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Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

A year or so a ago I was being deposed by a hostile Lawyer near Boston. I was "The Expert Witness" and my stated belief was that certain webpages showed something was known at such a time in the past. These pages were dated, they also showed up in www.archive.org, they were totally consistent with other evidence and the author and his assistant had made sworn affidavits that they were of the date stated. The East Coast lawyer tried hard to shake my conviction that they were really of that time. I had to admit that with the right resources and a conspiracy of people they could have been faked. I turned the table on him by taking one of his printed case record books and asking if he would rely on a page chosen at random. He said he could because they were printed and the book had been bought by his firm when it was printed. But he had to agree with me that he had never actually seen that page before. I then said it would be a much easier job to have slipped a new page into the book than it was to fake the pages we were talking about. I then brought up the principle of Occam's Razor as the basis for my belief. He had genuinely never heard of it (after the hostilities had ended we discussed it).

The Bush memo saga has brought the memories back because it is the same argument - maybe it is an East Coast Lawyer thing. For a full dissection of it see:
Blithering Bunny
For more on Occam's razor see below:

Occam's Razor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The principle is most often expressed as Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, or "Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity", but this sentence was written by later authors and is not found in Occam's surviving writings. William wrote, in Latin, Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, which translates literally into English as "Plurality should not be posited without necessity".
Dave Beckett of the University of Kent at Canterbury writes: "The medieval rule of parsimony, or principle of economy, frequently used by Ockham came to be known as Ockham's razor." [1] (http://wotug.ukc.ac.uk/parallel/www/occam/occam-bio.html)
The principle of Occam's Razor has inspired numerous expressions including: "parsimony of postulates", the "principle of simplicity", the "K.I.S.S." (keep it simple, stupid), in some medical schools "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras", and "brevity is the soul of wit".
A re-statement of Occam's Razor, in more formal terms, is provided by information theory in the form of minimum message length.
Another variant of this law is Thargola's Sword from Nightfall, (originally a short story by Isaac Asimov and later expanded to a novel in conjunction with Robert Silverberg): "We must drive a sword through any hypothesis th

Comments

Hi i was just searching a phrase to translate it and I could only find your blog... I was just curious what enita non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem means.

hi i wanted to know how is enita non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem related to computer architecture

I am awed (but not shocked) by the initial posters knowledge!
www.TheFreedictionary.com
1. Unusual or excessive frugality; extreme economy or stinginess.
2. Adoption of the simplest assumption in the formulation of a theory or in the interpretation of data, especially in accordance with the rule of Ockham's razor.
[Middle English parcimony, from Latin parsimnia, from parsus, past participle of parcere, to spare.]
The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright Ā©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Noun 1. parsimony - extreme care in spending money; reluctance to spend money unnecessarily
parsimoniousness, penny-pinching, thrift
frugality, frugalness - prudence in avoiding waste
2. parsimony - extreme stinginess
minginess, niggardliness, niggardness, tightfistedness, meanness, parsimoniousness, closeness, tightness
stinginess - a lack of generosity; a general unwillingness to part with money
littleness, pettiness, smallness - lack of generosity in trifling matters
miserliness - total lack of generosity with money

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