Quotation by Denis Diderot

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge available to us: observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.
Denis Diderot (1713–1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). On the Interpretation of Nature, no. 15 (1753).
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