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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Edith Dudley Sylla, “Probability in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Continental Europe from the perspective of Jacob Bernoulli’s Art of Conjecturing.” Abstract Jacob Bernoulli’s book The Art of Conjecturing, published in Basel in 1713 based on a carefully written manuscript left incomplete at the time of Bernoulli’s death in 1705, may be considered the founding document of mathematical probability. It brought together the mathematics of games of chance found in Christiaan Huygens’ On Reckoning in Games of Chance with approaches to weighing the probable truth of conjectures in civil, moral, or economic matters. The four parts of Bernoulli’s book are described. Whereas a key concept for Huygens and Bernoulli was expectation, Abraham De Moivre defined probability in terms of relative frequency. The chapter closes with a brief discussion of De Moivre’s De mensura sortis and The Doctrine of Chances.

Keywords: Jacob Bernoulli, art of conjecturing, degree of certainty, Christiaan Huygens, game of chance, lot, sors, expectation, Abraham De Moivre, Bernoulli’s fundamental theorem

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