Emphasizing the debt of science to nonspecialist intellectuals, Theodore Porter describes in detail the nineteenth-century background that produced the burst of modern statistical innovation of the early 1900s. Statistics arose as a study of society--the science of the statist--and the pioneering statistical physicists and biologists, Maxwell, Boltzmann, and Galton, each introduced statistical models by pointing to analogies between his discipline and social science.
"An outstanding feature of Mr. Porter's book is its depiction of the interrelationships between statistics and certain intellectual and social movements... [The book] is unfailingly interesting."--Morris Kline, New York Times Book Review "The Rise of Statistical Thinking avoids technicalities and concentrates on the flow of ideas between the natural and social sciences. It emphasizes the philosophical issues raised by novel statistical methods, and how they affected the subject's development."--Ian Stewart, Nature