Frasi di Adolphe Quetelet

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Adolphe Quetelet

Data di nascita: 22. Febbraio 1796
Data di morte: 17. Febbraio 1874

Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet è stato un astronomo e statistico belga noto, soprattutto, per l'elaborazione del concetto di uomo medio.

Frasi Adolphe Quetelet

„It is a remarkable fact in the history of science, that the more extended human knowledge has become, the more limited human power, in that respect, has constantly appeared.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Introductory
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: It is a remarkable fact in the history of science, that the more extended human knowledge has become, the more limited human power, in that respect, has constantly appeared. This globe, of which man imagines the haughty possessor, becomes, in the eyes of astronomer, merely a grain of dust floating in immensity of space: an earthquake, a tempest, an inundation, may destroy in an instant an entire people, or ruin the labours of twenty ages.... But if each step in the career of science thus gradually diminishes his importance, his pride has a compensation in the greater idea of his intellectual power, by which he has been enabled to perceive those laws which seem to be, by their nature, placed for ever beyond his grasp.

„Ought charges of materialism to be brought against him who points out that regularity?“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: I have always comprehended with difficulty... how persons pre-occupied doubtless by ideas, have seen any tendency to materialism in exposition of a series of facts deduced from documents. In giving to my work the title of Physics, I have had no other aim than to collect, in uniform order, the phenomena affecting man, nearly as physical science brings together the phenomena appertaining to the material world. If certain facts present themselves with an alarming regularity, to whom is blame to be ascribed? Ought charges of materialism to be brought against him who points out that regularity?

„It would be an error… to suppose that science makes the artist; yet it lends to him the most powerful assistance.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: It would be an error... to suppose that science makes the artist; yet it lends to him the most powerful assistance. In general, it is difficult to keep it within due limits; and I shall even freely admit that Albert Durer, in his work upon the proportions of the human frame, has imparted to it a certain scientific dryness, which lessens its utility. One finds there more of the geometer than the artist, and the geometer, moreover, such as he was at a time when it had not yet been discovered how much the rules of style enhance the value of scientific works, and, above all, of those which appertain at the same time to the domain of the fine arts.

„The principal artists of the era of the revival of letters“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: The principal artists of the era of the revival of letters, such as Leon Baptista Alberti, Michael Angelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Durer, with many others who what art ought to borrow from science, felt the necessity of resorting to observation, in order to rebuild in some sort the ruined monument of ancient artistical skill. They studied nature in a philosophical manner; sought to strike out the limits within which they ought to confine themselves in order to be truthlike... and from those profound studies which kept them ever before the face of nature, they deduced original views and new models, destined to distinguish for ever that celebrated age. The proportions of the human body did not alone attract their attention: anatomy, perspective, and chemistry, formed parts of their studies; nothing was neglected; and some of these great artists even gained for themselves a first place among the geometers of their day. Their successors have not devoted themselves to such serious studies, and hence it so frequently happens that they are reduced to content themselves, either with copying from those who went before them, or with working after individual models, whose proportions they modify according to mere caprice, without having any just or proper ideas of the beautiful.

„This great body (the social body) subsists by virtue of conservative principles, as does everything which has proceeded from the hands of the Almighty…“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

As quoted from his Letters, in Hankins, Frank Hamilton. 1908. "Adolphe Quetelet as Statistician." Columbia University, Longmans, Green & Company, agents, Chapter IV https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~wyllys/QueteletResources/HankinsQueteletChap4.pdf. p. 99
Contesto: This great body (the social body) subsists by virtue of conservative principles, as does everything which has proceeded from the hands of the Almighty... When we think we have reached the highest point of the scale we find laws as fixed as those which govern the heavenly bodies: we turn to the phenomena of physics, where the free will of man is entirely effaced, so that the work of the Creator may predominate without hindrance. The collection of these laws, which exist independently of time and of the caprices of man, form a separate science, which I have considered myself entitled to name social physics.

