Statistics, lies and epistemological backgrounds

“It is impossible to understand statistical figures without understanding how they have been compiled. It is equally impossible to extract information from them or to understand the information that specialists extract for the rest of us without understanding how this is done-and the epistemological backgrounds of these methods... Our stake in these methods is too great for us to leave judgement on the virtue or shortcomings, say, of the variate-difference method to specialists, even if they were unanimous about it.” (Joseph Schumpeter, from his History of Economic Analysis)

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