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Good Housekeeping

Steven Shapin: William Petty, 20 January 2011

William Petty and the Ambitions of Political Arithmetic 
by Ted McCormick.
Oxford, 347 pp., £63, September 2010, 978 0 19 954789 0
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... his own money and £3500 of his friends’, and three years later he was dead. The project failed, Ted McCormick writes, ‘not because it was bad science or bad policy but because it fused science and policy in a way neither political nor scientific institutions were prepared to accommodate’. The Experiment was a failure, but some of Petty’s other ...

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