„Limits… seem to me of two kinds, ordinary or natural, and extraordinary or beyond the natural.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: Limits... seem to me of two kinds, ordinary or natural, and extraordinary or beyond the natural. The first limits comprise within them the qualities which deviate more or less from the mean, without attracting attention by excess on one side or the other. When the deviations become greater, they constitute the extraordinary class, having itself its limits, on the outer verge of which are things preternatural... We must conceive the same distinctions in the moral world.

„The analysis of the moral man through his actions, and of the intellectual man through his productions, seems“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: The analysis of the moral man through his actions, and of the intellectual man through his productions, seems to me calculated to form one of the most interesting parts of the sciences of observation, applied to anthropology.

„The time is come for studying the moral anatomy of also, and for uncovering its most afflicting aspects, with the view of providing remedies.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: But is the anatomy of man not a more painful science still?—that science which leads us to dip our hands into the blood of our fellow-beings to pry with impassible curiosity into parts and organs which once palpitated with life? And yet who dreams this day of raising his voice against the study? Who does not applaud, on the contrary, the numerous advantages which it has conferred on humanity? The time is come for studying the moral anatomy of also, and for uncovering its most afflicting aspects, with the view of providing remedies.

„The words cited from my work, when viewed isolatedly, are far from expressing the idea which I wished to attach to them. The works of genius upon which our judgments bear are in general complex“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: The words cited from my work, when viewed isolatedly, are far from expressing the idea which I wished to attach to them. The works of genius upon which our judgments bear are in general complex; for there is no work, constructed by genius, which does not suppose the exercise of various of its faculties. A skilful analysis could alone make out the part of each of them...

„This observation is merely the extension of a law“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Introductory
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: This observation is merely the extension of a law well known to all who have studied the condition of society in a philosophic manner: it is, that so long as the same causes exist, we must expect a repetition of the same effects. What has induced some to believe that moral phenomena did not obey this law, has been the too great influence ascribed all times to man himself over his actions.

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„We must conceive the same distinctions in the moral world.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: Limits... seem to me of two kinds, ordinary or natural, and extraordinary or beyond the natural. The first limits comprise within them the qualities which deviate more or less from the mean, without attracting attention by excess on one side or the other. When the deviations become greater, they constitute the extraordinary class, having itself its limits, on the outer verge of which are things preternatural... We must conceive the same distinctions in the moral world.

„But is the anatomy of man not a more painful science still?“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: But is the anatomy of man not a more painful science still?—that science which leads us to dip our hands into the blood of our fellow-beings to pry with impassible curiosity into parts and organs which once palpitated with life? And yet who dreams this day of raising his voice against the study? Who does not applaud, on the contrary, the numerous advantages which it has conferred on humanity? The time is come for studying the moral anatomy of also, and for uncovering its most afflicting aspects, with the view of providing remedies.

„Every social state supposes… a certain number and a certain order of crimes, these being merely the necessary consequences of its organisation. This observation“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Introductory
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: Every social state supposes... a certain number and a certain order of crimes, these being merely the necessary consequences of its organisation. This observation, so discouraging at first sight, becomes, on the contrary, consolatory, when examined more nearly, by showing the possibility of ameliorating the human race, by modifying their institutions, their habits, the amount of their information, and, generally, all which influences their mode of existence.

„Their successors have not devoted themselves to such serious studies, and hence it so frequently happens that they are reduced to content themselves, either with copying from those who went before them, or with working after individual models, whose proportions they modify according to mere caprice, without having any just or proper ideas of the beautiful.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: The principal artists of the era of the revival of letters, such as Leon Baptista Alberti, Michael Angelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Durer, with many others who what art ought to borrow from science, felt the necessity of resorting to observation, in order to rebuild in some sort the ruined monument of ancient artistical skill. They studied nature in a philosophical manner; sought to strike out the limits within which they ought to confine themselves in order to be truthlike... and from those profound studies which kept them ever before the face of nature, they deduced original views and new models, destined to distinguish for ever that celebrated age. The proportions of the human body did not alone attract their attention: anatomy, perspective, and chemistry, formed parts of their studies; nothing was neglected; and some of these great artists even gained for themselves a first place among the geometers of their day. Their successors have not devoted themselves to such serious studies, and hence it so frequently happens that they are reduced to content themselves, either with copying from those who went before them, or with working after individual models, whose proportions they modify according to mere caprice, without having any just or proper ideas of the beautiful.

