Banishing Fortuna: Montmort and De Moivre

Banishing Fortuna: Montmort and De Moivre David Bellhouse INTRODUCTION In the first two decades of the eighteenth century there was a flowering of publications in probability theory: Pierre Remond de Montmort's Essay ´ d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard in 17081 followed by a second edition in 1713,2 Jacob Bernouilli's posthumous work Ars Conjectandi in 1713,3 and finally Abraham De Moivre's De Mensura Sortis in 1711,4 which he enlarged into The Doctrine of Chances in 1718.5 There were some similarities between Montmort's and De Moivre's work. Both pursued similar problems and covered similar mathematical ground, albeit in different ways. Despite the differences, Montmort accused De Moivre of imitating his work and there were disputes over priority of discovery in the results they obtained. Both the 1708 and 1713 editions of the Essay d'analyse contain an engraving that shows allegorically Montmort defeating superstitions about Pierre Remond de Montmort, Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard (Paris: J. Quillau, ´ 1708). 2 Pierre Remond de Montmort, Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard (2nd ed., Paris: J. ´ Quillau, 1713; New York: Chelsea, 1980). 3 Jakob Bernoulli, Ars Conjectandi (Basel: Thurnisius Fratrum 1713). 4 Abraham De Moivre, ``De Mensura Sortis seu; de probabilitate eventuum in ludis http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Ideas University of Pennsylvania Press

Banishing Fortuna: Montmort and De Moivre

Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 69 (4) – Nov 1, 2008

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University of Pennsylvania Press
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Copyright © 2008 Journal of the History of Ideas
ISSN
1086-3222
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Abstract

David Bellhouse INTRODUCTION In the first two decades of the eighteenth century there was a flowering of publications in probability theory: Pierre Remond de Montmort's Essay ´ d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard in 17081 followed by a second edition in 1713,2 Jacob Bernouilli's posthumous work Ars Conjectandi in 1713,3 and finally Abraham De Moivre's De Mensura Sortis in 1711,4 which he enlarged into The Doctrine of Chances in 1718.5 There were some similarities between Montmort's and De Moivre's work. Both pursued similar problems and covered similar mathematical ground, albeit in different ways. Despite the differences, Montmort accused De Moivre of imitating his work and there were disputes over priority of discovery in the results they obtained. Both the 1708 and 1713 editions of the Essay d'analyse contain an engraving that shows allegorically Montmort defeating superstitions about Pierre Remond de Montmort, Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard (Paris: J. Quillau, ´ 1708). 2 Pierre Remond de Montmort, Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard (2nd ed., Paris: J. ´ Quillau, 1713; New York: Chelsea, 1980). 3 Jakob Bernoulli, Ars Conjectandi (Basel: Thurnisius Fratrum 1713). 4 Abraham De Moivre, ``De Mensura Sortis seu; de probabilitate eventuum in ludis

Journal

Journal of the History of IdeasUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Nov 1, 2008

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