Jacob Bernoulli's Ars Conjectandi, published posthumously in Latin in 1713 by the Thurneysen Brothers Press in Basel, is the founding document of mathematical probability. Here, Edith Dudley Sylla offers the first complete English translation of this monumental work.
Part I reprints and reworks Huygens's On Reckoning in Games of Chance. Part II offers a thorough treatment of the mathematics of combinations and permutations, including the numbers since known as "Bernoulli numbers." In Part III, Bernoulli solves more complicated problems of games of chance using that mathematics. In the final part, Bernoulli's crowning achievement in mathematical probability is manifest: he applies the mathematics of games of chance to the problems of epistemic probability in civil, moral, and economic matters, proving what we now know as the weak law of large numbers.
Sylla provides an extensive introduction and detailed translator's notes. She includes as supplemental texts Bernoulli's "Letter to a Friend on Sets in Court Tennis" and "Thesis 32" of Theses Logicae de conversione et oppositione enunciationum.
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Edith Dudley Sylla is a professor of history at North Carolina State University.Review:
Bernoulli's The Art of Conjecturing has always been recognized as one of the outstanding texts in the history of probability, marking a dramatic development in the theory. The lack of a complete translation has hampered an understanding of the exact nature of its achievement. With Sylla's translation, it becomes clear what a comprehensive and revolutionary work it was.(James Franklin, University of South Wales)
Edith Dudley Sylla provides an excellent historical introduction, translation, and commentary for a seminal work in probability theory.(Judith V. Grabiner Mathematical Reviews)
This irreplaceable book is sure to remain the standard translation and commentary for many years to come.(A.W.F. Edwards Mathematical Intelligencer)
One more great mathematical classic is now available in English. I'm delighted to have it.(Fernando Q. Gouvêa MAA Reviews)
Clearly written for historians of mathematics. Sylla's translation and commentary is an excellent read and should immediately be seen as a valuable resource for those interested in the history of probability.(Historia Mathematica)
One of the most important works in the history of probability and statistics.(Clara Silvia Roero Nuncius)
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