Synopses & Reviews
In this important new study Ian Hacking continues the enquiry into the origins and development of certain characteristic modes of contemporary thought undertaking in such previous works as the best-selling The Emergence of Probability.
"Hacking has an uncanny instinct for honing in upon some critical and novel feature of the past and showing how seemingly disparate facts fall into place once we grant him his central category. He does not pretend to make a complete survey of his topic. Again like an archaelogist, he respects the fragmentary record as one of the limitations of the trade. But what he digs up and deciphers never fails to engage and illuminate." Science"My summary hardly does justice to the richness of Hacking's ideas or his many asides, like the striking comparison of Peirce and Friedrich Nietzsche....Hacking's meticulous scholarship, his comprehension of various areas of learning, and his commitment to linear exposition seem to me to exceed Foucault's." Bruce Kuklick, American Historical Review"The Taming of Chance contains a wealth of information and is very pleasant reading. The various pursuits that impinge on the taming of chance and the development of statistical law are overwhelming. I recommend this book strongly to anyone interested in the development of statistical thought." Peter Guttorp, Journal of the American Statistical Association
This book combines detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breadth and verve.
This work combines detailed scientific historical research with a philosophic interest.
The Taming of Chance brings out the relations between philosophy, the physical sciences, mathematics and the development of social institutions, and provides a unique and authoritative analysis of the âprobabilisationâof the western world.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 216-256) and index.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; 1. The argument; 2. The doctrine of necessity; 3. Public amateurs, secret bureaucrats; 4. Bureaux; 5. The sweet despotism of reason; 6. The quantum of sickness; 7. The granary of science; 8. Suicide is a kind of madness; 9. The experimental basis of the philosophy of legislation; 10. Facts without authenticity, without detail, without control, and without value; 11. By what majority?; 12. The law of large numbers; 13. Regimental chests; 14. Society prepares the crimes; 15. The astronomical conception of society; 16. The mineralogical conception of society; 17. The most ancient nobility; 18. Cassirerâs thesis; 19. The normal state; 20. As real as cosmic forces; 21. The autonomy of statistical law; 22. A chapter from Prussian statistics; 23. A universe of chance; Notes; Index.