### Before sliding down the bannister supported by Occam's Razor, wear iron pants.

Posted:

**Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:00 pm**PROPOSITION: OCCAM'S RAZOR IS A STUPID CRITERION

(Much of this is excerpted from an essay and book draft of mine and as such is copyrighted material. Use it freely with attribution to me, as published on the Philosophy Now Forum, but only if you include this OP in its entirety. Thank you.

The principle commonly referred to by incompetent philosophers as "Occam's Razor" was actually devised by Aristotle, in this form:

We may assume the superiority, other things being equal, of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.

Aristotle preferred a small quantity of hypotheses, seemingly unconcerned with their quality. Perhaps any concerns were concealed within his "other things..." caveat.

The Greek mathematician Ptolemy (2nd century AD) blew off Aristotle's "other things being equal" qualifier, limited the hypothesis count to one, and stated his personal version thusly:

We consider it a good principle to explain the phenomena by the simplest hypothesis possible.

Thus, perhaps influenced by Hebrew and early Christian monotheism, Ptolemy reduced Aristotle's principle to a single, simplistic criterion.

Ptolemy demonstrated the value of his personal simplification by using it to invent an absurd mathematical model that described the primitive astronomical observations of his time, but got the physics-- the reality of it-- completely wrong. His simplistic hypothesis placed the earth at the center of the entire universe, with all other celestial objects moving in perfect circles around our puny planet.

Of course even naked-eye observations of planetary motion (e.g: the apparently retrograde orbits of Venus and Mercury) contradicted this goofy theory, but Ptolemy fixed that glitch with what might have been the very first pseudo-science kludge, the notion that some ojects moved in circles centered, not around other celestial objects, but around the circumference of larger circles. That circumference was the imagined orbital path a planet was imagined to follow.

Ptolemaic astronomy dealt only with observations, not with any physical cause-effect relationships. He modeled the observations with mathematics and geometry, never explaining any of them, never introducing the concept of force-counterforce relationships. Ptolemy used the perceived value of mathematics to set European science back about 1400 years, by using it to market a phony model of reality that was subsequently adopted by the idiots controlling the Catholic Church.

Ptolemy's absurd mathematical model was justified by his revised version of Aristotle's Razor. As happens, the good old Church stepped in once again thanks to the nitwit philosopher/theologian Richard of Occam with its own take on the principle, that the fewest number of hypotheses determines the best of competing theories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s ... _of_Ockham

The 20th century philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russel proposed:

Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.

Please take a second, thoughtfully evaluated look at this simple yet profound statement:

Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.

Translated-- Let's figure out how the universe began, and how it works, by using the real information, the physics, that we actually know about it instead of philosophical principles that are subject to the interpretation of those with agendas.

I regard Russel's Razor as the only intelligent philosophical criterion for determining the respective values of opposing hypothesis, physical or metaphysical.

Please do me and others on this forum the favor of not commenting upon this if you are ignorant, stupid, or both. Thank you.

Greylorn

(Much of this is excerpted from an essay and book draft of mine and as such is copyrighted material. Use it freely with attribution to me, as published on the Philosophy Now Forum, but only if you include this OP in its entirety. Thank you.

The principle commonly referred to by incompetent philosophers as "Occam's Razor" was actually devised by Aristotle, in this form:

We may assume the superiority, other things being equal, of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.

Aristotle preferred a small quantity of hypotheses, seemingly unconcerned with their quality. Perhaps any concerns were concealed within his "other things..." caveat.

The Greek mathematician Ptolemy (2nd century AD) blew off Aristotle's "other things being equal" qualifier, limited the hypothesis count to one, and stated his personal version thusly:

We consider it a good principle to explain the phenomena by the simplest hypothesis possible.

Thus, perhaps influenced by Hebrew and early Christian monotheism, Ptolemy reduced Aristotle's principle to a single, simplistic criterion.

Ptolemy demonstrated the value of his personal simplification by using it to invent an absurd mathematical model that described the primitive astronomical observations of his time, but got the physics-- the reality of it-- completely wrong. His simplistic hypothesis placed the earth at the center of the entire universe, with all other celestial objects moving in perfect circles around our puny planet.

Of course even naked-eye observations of planetary motion (e.g: the apparently retrograde orbits of Venus and Mercury) contradicted this goofy theory, but Ptolemy fixed that glitch with what might have been the very first pseudo-science kludge, the notion that some ojects moved in circles centered, not around other celestial objects, but around the circumference of larger circles. That circumference was the imagined orbital path a planet was imagined to follow.

Ptolemaic astronomy dealt only with observations, not with any physical cause-effect relationships. He modeled the observations with mathematics and geometry, never explaining any of them, never introducing the concept of force-counterforce relationships. Ptolemy used the perceived value of mathematics to set European science back about 1400 years, by using it to market a phony model of reality that was subsequently adopted by the idiots controlling the Catholic Church.

Ptolemy's absurd mathematical model was justified by his revised version of Aristotle's Razor. As happens, the good old Church stepped in once again thanks to the nitwit philosopher/theologian Richard of Occam with its own take on the principle, that the fewest number of hypotheses determines the best of competing theories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s ... _of_Ockham

The 20th century philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russel proposed:

Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.

Please take a second, thoughtfully evaluated look at this simple yet profound statement:

Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.

Translated-- Let's figure out how the universe began, and how it works, by using the real information, the physics, that we actually know about it instead of philosophical principles that are subject to the interpretation of those with agendas.

I regard Russel's Razor as the only intelligent philosophical criterion for determining the respective values of opposing hypothesis, physical or metaphysical.

Please do me and others on this forum the favor of not commenting upon this if you are ignorant, stupid, or both. Thank you.

Greylorn