He used it to counter what he considered the fuzzy logic of his theological contemporaries, and his applications of it inspired 19th-century Scottish philosopher Sir William Hamilton to link “Occam” with the idea of cutting away extraneous material, giving us the modern name for the principle.