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12/11/16

Ockham's Razor of the Scientific Focus.

Introduction.

Occam's razor, also written as Ockham's razor, or law of parsimony, is a problem-solving principle attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher and theologian.

The principle can be interpreted as: 'stating among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected'.

According to Ockham, 'simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones'.


Discriminating Wisdom.

Discriminating Wisdom in Buddhism is the wisdom that allows to see things (for example: scientific assumptions) clearly, 'as they are', in a separation as well as a part of larger whole, nondually.


Uses in Science.

Assumptions can be complex or simple. Complex assumptions consist of multiple assumptions, either complex or simple, or of a mix of these.

Complex assumptions can be reduced to a set of simpler partial assumptions, then can be looked with a discriminating wisdom, modelled and analyzed to see if any of the partial assumptions can be removed for a simpler model.

Simpler models often do not restrict us so much, allow for more options based on a fewer of the assumptions.


An Example.

To have a square precisely defined, we need to provide either:

1. A vector/turn definition.
- a vector with a direction,
- a turn at the vector's end.

2. A two straight lines with a point definition.
- a straight line,
- a second straight line, parallel but not overlapping first line,
- a point.

This can be reduced using the 'Ockham's razor' and the 'Discriminating Wisdom' to a basic sets of simple partial assumptions:

[Discriminating wisdom is used to reduce complex assumptions into a set of simpler partial assumptions, then to analyze].

[Ockham's razor is used to remove redundant information, such as the requirement for a point between two lines to be placed exactly in the middle of a square - a perpendicular straight line can be placed through this point, then this point can be moved along the perpendicural straight line into the midst of the square].

Let's not prune too much or too little of the neccessary premises information, however. We need all of required premises to do attribution in a sane way - to jump into a conclusion in a sane way.

1. A vector/turn definition.
- we know a starting coordinates of a vector,
- we know the end coordinates of a vector,
- the starting and end points of a vector are not overlapping,
- we know a turn at the end of a vector: either to left or to right.

2. A two straight lines with a point definition.
- we know an equation of the first straight line,
- we know an equation of the second straight line,
- lines defined by equations are parallel,
- lines defined by equations are not overlapping,
- we know coordinates of a point.

By looking at both definitions, we can see that definition with a vector/turn requires fewer assumptions about our knowledge of a square than a definition with two lines and a point.

Our first definition is simpler and therefore superior by principles of the Ockham's razor theory.


See also, if You wish or need, ... : Buddhism, Arts & Sciences.

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