Heard Melodies Are Sweet, but Those Unheard Are Sweeter Essay

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We are pleased to publish here the speech by Professor Giuseppe Leti, Professor Emeritus of the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and member of the Metron Editorial Committee, given during the ceremony when, upon reaching the age limit, he retired from his teaching career. GIUSEPPE LETI (*) The birth of statistics and the origins of the new natural science Contents: 1. Human limitations. - 1.1. Sense organs and their limits. - 1.2. Other human limitations. - 1.3. Overcoming human limitations. — 2. The birth and development of statistics and the new natural science. — 3. The origins of the new natural science. - 3.1. Socio-economic aspects of the scientific revolution. - 3.2. Knowledge of nature. - 3.3. New instruments to observe nature. - 3.4. Conceptual tools. - 3.5. Calculating machines. — 4. The origins of statistics. - 4.1. Background formation. - 4.2. Descriptive statistics. - 4.3. Political arithmetic. - 4.4. The French contribution: methodology of statistical surveys and the probability theory. - 4.5. The different branches merge. — 5. Features of the new natural sciences and statistics and similarities in their birth and development. — 6. Italians fail to contribute to the birth and development of statistics. — 7. Conclusions. References. Summary. Riassunto. Key words. 1. Human limitations 1.1. Sense organs and their limits Man’s sense organs — sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, etc., — cannot perceive all the stimuli which they receive. The eye for example cannot make out an object which is either too close or too far away. Moreover, the most minute details of any object are imperceptible to the naked eye as the retina is physiologically incapable of responding to distinct sensations when two light stimuli are directed at two extremely close points. The retina can only perceive light vibrations between 7.200 ˚ (extreme red) and 4.000 ˚ (extreme

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