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Ockam's Razor

From: Arun Kumar Sridharan (aruns_at_stanford.edu)
Date: Mon Oct 01 2001 - 16:01:34 PDT

Mani writes in response to Sri Sadananda's exposition on Wed. Sept. 26:

>If you see all your explanations, they posit ideas which
>are taken from *outside* the core texts themselves and which
>seem opposed to logic. You must be familiar with the principle
>of Occam's razor -- when you have two competing theories that
>explain the same situation, the one that is simpler is better.

Dear Mani,

	My question concerns your use of the Ockam's razor principle to
point out flaws in Advaita.  Is there any Sastric justification for this.
That is, is the "Rockam's Razor" idea mentioned in our NyAya or Tarka
sastras? If not, how are you justified in using it?

	The second question concerns the principle of Ockam's razor
itself.  It seems to me that what constitutes a "simpler theory" to
explain a certain phenomenon is itself a subjective judgment.  To state
that the theory that makes fewer assumptions is the right one, assumes
that those are the correct assumptions.  I think we should emphasize the
correctness or reasonable of assumptions rather than focus on their
minimization.  Our assumptions are often a function of our conditioning
and this poses a problem by itself as well.

Sincerely,
Arun





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