Monday, April 12
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Tag: atheist

Thoughtful Thursday: A Close Shave with Occam’s Razor

Thoughtful Thursday: A Close Shave with Occam’s Razor

Essay, Spirituality
One of the most useful, but also one of the most neglected, principles in the practice of theology is Occam's (or Ockham's) Razor. Occam's Razor is usually credited to William of Occam, a nominalist Franciscan monk of the early 14th century.  There are several mutually equivalent ways, in both Latin and English, of expressing the principle. One of the more common Latin versions is Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate:  "Plurality is not to be posited without necessity". Much less laconic, but more colloquially accessible, is my favorite English version: "Hypotheses / suppositions / premises that contribute no expository power should be deleted from any proposed explanation". In the early 1300s, classical Scholasticism began to wane as theologians, William of Occam among the mos...