moral statistics

moral statistics

social data collected, e.g. in France in the 19th-century (preceding the development of sociology as a discipline), and seen to be indicative of social pathology, such as suicide, crime, illegitimacy and divorce. The concern for the collection of social data influenced social reformers in Britain, notably Edwin Chadwick (1800-90). See also SOCIAL ADMINISTRATION, SOCIAL REFORM, OFFICIAL STATISTICS.
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The lecturer was the eminent Wesleyan minister and former missionary the Reverend William Arthur, who took as his theme "The Extent and Moral Statistics of the British Empire.
William Arthur, "The Extent and Moral Statistics of the British Empire," in Twelve Lectures, 75-76.
In the final decades of the nineteenth century, two influential and methodologically sophisticated statistical studies of suicide appeared, which confirmed the link between modernity and the alleged increasing incidence of suicide: Henry Morselli's Suicide: An Essay on Comparative Moral Statistics (1879) and Thomas G.