Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Dreaded Sheep Fence

Some Wooden Rail Sheep Fences in Photos

Often, elaborate stonework in New England is assumed to be related to "keeping sheep."
Often, the Law of Parsimony is violated by assuming those assumptions are true.
Often, it was easier, less labor intensive, and much less expensive to make wooden rail fences.
Or so I assume...



principle (or law) of parsimony
The scientific principle that things are usually connected or behave in the simplest or most economical way, especially with reference to alternative evolutionary pathways. Compare with Occam's razor.
EXAMPLE SENTENCES
  • He is remembered as the father of the medieval principle of parsimony, or economy, that advises anyone confronted with multiple explanations or models of a phenomenon to choose the simplest explanation first.
  • Lest they fall into anthropomorphizing, many behaviorists follow the principle of parsimony, often called Occam's razor, that restricts inferences to the simplest adequate explanation of any particular animal behavior.
  • Well it is taken to refer to the principle of parsimony that, from the Latin, ‘it is vain to do with more what can be done with less’, or ‘a plurality of things is not to be posited without necessity’.

Definition of Occam's razor in English:

The principle (attributed to William of Occam) that in explaining a thing, no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. The principle is often invoked to defend reductionism or nominalism. Compare with principle of parsimony at parsimony.
EXAMPLE SENTENCES
  • The Faithfulness Condition is thus a formal version of Ockham's razor.
  • This approach seems to apply Occam's razor to the principle itself, eliminating the word ‘assumptions.’
  • That was Occam's razor, a fundamental principle of scientific reasoning.


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