MAR 18, 2013 6:16pm ET

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What is the Philosophy of Data Science?


Ever since Melinda Thielbar helped me demystify data science on OCDQ Radio, I have been pondering my paraphrasing of an old idea: Science without philosophy is blind; philosophy without science is empty. And data needs both science and philosophy.

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Comments (2)
>Some might argue that philosophy only reigns in the absence of data >Some might argue that while anyone can be a philosopher, being a scientist requires more rigorous training

Are you parodying what someone who knows nothing about philosophy would say? You might want to read up a little on epistemology. Start with the Churchlands and some Quine. And maybe take a glance at the syllabus of any half-decent philosophy graduate program.

Posted by David G | Wednesday, March 20 2013 at 12:36PM ET
Thanks for your comment, David.

I was somewhat parodying common objections to bringing philosophy into data management discussions.

I have great respect for philosophy, especially professional philosophers with advanced academic degrees in its many disciplines, including, but not limited to, epistemology. As Quine said, "necessity resides in the way we talk about things, not in the things we talk about." Admittedly, I did a poor job in the way I talked about philosophy, especially considering that my intention was to defend philosophy as a necessity in conversations about big data that only wish to discuss data science.

Best Regards,


Posted by Jim H | Wednesday, March 20 2013 at 1:59PM ET
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