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.

“A philosopher’s job is to find out things about the world by thinking rather than observing,” the philosopher Bertrand Russell once said. One could say a scientist’s job is to find out things about the world by observing and experimenting. In fact, Russell observed that “the most essential characteristic of scientific technique is that it proceeds from experiment, not from tradition.”

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