Occam’s Razor Does Not Work

The Famous principle has one glaring problem

Kai M
2 min readApr 22, 2022


Illustration by me

Occam’s Razor is one of the most well-known concepts around the world. It is generally described as the idea that the simplest solution will be the best. Or, that the hypotheses with the fewest premises is the most preferable. In essence, it is the notion that simpler = better.

Although Occam’s Razor was initially used in an academic and philosophical setting, nowadays you will find it used in more informal ways. For instance, it is often used as a way for people to explain what is going on in their lives, or even as a guiding principle to help them figure out what they should do in the future. In other words, it has taken on the role of a self-help concept.

However, there is one huge issue with this:

This Life is Not Simple

Life is not easily explained, distilled, or simplified. Life is messy, ever-changing, constantly moving, and just quite strange. Humans may favour the simplest solutions, but life does not care about what we favour. Any attempt to try and understand this existence is met with an absurd emptiness and confusion.

Relying too much on Occam’s Razor in your own life will dull you to the obscure and unusual stuff that lays in the corners of reality. Not only this, but Occam’s Razor encourages you to systematise the whole world, attempting to make sense of everything, and neatly conceptualise everything. But life is infinitely unique, and so it is impervious to rigid notions of simplicity.

Final Words

Occam’s Razor is not always bad. In fact, I try to adhere to it when I’m writing essays or fiction, as it helps to make more straightforward and digestible content. My issue is almost exclusively with people who try to incorporate it into their lives, as life is impossible to simplify. When taken personally, Occam’s Razor creates a sort of tunnel vision, encouraging you to ignore the parts that are harder to understand. But perhaps we should embrace our inability to grasp this world.

For further critical discussions on philosophy, check out my website. I am currently crafting a magazine comprised of topics just like this one!

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Kai M

Studying psychedelia at Existentialhorror.com /// Blockchain Ethicist (kaijoelmorris.com)