A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities by Pierre-Simon LaplaceA classic of science, this famous essay by the Newton of France introduces lay readers to the concepts and uses of probability theory. It is of especial interest today as an application of mathematical techniques to problems in social and biological sciences.
Generally recognized as the founder of the modern phase of probability theory, Laplace here applies the principles and general results of his theory to the most important questions of life, which are, in effect, for the most part, problems in probability. Thus, without the use of higher mathematics, he demonstrates the application of probability to games of chance, physics, reliability. of witnesses, astronomy, insurance, democratic government and many other areas.
General readers will find it an exhilarating experience to follow Laplaces nontechnical application of mathematical techniques to the appraisal, solution and/or prediction of the outcome of many types of problems. Skilled mathematicians, too, will enjoy and benefit from seeing how one of the immortals of science expressed so many complex ideas in such simple terms.
A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities
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Laplace's scientific and mathematical interests include differential equations, celestial mechanics, theoretical astronomy, geodesy, probability, and statistics. Laplace also was active in French politics during the French Revolution. He is credited with naming July 14 as Bastille Day, a French national holiday. Laplace's major contributions include the establishment of Bayesian statistics, the Laplace transform, combinatorics, the theory of the incomplete beta function, the theory of generating functions, the theory of errors, the proof of least squares, and asymptotic theory. Laplace also was a leading French educator, helping establish the Ecole Normale and Ecole Polytechnique. Pierre-Simon Laplace. Pierre-Simon Laplace is remembered amoung probabilitists today particularly for his "Theorie analytique des probabilites", published in
While less well known than some of his contemporaries, Laplace is still considered one of the great mathematicians of all time, and is occasionally referred to as the French Isaac Newton. A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities is described perfectly by its title. The work sees Laplace outline his system for reasoning based solely on probabilities. The book is divided into two parts: The first part is the author's philosophical essay on probabilities, which provides the reader with a general overview of probabilities and the general principals of the calculus of probabilities; Part two is the more significant portion of the book, and is an application of the calculus of probabilities discussed in part one. The work introduces "the rule of succession", a famous rule of probability that calculates the likely success of a trial based on the number of times it has succeeded in the past. Pierre-Simon Laplace's work is a fascinating read, especially of interest to those with a background in mathematics and science.
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