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Chapter 7. Decision-Making > Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor

Tackling the challenge of making smart decisions in a real and complicated world is hardly new. As far back as the 14th century, when medieval life was as rigidly complex as its cathedrals, philosophers grappled with how to make simple decisions when time was pressing. In any scientific realm, when a new set of data requires the creation of a new theory, many hypotheses are proposed, studied, and rejected. Yet, even when all unfit hypotheses are thrown out, several may remain, in some cases reaching the same end, but having different underlying assumptions. In order to choose among similar theories, scientists sometimes use Occam’s razor.

Nature operates in the shortest way possible.

Aristotle


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