Philosophical razor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Razor (philosophy))
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In philosophy, a razor is a principle or rule of thumb that allows one to eliminate ("shave off") unlikely explanations for a phenomenon, or avoid unnecessary actions.[1]

Razors include:

  • Occam's razor: Simpler explanations are more likely to be correct. Avoid unnecessary assumptions.
  • Grice's razor: As a principle of parsimony, conversational implications are to be preferred over semantic context for linguistic explanations.[2][3]
  • Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.[4]
  • Hume's razor: "If the cause, assigned for any effect, be not sufficient to produce it, we must either reject that cause, or add to it such qualities as will give it a just proportion to the effect."[5][6]
  • Hitchens's razor: "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."
  • Newton's flaming laser sword: If something cannot be settled by experiment or observation, then it is not worthy of debate.[7]
  • Popper's falsifiability principle: For a theory to be considered scientific, it must be falsifiable.
  • Rand's razor: concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity—the corollary of which is: nor are they to be integrated in disregard of necessity.[8]
  • Sagan standard: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garg, A. (17 May 2010). "Occam's razor". A.Word.A.Day. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  2. ^ Hazlett, A. (2007). "Grice's razor". Metaphilosophy. 38 (5): 669. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9973.2007.00512.x. 
  3. ^ "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Implicature". Implicature, 5. Gricean Theory. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  4. ^ "Hanlon's Razor". The Jargon File 4.4.7. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  5. ^ Miles, M. (2003). Inroads: Paths in Ancient and Modern Western Philosophy. University of Toronto Press. p. 543. ISBN 978-0802037442. 
  6. ^ Forrest, P. (2001). "Counting the cost of modal realism". In Preyer, G.; Siebelt, F. Reality and Humean Supervenience: Essays on the Philosophy of David Lewis. Studies in Epistemology and Cognitive Theory. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 93. ISBN 978-0742512016. 
  7. ^ Mike Alder (2004). "Newton's Flaming Laser Sword". Philosophy Now. 46: 29–33. 
    Also available as Mike Alder (2004). "Newton's Flaming Laser Sword" (PDF). Mike Alder's Home Page. University of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Leonard Peikoff, Analytic-Synthetic Dicothomy, in: Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 96