LECTURES IN STATISTICS
Author: Dimitar Mishaykov
Editor's Note: We are going to introduce a series of articles on statistics and statistical methodology in our booklist. This is rather difficult job to do, even within the realms of someone who is not statistician by profession and neither historian from the humanities milieu. We have undertaken this project, because there have been a gap in general knowledge concerning such fundamental issues as the early development of science /i.e., and social sciences in particular/ from the beginning of the 20th century in Bulgaria. Since statistical science have been a forefront for this progress and we consider some early works on its theory and method to be included in our booklist. The book at hand is one of the first specimens in statistical literature from this country. Its author is Prof. Dimitar Mishaykov - i.e., undisputedly being a tenure in statistics for more than 30 years at the Sofia University, Faculty of Law. His contributions for bulgarian scientific thinking from the first half of the past century are indispensable, alas this scholar has been ignored in the following socialist dominated science for more than 50 years to come. It is our privilege to revive and review this author from the ravages of history, while further research is needed in the same destination and in the future, ditto.
Law and Social Sciences
Faculty of Law was founded in 1892 as the third faculty of the Higher School after the Faculty of History and Philology and the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. It was with the founding of the "Faculty of Law" that the Higher School acquired university status.
On August 24, 1892, the Academic Council of the Higher School passed the curriculum for the "Faculty of Law" proposed by the Ministry of Education and specified the terms for the admittance of students at the Faculty. The course of study comprised three years. Classes at the newly founded faculty began on November 2, 1892. The initial number of students was 22 but by the end of the academic year 1892/1893 it rose to 94, comprising almost half of all the students then reading at the Higher School. Lectures in Civil Law, Criminal Law, Roman Law, Criminal Law of Procedure, History of Bulgarian Law, Roman and Byzantine Law, Encyclopedia of Law, Latin, French and German were delivered throughout the two semesters of the first academic year.
Graduates of prestigious European universities were employed as lecturers at the Faculty, some of them with doctor’s degrees. The first lecturers were Petar Danchov, Vassil Baldjiev, Hristo Stoyanov, Marko Balabanov, Stoyan Mihailovski and Ivan Shishmanov. The first Dean of the "Faculty of Law" after its administrative separation was the famous Bulgarian lawyer and public figure Marko Balabanov.
As early as the first decade after the founding of the Faculty a number of well-known lawyers joined its staff — Stefan Kirov, Petar Abrashev, Josif Fadenheht, Stephan Bobchev, and Georgi Danailov. These lecturers defined the academic essence of the faculty with their high teaching and scholarly standards in major areas of legal studies. The duration of the course of study at the faculty rose to four years. Fourteen subjects were taught.
On 21 October 1902 the Academic Council of the Higher School passed a resolution to establish eleven departments at the Faculty — Roman Law, History of Bulgarian and Slavic Law, State and Administrative Law, Political Economy, Finance, Public and Private International Law, Philosophy and Encyclopedia of Law, Civil Law and Civil Law of Procedure, Trade Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Law of Procedure, and Statistics. General education courses like Psychology, Sociology, Bulgarian History, University and university education, etc. were also included in the curriculum. Consequently, the number of departments rose to fifteen. The procedure for the granting of degrees and attainment of academic ranks was established, thus setting up the prerequisites for academic activities. The entrance into the university community was elevated by a new generation graduates of prestigious European universities who had training, ambition and the vocation for teaching and scholarly research.
The second period in the development of the "Faculty of Law" was the period between the two World Wars. During that period scholars like Venelin Ganev, Dimitar Mishaikov, Petko Stainov, Stefan Balamezov and others, who contributed towards the raising of the level of legal education and jurisprudence in Bulgaria, joined the teaching staff. Some professors, such as Ivan Bazanov, Simeon Demostenov, Prokopi Kiranov and others, immigrated from Russia after the revolution and contributed to the enhancement of legal education in Bulgaria. During that period the need for Bulgarian textbooks of high scholarly standards was satisfied to a considerable extent. Some of these textbooks have not lost their value to this day. Besides this, a substantial amount of legal literature was translated, which enabled students to receive qualification comparable to the one provided at the time by European universities. The research achievements of the "Faculty of Law" should be appreciated within the context of European legal theory.
For the first fifty years of its existence the "Faculty of Law" established itself as a centre of vigorous academic life. It extended and renovated its teaching staff. A clear proof of this fact was the next generation of lecturers at the Faculty, most of whom were its graduates who had specialized at eminent European universities. In the early 1940s the staff was joined by Petko Venedikov, Zhivko Stalev, Konstantin Katzarov, Tzeko Torbov, Anastas Totev and others, whose scholarly work played a major role in Bulgarian jurisprudence for a long time.
