|Ockham's razor or Occam's razor|
|Also called: the principle of economy a maxim, attributed to William of Ockham, stating that in explaining something assumptions must not be needlessly multiplied|
|Occam's razor or Occam's razor|
|Occam's razor or Ockham's razor (ŏk'əmz) Pronunciation Key
A rule in science and philosophy stating that entities should not be multiplied needlessly. This rule is interpreted to mean that the simplest of two or more competing theories is preferable and that an explanation for unknown phenomena should first be attempted in terms of what is already known. Occam's razor is named after the deviser of the rule, English philosopher and theologian William of Ockham (1285?-1349?).