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Thinking Razors

Edited: September 18, 2020 (v0.0.1)

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.

Here are some of the razors I find most useful.


Ockam’s Razor

All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one.

See Ockham’s Razor.

Hanlon’s Razor

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

See Hanlon’s Razor.

Hitchens’s Razor

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

See Hitchens’s Razor.

Alder’s Razor

We should not dispute propositions unless they can be shown by precise logic and/or mathematics to have observable consequences.

See Alder’s Razor.