Re: Occam Razor

From: Marchal <>
Date: Sat Dec 16 05:36:30 2000

George Levy wrote:

>A philosophy professor friend of mine rejected the use of Occam razor to
>justify the many-world interpretation. He pointed out to me that
>classically Occam razor aims at simplifying the object, not the theory
>behind the object.
>The way he sees it, the many-world interpretation achieves a simple
>theory at the expense of a very large object, and therefore, cannot be
>justified by the classical Occam razor. This point is one of the
>favorite criticism of the anti-many-worlder advocates. Thus Occam razor
>can only be used if we are very clear about its meaning: the simplest
>theory is selected rather than the simplest object.
>The history of science, and in particular Astronomy has been an
>expansion of our horizons. The perceived world has been getting larger
>and larger and more and more complex as science progresses. Let's be
>clear when we talk about Occam.

This is why I distinguish SOR from COR, i.e. the Substancial (or
ontological Occam Razor (simplifying the object) from COR (the Conceptual
Occam razor) which conceptually simplifies the theory.
Everett formulation of QT attracts those who appreciates COR.
Note that with Godel's theorem we have evidence that SOR is vain.
I don't bother because with COMP we have that COR meets SOR. The theory
is very simple (number theory or computer science with internal variant)
and the ontology is very simple too : no physical nor substancial
universe, just a bunch of partially overlapping dreams (Universal
machine's dream ...).

The traditional use of SOR against MWI comes from the unjustified
(but I admit rather natural) belief in a substancial universe.
This is the most critical gift from Aristotle (IMO).

Note also that criticizing MWI with SOR is not enough, we still
need in that case an explanation of the wave reduction. Apart from
Everett there does not exist a conceptually clean formulation of QM.

Received on Sat Dec 16 2000 - 05:36:30 PST

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