Occam’s Razor, guide to inquiry

Recommended thematic notebook

Regretfully I didn’t catch the artist’s name. Exhibited at the Minnesota Street Project, Fall 2017

Occam’s Razor [Notebook]

Author: Cosma Shalizi

Link: http://bactra.org/notebooks/occams-razor.html

EXCERPTS

I am very partial to the idea of Kevin Kelly (disclaimer: a friend) that the Razor is valuable not as a description of the universe, but as a guide to inquiry. That is, by sticking to the simplest theory compatible with the evidence, we converge on the truth faster than if we made up un-necessary complexities. This is nearly the only work on justifying the Razor I know of which doesn’t either beg the question, change the subject, or make massive assumptions about the nature of the world, Divine Providence, etc.
Recommended:
Pedro Domingos, “The Role of Occam’s Razor in Knowledge Discovery,” Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 3 (1999) [Online]
Kevin Kelly (et al.), Ockham’s Razor and Truth
William of Occam, Philosophical Writings: A Selection (translated with an introduction and notes by Philotheus Boehner, O.F.M.)
Conflicted about recommending:
CRS, “Ockham Workshop”, Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 [The work reported on is excellent, but the report itself is written in a needlessly self-indulgent style]
To read:
Kevin T. Kelly, The Logic of Reliable Inquiry [Includes cartoons by the author]
Kevin T. Kelly, “How Simplicity Helps You Find the Truth without Pointing at It”
Kevin T. Kelly, “Simplicity, Truth, and the Unending Game of Science” [PDF preprint]
Elliot Sober, Ockham’s Razors: A User’s Manual
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