New in paperback. Hardcover was publsihed in 1998. Translated by Camille Naish. Shows how the evolution of modern statistics has been inextricably bound up with the knowledge and power of governments.
Statistics-driven thinking is ubiquitous in modern society. In this ambitious and sophisticated study of the history of statistics, which begins with probability theory in the seventeenth century, Alain Desrosieres shows how the evolution of modern statistics has been inextricably bound up with the knowledge and power of governments. He traces the complex reciprocity between modern governments and the mathematical artifacts that both dictate the duties of the state and measure its successes.No other work, in any language, covers such a broad spectrum--probability, mathematical statistics, psychology, economics, sociology, surveys, public health, medical statistics--in accurately synthesizing the history of statistics, with an emphasis on the conceptual development of social statistics, culminating in twentieth-century applied econometrics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Arguing from Social Facts 1 (15)
Prefects and Geometers 16 (29)
Judges and Astronomers 45 (22)
Averages and the Realism of Aggregates 67 (36)
Correlation and the Realism of Causes 103(44)
Statistics and the State: France and Great 147(31)
Statistics and the State: Germany and the 178(32)
The Part for the Whole: Monographs or 210(26)
Classifying and Encoding 236(43)
Modeling and Adjusting 279(44)
Conclusion: Disputing the Indisputable 323(16)