Publisher Information: Paris: Bachelier, 1835.
Quetelet, Lambert Adolphe Jacques (1796-1874). Sur l’homme et le développement de ses facultés, ou essai de physique sociale . . . 2 volumes in 1, 8vo. , xii, 327; , viii, 327pp. 5 (of 6) plates; lacking Plate 1. Paris: Bachelier, 1835. 202 x 127 mm. Quarter morocco, marbled boards in period style. Minor foxing but very good apart from missing plate.
First Edition of the founding work of modern statistics, which introduced the concept of the average man. “Quetelet’s use of the average man was founded upon the belief that if there is no change in any underlying causal relationship—if there is a ‘persistence of causes’—then there will be a tendency for the average of large aggregates of even unhomogeneous data to be stable . . . Quetelet italicized this as a fundamental principle: ‘The greater the number of individuals observed, the more do individual peculiarities, whether physical or moral, become effaced, and allow the general facts to predominate, by which society exists and is preserved’” (Stigler, pp. 171-172). Stigler, History of Statistics, pp. 161-182.Book Id: 44307