Re: Razor and Anti-Razor

From: tgpedersen
Message: 22085
Date: 2003-05-19

--- In, george knysh <gknysh@...> wrote:
> Applying this to the discussion between Glen and Jens,
> one has to ask: is Glen's solution "reasonable" and
> "necessary"? Does it "suffice"? is Jen's solution
> "reasonable" and "necessary"? Does it "suffice"? If
> the answer to all these questions is "yes" then
> Ockham's Razor may be invoked to favour the simpler
> solution. But if the simpler solution is not
> "necessary" or "reasonable" (because it omits
> something essential) then Chatton's Anti-Razor would
> come into play. And if the more complex solution is
> not "necessary" or "reasonable", then it would need to
> be abandoned not on the basis of the application of
> Ockham's Razor, but simply because it is neither
> necessary nor reasonable...

Popper (I forgot where) has a similar proposal: When having to choose
between two equally falsifiable theories, take the simplest one. He
does not propose a metric for measuring simplicity, except "number of
symbols in the written representation of the theory" (this is not a
direct quote, but a rendition). Actually (I think) this points in the
direction why such a rule is necessary: Representability. The shorter
a rule is, the easier it is to represent, also (and especially) in
your head. Panini (I've only seen one or two of his rules) or any
other grammarian in pre-literary times must have faced the same
problem: how to describe the whole grammar of a language as
succinctly as possible.