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definitions - Simplicity

simplicity (n.)

1.lack of ornamentation"the room was simply decorated with great restraint"

2.freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort"he rose through the ranks with apparent ease" "they put it into containers for ease of transportation" "the very easiness of the deed held her back"

3.the quality of being simple or uncompounded"the simplicity of a crystal"

4.absence of affectation or pretense

5.a lack of penetration or subtlety"they took advantage of her simplicity"

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Merriam Webster

SimplicitySim*plic"i*ty (?), n. [F. simplicité, L. simplicitas. See Simple.]
1. The quality or state of being simple, unmixed, or uncompounded; as, the simplicity of metals or of earths.

2. The quality or state of being not complex, or of consisting of few parts; as, the simplicity of a machine.

3. Artlessness of mind; freedom from cunning or duplicity; lack of acuteness and sagacity.

Marquis Dorset, a man, for his harmless simplicity neither misliked nor much regarded. Hayward.

In wit a man; simplicity a child. Pope.

4. Freedom from artificial ornament, pretentious style, or luxury; plainness; as, simplicity of dress, of style, or of language; simplicity of diet; simplicity of life.

5. Freedom from subtlety or abstruseness; clearness; as, the simplicity of a doctrine; the simplicity of an explanation or a demonstration.

6. Weakness of intellect; silliness; folly.

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning? Prov. i. 22.

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Wikipedia

Simplicity

                   

Simplicity is the state or quality of being simple. It usually relates to the burden which a thing puts on someone trying to explain or understand it. Something which is easy to understand or explain is simple, in contrast to something complicated. Alternatively, as Herbert A. Simon suggested, something is simple or complex depending on the way we choose to describe it.[1]

In some uses, simplicity can be used to imply beauty, purity or clarity. Simplicity may also be used in a negative connotation to denote a deficit or insufficiency of nuance or complexity of a thing, relative to what is supposed to be required.

The concept of simplicity has been related to truth in the field of epistemology. According to Occam's razor, all other things being equal, the simplest theory is the most likely to be true. In the context of human lifestyle, simplicity can denote freedom from hardship, effort or confusion. Specifically, it can refer to a simple living lifestyle.

Simplicity is a theme in the Christian religion. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, God is infinitely simple. The Roman Catholic and Anglican religious orders of Franciscans also strive after simplicity. Members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) practice the Testimony of Simplicity, which is the simplifying of one's life in order to focus on things that are most important and disregard or avoid things that are least important.

In the philosophy of science, simplicity is a meta-scientific criterion by which to evaluate competing theories. See also Occam's Razor and references. The similar concept of Parsimony is also used in philosophy of science, that is the explanation of a phenomenon which is the least involved is held to have superior value to a more involved one.

Contents

  Notes

  1. ^ Simon 1962, p. 481

  See also

  References

  • Craig, E. Ed. (1998) Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London, Routledge. simplicity (in Scientific Theory) p. 780–783
  • Dancy, J. and Ernest Sosa, Ed.(1999) A Companion to Epistemology. Malden, Massachusetts, Blackwell Publishers Inc. simplicity p. 477–479.
  • Dowe, D. L., S. Gardner & G. Oppy (2007), "Bayes not Bust! Why Simplicity is no Problem for Bayesians", Brit. J. Phil. Sci., Vol. 58, Dec. 2007, 46pp. [Among other things, this paper compares MML with AIC.]
  • Edwards, P., Ed. (1967). The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. New York, The Macmillan Company. simplicity p. 445–448.
  • Kim, J. a. E. S., Ed.(2000). A Companion to Metaphysics. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers. simplicity, parsimony p. 461–462.
  • Maeda, J., (2006) Laws of Simplicity, MIT Press
  • Newton-Smith, W. H., Ed. (2001). A Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Malden, Massachusetts, Blackwell Publishers Ltd. simplicity p. 433–441.
  • Richmond, Samuel A.(1996)"A Simplification of the Theory of Simplicity", Synthese 107 373-393.
  • Sarkar, S. Ed. (2002). The Philosophy of Science—An Encyclopedia. London, Routledge. simplicity
  • Schmölders, Claudia (1974). Simplizität, Naivetät, Einfalt – Studien zur ästhetischen Terminologie in Frankreich und in Deutschland, 1674 - 1771. PDF, 37MB (German)
  • Scott, Brian(1996) "Technical Notes on a Theory of Simplicity", Synthese 109 281-289.
  • Simon, Herbert A (1962) The Architecture of Complexity Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 106, 467-482.
  • Wilson, R. A. a. K., Frank C., (1999). The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press. parsimony and simplicity p. 627–629.

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