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Abstract
Philosophy of science, statistics, and machine learning all recommend the selection of simple theories or models on the basis of empirical data, where simplicity has something to do with minimizing independent entities, principles, causes, or equational coefficients. This intuitive preference for simplicity is called Ockham's razor, after the fourteenth century theologian and logician William of Ockham. But in spite of its intuitive appeal, how could Ockham's razor help one find the true theory? For, in an updated version of Plato's Meno paradox, if we already know that the truth is simple, we don't need Ockham's help. And if we don't already know that the truth is simple, what entitles us to assume that it is?
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