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PARSIMONY, LAW OF

The principle of economy of thought or effort in using means to a given end. As stated by William of Occam, called "Occam's Razor," "Beings should not be multiplied beyond necessity" (Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem). In any given enterprise, whether mental or physical, only as many elements should be used (time spent, ideas expressed, or energy employed) as the purpose of the enterprise requires. (Etym. Latin parsimonia, sparingness, thrift.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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