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The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900$
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Theodore M. Porter

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691208428

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691208428.001.0001

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(p.333) Conclusion
The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900

Theodore M. Porter

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter addresses how statistics has assumed the trappings of a modern academic discipline primarily during the last half century. The intellectual character of statistics had been thoroughly transformed by 1900. The period when statistical thinking was allied only to the simplest mathematics gave way to a period of statistical mathematics—which, to be sure, has not been divorced from thinking. In the twentieth century, statistics has at last assumed at least the appearance of conforming to that hierarchical structure of knowledge beloved by philosophers and sociologists in which theory governs practice and in which the “advanced” field of mathematics provides a solid foundation for the “less mature” biological and social sciences. The crystallization of a mathematical statistics out of the wealth of applications developed during the nineteenth century provides the natural culmination to this story.

Keywords:   statistics, statistical thinking, statistical mathematics, biological science, social science, mathematical statistics, advanced mathematics

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