During the first decade after the Second World War, the "Faculty of Law" underwent a serious crisis. Contrary to all norms and academic criteria, a number of people with considerable authority in the academic community, as well as some younger talented lecturers were forced to leave the "Faculty of Law". Academic autonomy was destroyed. Law education and legal studies were ideologized. Centralized approval of students and their political selection was introduced.
A process of normalization of academic life at the Faculty commenced in the 1960s. International scholarly contacts were restored. Opportunities for specialization of lecturers were offered; cooperation agreements were signed with the Institute of Comparative Law in France, the Faculties of Law in Hamburg, Athens, Szeged, Prague, Budapest, etc. New forms of education were introduced — part-time education and evening classes.
The Joint Centre of State and Law Sciences was established in 1971, which the "Faculty of Law" was forced to join. In this way, a mechanism for decision making and for subordination of the faculty to an external institution was established contrary to the academic principles and traditions. In spite of a number of unfavourable circumstances in the 1970s and 1980s, the "Faculty of Law" retained to a considerable extent its importance as a center of academic knowledge and teaching thanks to the efforts of its highly competent and motivated staff.
After the democratic changes in 1989 the independence of the "Faculty of Law" was restored and the principles of academic autonomy were reinstalled. Existing international relations were extended and developed. With the introduction of the new curriculum education at the faculty came to meet to a greater extent the requirements stemming from the changes in Bulgarian legislation and the process of legal integration. The opportunities for specialization of the students provided therein, allowed the students to extend their knowledge in such fields that are most relevant to the sphere of professional realization.
In the 1990s of the twentieth century a number of new faculties of law were established in the country. A number of them were modeled after the "Faculty of Law" of Sofia University. Moreover, it has been a source of teaching experience, transferred through staff members teaching at such universities as visiting professors, and through the recruitment of their teaching staff among young lawyers, graduates from the "Faculty of Law" at Sofia University.
Economics, Statistics and Business Administration
Teaching economics goes back to 1892 when the newly opened "Faculty of Law" included political economy, finance and statistics in its curriculum. In 1904 the First School of Higher Education was renamed Sofia University. Economics continued to be taught at the "Faculty of Law". Among the first lecturers was Prof. Boev, reading a course in Finance and Statistics and leading a seminar on Demography. Another prominent lecturer was Prof. Danailov who read courses in Political Economy, Introduction to Economic Policy, Trade and Industrial Policy, and History of Economic Theories. Prof. Mishaykov was also popular who read one of the most interesting courses in Theoretical Statistics, Philosophical Base of the Statistical Methods, History of Statistics and Demography.
In 1920-1921 several Russian émigrés came to the country. Prof. Simeon Demostenov included course of Political Economy and Prof. Ivan Kinkel course of Economic History.
The years after 1923 were more favourable for the development of higher education in Bulgaria. Postwar economic crisis was over and the national economy had picked up. The country was in need of more trained economists, administrators and teachers. Documents from that period show that Sofia University had the vision to constantly modernize university structures and teaching progammes by incorporating the latest achievements in social sciences. An example of this trend is the opening of the Department of Social Economy within the "Faculty of Law" in 1938, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the University. Modern subjects were included in the curriculum, such as theoretical economics and statistics, economic history and policy. Department of Social Economy took a further step towards integration of teaching and research by working closely with the "Statistical Institute for Economic Research" established in 1934 within the University.
From 1944 on (after World War II) there have been substantial changes in university education. The Law for Higher Education was adopted thus entirely changing the University structure. According to the new Law, the Department of Social Economy was transformed into the "Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences". The new Faculty became very popular and in 1947/48 admitted the largest ever number of students within the University. During the first year of its independent existence the Faculty released its Annual book where research papers of its teaching staff and of external collaborators were published.
The reforms in university education underwent further changes. In 1951 the "Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences" was separated from Sofia University and transformed into the "Karl Marx' Higher Institute of Economic". It had 8 departments — Political Economy, Statistics, Economic History and History of Economic Thought, Economic Accounting, Finance, State and Constitutional Law, and Economics.
On 16 May 1990 Sofia University reopened a new Faculty by decision of the Academic Council. Thus, after a suspension of 40 years, the institution resumed its position within the structure of Sofia University as the "Faculty of Economics and Business Administration". The first students were enrolled in the fall of 1991.
