Bayes or Laplace? An examination of the origin and early applications of Bayes' theorem

  title={Bayes or Laplace? An examination of the origin and early applications of Bayes' theorem},
  author={Andrew I. Dale},
  journal={Archive for History of Exact Sciences},
  • A. Dale
  • Published 1 March 1982
  • Mathematics
  • Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Maistrov (1974) in fact goes so far as to say "Bayes' formula appears in all texts on probability theory" (p. 87), a statement which is perhaps a little exaggerated (unless, of course, one is perverse enough to make this result's presence a sine qua non for a book to be so described!). The fame (or notoriety, rather, in some statistical circles) of this "Bayes' Theorem" is such that it comes as something of a supriseif not a shockto discover that this proposition is nowhere to be found in Bayes… 
A newly-discovered result of Thomas Bayes
Holland also mentions the note on an electrifying machine and draws attention to the shorthand (apparently Elisha Coles's system) used by Bayes. (This is also commented on by Stigler (1984), who
Evaluations of the Beta Probability Integral by Bayes and Price
Summary The contribution of Bayes to statistical inference has been much discussed, whereas his evaluations of the beta probability integral have received little attention, and Price's improvements
History of Statistics: an Aspect of the Situation
I dicuss the current literature on the subject, reprint its reviews written by me (almost all of them already published) and accuse a contemporary statistician (Stigler) of slandering Gauss. A German
Discovery of Bayes' Table at Tunbridge Wells
In 1755 Thomas Bayes expressed an interest in the problem of combining repeated measurements of the location of a star. Bayes described a tandem set-up of a ball thrown on a table, followed by
Buffon, Price, and Laplace: Scientific attribution in the 18th century
  • S. Zabell
  • Physics
    Archive for History of Exact Sciences
  • 1988
Thus we find that an event having occurred successively any number of times, the probability that it will happen again the next time is equal to this number increased by unity divided by the same
Symmetry and its discontents : essays on the history of inductive probability
Part I. Probability: 1. Symmetry and its discontents 2. The rule of succession 3. Buffon, Price, and Laplace: scientific attribution in the eighteenth century 4. W. E. Johnson's sufficientness


LII. An essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances. By the late Rev. Mr. Bayes, F. R. S. communicated by Mr. Price, in a letter to John Canton, A. M. F. R. S
  • T. Bayes
  • History
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
  • 1763
Dear Sir, I Now send you an essay which I have found among the papers of our deceased friend Mr. Bayes, and which, in my opinion, has great merit, and well deserves to be preserved.
Studies in the History of Probability and Statistics. XXXIV Napoleonic statistics: The work of Laplace
SUMMARY The work of Pierre Simon, Marquis de Laplace, was more important to the early development of mathematical statistics than that of any other individual. This paper reviews both his major
A Treatise on Probability
Part 1 Fundamental ideas: the meaning of probability - probability in relation to the theory of knowledge - the measurement of probabilities - the principle of indifference - other methods of
On Bayes' Formula
Note on Bayes' Theorem
Laplace's theory of errors
  • O. Sheynin
  • Mathematics
    Archive for History of Exact Sciences
  • 1977
The genesis and development of the theory of errors before Laplace have been considered in a series of my articles [69] -[74]. My present aim is to elucidate the relevant work of Laplace himself,
A history of the mathematical theory of probability from the time of Pascal to that of Laplace / by I. Todhunter.
The author lists the authors of the Miscellaneous investigations between the years 1780 and 1800, including Laplace, D'Alembert, Bayes, Lagrange, Condorcet, Trembley, and Euler.