Wednesday, March 31, 2010

For Us, No Razor, Please!

"Occam's Razor" is an often used term in American discussions. Relating to the philosophical principle non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem it is used colloquially to state that things should not be complicated more than necessary. Actually, William Occam(1290-1349), an English friar exiled in Munich for many years, did not invent Occam's Razor. He just used the non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem principle in the famous philosophical discussion between the Nominalists and the Universalists. The intellectual razor had been invented twenty years earlier by another monk, the French philosopher Durand de Saint-Pourçain (1270-1334). I think it is symptomatic that the term hasn't become popular with our intellectuals. Multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem always was, and still, is their favorite game.


  1. Autem variatio delectat!

  2. "I think it is symptomatic that the term hasn't become popular with our intellectuals."

    A very pointful observation. And Italo Calvino recommending lightness in his American Lessons, in front of an american audience, probably was recommending it to himself.

    The Angle-Saxons are the masters of lightness, when they are masters.

    But Germany has other virtues, maybe because it is a country confining with so many other different contries.

    You can notice this even in the different kind of capitalism. Before Vodafone bought Mannesmann a hostile overtake had always been impossible, because no Occam's Razor had avoided the necessity to make agree the representatives of little shareholders, unions and Länderregierung to allow a takeover. And the japanes capitalism was an offspring of the german model. Now, unfortunatly the angle-saxon model is winning.

    Shakespeare understood the condition of capturing multiple stimuli which pushes to search solutions meeting everyone's needs and creating a habit and custom of prudent suspension, and he desribed it with the words "Germany isn't a country of "aut aut", but of "as well as"."

  3. A german scholar starts a theory with a principle of order, an american scholar starts it with a problem, a jewish scholar starts it with a paradox.

    This is why american jews use "Occam's Razor" much less than american goyim do.

  4. The translation agency of the New York Times made a grotesque error when translating the document which "proofs" Ratzinger's guilt. The original document on Murphy sounds: "difficoltà di provare il delitto la cui interpretazione dovrà essere fatta stricto sensu". The latin words "stricto sensu" have been translated with the words "strict secrecy",and I am afraid this could happen in one of the best newspapers of the world, because Occam's Razor is getting used too much nowadays.

    Sometimes an orthodox jew says to an assimilated jew - when the last is gauche - "Since when have you got to be a goy?"