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The revolution of testimonies in the calculus of probabilities. (La révolution des témoignages dans le calcul des probabilités.) (French) Zbl 1118.01013
The main texts the author is interested in are: Jakob Bernoulli’s Ars conjectandi (The art of conjecture), Thurnisiorum, Bâle, 1713, p. 210–239 and Joannis Craig’s Theologiae Christianae Principia Mathematica (Christian theology principles of mathematics), Timothy Child, Londres, 1699.
The calculus of evidence (testimonies) of the time was in relation to juridical matters (as with Bernoulli) and with matters related to evidence transmitted from one generation to another regarding history of Christianity. The first three chapters of Bernoulli’s treatise have remarks regarding calculus of testimonies scattered among the text dealing with what was to be later called a law of large numbers. Craig’s arguments are an attempt to measure the probabilities related to accounts in the biblical story, as to the rate at which the original likelihood (probability) of the story is diminished through suspicions arising from retelling, distance and the passage of time. The author analyzes the development of the calculus of testimonies also in reference to related works of Locke, Hume, Bentham, etc.
MSC:
01A50 History of mathematics in the 18th century
62C99 Statistical decision theory
91B99 Mathematical economics
60-03 History of probability theory
62-03 History of statistics
91-03 History of game theory, economics, and finance
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