Please know your philosophical razors if you dont already!

(taken from wikipedia):

  • Occam’s razor: Simpler explanations are more likely to be correct; avoid unnecessary or improbable assumptions.

  • Hanlon’s razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

  • Hitchens’s razor: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

  • Hume’s guillotine: What ought to be cannot be deduced from what is. “If the cause, assigned for any effect, be not sufficient to produce it, we must either reject that cause, or add to it such qualities as will give it a just proportion to the effect.”

  • Newton’s flaming laser sword: If something cannot be settled by experiment or observation, then it is not worthy of debate.

  • Sagan standard: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  • Popper’s falsifiability principle: For a theory to be considered scientific, it must be falsifiable.

  • Grice’s razor: As a principle of parsimony[disambiguation needed], conversational implications are to be preferred over semantic context for linguistic explanations.

Thank you, I knew some of them, but that's a nice collection.
In the german article there is a funny addition:

Scopie’s Law (by Rich Scopie) Arguments, which are based on citing particularly nonserious sources, can be ignored.

“In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing as a credible source loses you the argument immediately… and gets you laughed out of the room.”


I can dig it, though unliek the other razors it may be a bit more open to interpritation as to what a serious source is. for example I discount all media in the USA as discredited sources (both left and right leaning).. The ones that are serious are far and few between and focus on first-source information like c-span... many would disagree with me.

That said if someone quotes CNN, washington Post, Fox news, MSNBC, whatever as their source in my eyes it would discredit them as compared with quoting C-span or scientific journals.


@freemo @Science
I think about Hume's Guillotine every... week.

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