978-0-14-021182-5 / 9780140211825

Let's Look at the Figure: A Quantitative Approach to Human Affairs (Pelican)


Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd



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About the book:

Facts and figures have for years lived in vernacular wedlock and exact quantitative measurement is one of the foundations of the physical sciences. Should we not rely on the figures to give us more facts about such human activities as wars, strikes, intelligence tests, elections, opinion polls, games and gambling? The authors of this new Pelican maintain that a more widespread use (and understanding) of the quantitative approach is both inevitable and desirable in economics, politics, psychology and sociology. But they are well aware that too many of us are mystified by the techniques of mathematics and confounded by its symbols. To combat our partial innumeracy they show, with the help of specific case studies, how the behaviour of men can often be more precisely expressed and more truly represented in figures than in prose. (Not that they overlook the limitations of mathematics and statistics where -- plainly -- questions of quality arise.) Government affairs and decisions are more and more being discussed in mathematical term. We may regret it: or, equally, we can master and even appreciate the idiom. For this reason LET'S LOOK AT THE FIGURES is likely to interest the alert voter every bit as much as the apprentice social scientist.

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