„If certain facts present themselves with an alarming regularity“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: I have always comprehended with difficulty... how persons pre-occupied doubtless by ideas, have seen any tendency to materialism in exposition of a series of facts deduced from documents. In giving to my work the title of Physics, I have had no other aim than to collect, in uniform order, the phenomena affecting man, nearly as physical science brings together the phenomena appertaining to the material world. If certain facts present themselves with an alarming regularity, to whom is blame to be ascribed? Ought charges of materialism to be brought against him who points out that regularity?

„Timorous persons have raised the cry of fatalism.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: From the examination of numbers, I believed myself justified in inferring, as a natural consequence, that, in given circumstances, and the influence of the same causes, we may reckon upon witnessing the repetition of the same effects, reproduction of the same crimes, and the same convictions. What has resulted from this exposition? Timorous persons have raised the cry of fatalism. If, however, some one said, "Man is born free; nothing force his free-will; he underlies the influence of external causes; cease to assimilate him to a machine, or to pretend to modify his actions. Therefore, ye legislators, repeal your laws; overturn your prisons; break your chains in pieces; your convictions penalties are of no avail; they are so many acts barbarous revenge. Ye philosophers and priests, speak no more of ameliorations, social or religious; you are materialists, because you assume to society like a piece of gross clay; you are fatalists, because you believe yourselves predestined to influence man in the exercise of his free-will, and to the course of his actions." If, I say, any one held such language to us, we should be disgusted with its excessive folly. And wherefore? Because we are thoroughly convinced that laws, education, and religion exercise a salutary influence on society, and that moral causes have their certain effects.

„And yet who dreams this day of raising his voice against the study?“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: But is the anatomy of man not a more painful science still?—that science which leads us to dip our hands into the blood of our fellow-beings to pry with impassible curiosity into parts and organs which once palpitated with life? And yet who dreams this day of raising his voice against the study? Who does not applaud, on the contrary, the numerous advantages which it has conferred on humanity? The time is come for studying the moral anatomy of also, and for uncovering its most afflicting aspects, with the view of providing remedies.

„In every instance, it is not my method that is defective; proper observations alone fail me.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: In every instance, it is not my method that is defective; proper observations alone fail me. But will it be ever impossible to have them perfectly precise? I believe that even at present we have them sufficiently so to enter, at least, on the great problem under consideration. Name them as you will, the actions which society stamps as crimes, and of which it punishes the authors, are reproduced every year, in almost exactly the same numbers; examined more closely, they are found to divide themselves into almost exactly the same categories; and, if their number were sufficiently large, we might carry farther our distinctions and subdivisions, and should always find there the same regularity. It will then remain correct to say, that a given species of actions is more common at one given age than at any other given age.

„The tables of criminality for different ages, given in my published treatise, merit at least as much faith as the tables of mortality, and verify themselves within perhaps even narrower limits; so that crime pursues its path with even more constancy than death.“

—  Adolphe Quetelet

Preface of M. Quetelet
A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties (1842)
Contesto: The tables of criminality for different ages, given in my published treatise, merit at least as much faith as the tables of mortality, and verify themselves within perhaps even narrower limits; so that crime pursues its path with even more constancy than death.... it is still betwixt the ages of twenty-one and twenty-five, that, all things being equal, the greatest number of persons are to be found in that position [of a criminal].

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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