Talk:Occam's razor

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How could Aquinas have rebutted Occam's razor if he died fourteen years before William of Ockham was born?--User:Brxbrx/sig 20:29, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

See the "History" section - the concept predates Occam. Perhaps a better wording of that section would be "...the principle later known as..."--ZooGuard (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
I spent three minutes looking up Aquinas' date of death and Ockham's date of birth when all I had to do was look on the same page...--User:Brxbrx/sig 20:36, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Occam's duct tape[edit]

Is this actually a thing? I sort of thought I invented it in the Loose Change article quite some time ago. Does anyone else use the term? DickTurpis (talk) 01:37, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

here's an instance of the phrase from the JREF forums in 2003, but it seems to have a different meaning there. Peter mqzp 01:41, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
There's a TV Tropes description very similar to yours. (see Real Life) Osaka Sun (talk) 01:43, 16 April 2013 (UTC)


I had to make some corrections that are important.

First, the footnote originally said Summa Theologica FP Q2 A5. But there is no article 5; it does not exist. The correct citation is Summa Theologica FP Q2 A3:

Second, the page originally suggested that Aquinas's reply was: "On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: "I am Who am." (Exodus 3:14)"

But that is a misunderstanding of Aquinas's structure in the Summa. First, replies to the initial objections always come at the end of the article. Thus I quoted his actual reply to objection 2. But it is also important to realize he also responds in the main body of the article--the "I answer that" section. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Alder's razor[edit]

"What cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating." Can that statement be settled by experiment?--Kittycat (talk) 14:21, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Assuming Alder's razor holds true; if your question regarding if the statement contained in the law can be settled by experiment cannot be settled by experiment, it's not worth debating. As with this statement. And so on. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:49, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
But aren't we debating it right now? Doesn't that mean it is worth debating?--Kittycat (talk) 15:45, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Not if it can't be settled by experiment! Uh... Gimme a moment to come up with an experiment to settle this statement. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:57, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
This seems to get really complicated quickly. Wait a minute, how do you even debate a question?--Kittycat (talk) 16:04, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Can a question even be true or false? So how do you even apply Alder's razor to the question of whether Alder's razor can be settled by experiment? I guess I have to ask what the definition of "what" is.--Kittycat (talk) 16:11, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
The statement "Alder's razor is true" cannot be settled by experiment. If Alder's razor is true, then "Alder's razor is true" is not worth debating. (The statement "Alder's razor is false" cannot be settled by experiment either.) Since "Alder's razor is true" is not worth debating, then we should not assume that "Alder's razor is true" is true, i.e. we should not assume that Alder's razor is true.--Kittycat (talk) 16:51, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
You are also right in noticing that questions cannot have the property of being true or false, just as with commands, yelling "Ouch!" or making onomatopoeic utterances. Questions can be statements posed as questions in an attempt to bypass certain filters of fradulent claim making, but that's different. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:52, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Does Alder's razor contradict itself? What does it mean to be "worth debating"? If Alder's razor is true, then both "Alder's razor is true" and "Alder's razor is false" are not worth debating.--Kittycat (talk) 17:12, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Clearly, Alder's razor can lead to an infinite regress, apart from being definitionally vague. It is also based on premises that are themselves weak and, at any rate, do not support the conclusion. Thus, the razor seems faulty. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:49, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it can survive even by infinite regress. Alder's razor cannot be settled by experiment, so Alder's razor is not worth debating!Kittycat (talk) 20:48, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here we see the problem with logical positivism. Now kids, as for the next exhibit.. Koi "I could really use an animator because I have so many ideas floating around in my head" development 02:13, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Trump's Razor[edit]

Following a mention in my newspaper, this should be included here #and# on DT's page - will quote [1]. (talk) 10:09, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

See Occam's duct tape. This falls under that. #CantComeUpWithACleverSignature 11:36, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Best to ask first - and needs someone to format the contribution correctly. (talk) 21:37, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
I think it's more appropriate as a variant of Hanlon's razor. Bongolian (talk) 19:44, 22 June 2017 (UTC)