Addendum: This book consists essentially of three parts, commendably written by russian scholars /i.e., A. A. Kaufmann, A. I. Chuprov and L. V. Hodski/ and re-edited with introduction and notes from bulgarian Dimitar Mishaykov. In textual sense this represent a modern tractate on statistical philosophy, from its ancient roots through middle ages and in the 19th c. when statistics have found its domain together with other burgeoning social sciences like sociology, economics, etc. Strictly speaking this work is being written as a meta-history - i.e., it comes as a reflection from long years of development, when statistical knowledge was accepted in the field of the statecraft or "Staatsverfassung" as one of its early german theoreticians G. Achenwall has defined. But let us try to keep some chronology and present the material in its rigid outlines.
From the contents of the book there are distinguished 3 parts of narrative, which are arranged in diminishing order of explanatory wisdom but not least of importance. As we have already mentioned, author D. Mishaykov have made this whole compilation from mainly russian sources with occasional admixture from some french /i.e., M. Block, etc/ and german /i.e., G. Mayr, etc/ authors. Strategically speaking, thus far it has been unavoidable for the author to get into an alternative approach since statistical science in the young Kingdom of Bulgaria (1908) has not yet developed its own tenets or instruments for measurement in the field of social sciences, per se.
Part One: This part have been dealing entirely within the domain of the russian or "Zemskaya" statistics. The latter have been constituting part from the Principality of Bulgaria in the early years of development after liberation from Ottoman bondage (1878). Before this date and official state figures could be found in mainly the turkish "Salnaame" of yearbooks of the turkish administration. Various foreign sources on the bulgarian ethnos could be found, undisputedly in travelogues from drifters at these lands. However, all those information on the statecraft in Bulgaria is scarce and it remains the early censuses from russian administration in the 1870s and 1880s that make the earliest valid contributions to statistical topics in Bulgaria. While the first three censuses in the country are dealt with elsewhere /cf., works from first Bulgarian professional statistician Mihail Sarafov/, commensurably we return to the author D. Mishaykov with his first attempts to incorporate statistical education in Sofia University circles. For this purpose was written this book and some following achievements from the same author, who has been evolving this same text for several consecutive editions until year 1942. To end this first cycle of the book, we should mention in passim that there are many and various sources of information on the "zemskaya" statistics in russian language. Unfortunately, we don't have the time and zeal to delve into these issues and much more there are some excellent contributions in other languages that treat the same statistical methodology from an equivalent angle.
Part Two: Since the bulk of the narrative comprises in its first part, we proceed to the second part in a somewhat conspectus manner. Moreover, what consists an evolution of the statistical methodology throughout the ages have been treated elsewhere with much more precision in bulgarian language /cf., "Danayilov, G. Theory of Statistics. Sofia: Durjavna Pechatnitza, 1932, 638 pp"/. In that case, we are going to pinpoint some names and dates with historical significance: i./ origins of the word "statistika" is blurred in the ages, however it could be traced in the Franks empire of Karl the Great /i.e., "Brevarium rerum fiscalium"/; further, in consolidation of the English state under William the Conquer /i.e., "Doomsday book"/; further, during the Renaissance of the Italian republics /i.e., "Venetia relazioni"/, etc. ii./ foremost contribution to the subject matter of statistical theory has been done within the premises of the Holy Roman Empire under German tutelage /i.e., these are various contributions from german university professors in the 17th and 18th centuries ~ G. Achenwall, H. Conring, F. Schlozer, etc/; however, the real country of the so called "Political arithmetic" have been debated to be in England under the Royal Academy of Sciences and W. Petty, J. Graunt, etc. as dominant representatives. iii./ 19th century have witnessed new consolidation of the statistical science and this time with contributions from french authors /i.e., after the probabilistic development of the discipline and introduction of the "numerical" method in science, further it has been stigmatized as a separate domain in the works of A. Comte, A. Quetelet, etc/; however, the end of modernity and an introduction to post-modernist science was done effectually by English scientists and most notably in the face of F. Galton being proclaimed as father of "modern" statistics.
Part Three: The conclusive chapter is only several pages long and deals with organizational aspects of statistical science. It has been postulated on the chronology of international cooperation within congresses of International Statistical Institute /ISI/. This subject is under consideration at the following editions of the same material, however enough sources exist in other languages to fulfill the subsection. It ends with a short review of official statistics in Bulgaria, which for the time being is quite inadequate as definitive outlook on the debacle.
We propose to the interested reader some additional literature on the Theory and Methods of Statistics — viz., consult the Presidential papers from American Statistical Association /ASA/,
Copyright © 2009 by the author.