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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index Q > Adolphe Quetelet Quotes

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Adolphe Quetelet
(22 Feb 1796 - 17 Feb 1874)

Belgian astronomer, statistician, mathematician and sociologist.


Science Quotes by Adolphe Quetelet (4 quotes)

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Lambert-Adolphe-Jacques Quetelet
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L'homme moyen.
The average man.
The emergence of the concept.
— Adolphe Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of his Faculties (1842). Reprinted with an introduction by Solomon Diamond (1969), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Average (31)  |  Man (345)  |  Statistics (125)

It would appear... that moral phenomena, when observed on a great scale, are found to resemble physical phenomena; and we thus arrive, in inquiries of this kind, at the fundamental principle, that the greater the number of individuals observed, the more do individual peculiarities, whether physical or moral, become effaced, and leave in a prominent point of view the general facts, by virtue of which society exists and is preserved.
— Adolphe Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of his Faculties (1842). Reprinted with an introduction by Solomon Diamond (1969), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Efface (3)  |  Existence (254)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Greatness (34)  |  Individual (177)  |  Moral (100)  |  Observation (418)  |  Peculiarity (15)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Point Of View (26)  |  Preservation (28)  |  Principle (228)  |  Prominent (5)  |  Resemblance (18)  |  Scale (49)  |  Society (188)  |  Virtue (55)

The determination of the average man is not merely a matter of speculative curiosity; it may be of the most important service to the science of man and the social system. It ought necessarily to precede every other inquiry into social physics, since it is, as it were, the basis. The average man, indeed, is in a nation what the centre of gravity is in a body; it is by having that central point in view that we arrive at the apprehension of all the phenomena of equilibrium and motion.
— Adolphe Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of his Faculties (1842). Reprinted with an introduction by Solomon Diamond (1969), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Apprehension (9)  |  Average (31)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Determination (53)  |  Equilibrium (16)  |  Importance (183)  |  Man (345)  |  Motion (127)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Point Of View (26)  |  Service (54)  |  Society (188)  |  Speculation (77)

Whether statistics be an art or a science... or a scientific art, we concern ourselves little. It is the basis of social and political dynamics, and affords the only secure ground on which the truth or falsehood of the theories and hypotheses of that complicated science can be brought to the test.
— Adolphe Quetelet
Letters on the Theory of Probabilities (1846), trans. O. G. Downes (1849).
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Dynamics (6)  |  Falsehood (19)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Politics (77)  |  Science (1699)  |  Security (27)  |  Society (188)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Test (96)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)


See also:
  • 22 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Quetelet's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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