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Trust in numbers : the pursuit of objectivity in science and public life
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ISBN: 0691037760 0691029083 9786612752179 1282752170 1400821614 Year: 1995 Publisher: Princeton (N.J.): Princeton university press,

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Abstract

This investigation of the overwhelming appeal of quantification in the modern world discusses the development of cultural meanings of objectivity over two centuries. How are we to account for the current prestige and power of quantitative methods? The usual answer is that quantification is seen as desirable in social and economic investigation as a result of its successes in the study of nature. Theodore Porter is not content with this. Why should the kind of success achieved in the study of stars, molecules, or cells be an attractive model for research on human societies? he asks. And, ind

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