Statistics on the Table : The History of Statistical Concepts and Methods (Reprint)


Statistics on the Table : The History of Statistical Concepts and Methods (Reprint)

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版/ページ数 512 p.
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9780674009790
  • DDC分類 519


New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 1999.

Full Description

This lively collection of essays examines in witty detail the history of some of the concepts involved in bringing statistical argument "to the table," and some of the pitfalls that have been encountered. The topics range from seventeenth-century medicine and the circulation of blood, to the cause of the Great Depression and the effect of the California gold discoveries of 1848 upon price levels, to the determinations of the shape of the Earth and the speed of light, to the meter of Virgil's poetry and the prediction of the Second Coming of Christ. The title essay tells how the statistician Karl Pearson came to issue the challenge to put "statistics on the table" to the economists Marshall, Keynes, and Pigou in 1911. The 1911 dispute involved the effect of parental alcoholism upon children, but the challenge is general and timeless: important arguments require evidence, and quantitative evidence requires statistical evaluation. Some essays examine deep and subtle statistical ideas such as the aggregation and regression paradoxes; others tell of the origin of the Average Man and the evaluation of fingerprints as a forerunner of the use of DNA in forensic science. Several of the essays are entirely nontechnical; all examine statistical ideas with an ironic eye for their essence and what their history can tell us about current disputes.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments                                    ix
Introduction 1 (12)
I. Statistics and Social Science
Karl Pearson and the Cambridge Economists 13 (38)
The Average Man Is 168 Years Old 51 (15)
Jevons as Statistician 66 (14)
Jevons on the King-Davenant Law of Demand 80 (7)
Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, Statistician 87 (44)
II. Galtonian Ideas
Galton and Identification by Fingerprints 131(10)
Stochastic Simulation in the Nineteenth 141(16)
The History of Statistics in 1933 157(16)
Regression toward the Mean 173(16)
Statistical Concepts in Psychology 189(14)
III. Some Seventeenth-Century Explorers
Apollo Mathematicus 203(36)
The Dark Ages of Probability 239(13)
John Craig and the Probability of History 252(25)
IV. Questions of Discovery
Stigler's Law of Eponymy 277(14)
Who Discovered Bayes's Theorem? 291(11)
Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, and Maximum 302(18)
Gauss and the Invention of Least Squares 320(12)
Cauchy and the Witch of Agnesi 332(6)
Karl Pearson and Degrees of Freedom 338(23)
V. Questions of Standards
Statistics and Standards 361(22)
The Trial of the Pyx 383(20)
Normative Terminology 403(30)
W.H. Kruskal
References 433(44)
Credits 477(2)
Index 479