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The Doctrine of Chances: Or, a Method of Calculating Probabilities of Events in Play. The third edition, Fuller, Clearer, and more Correct than the Former.
A. Millar, 1756., London: - Quarto. [4], xi, [1 errata], 348 pp. Portrait medallion vignette on title; mild foxing, but barely noticeable. Original full calf, red gilt-stamped leather spine label; hinges repaired with calf, inner joints strengthened, corners worn, all preserving original spine. Bookseller's ticket: "Sold by Carpenter & Co., 14 Old Bond Street" [London]. Early ownership ink signature of Th. Spencer; penciled initials of F.N.D. [see below]. Very good. A KEY WORK BY THE FATHER OF PROBABILITY THEORY. Third edition. This is a key work by the father of probability theory in which major steps in the measurement of uncertainty were achieved. De Moivre is "best known in statistical circles for his famous large-sample approximation to the binomial distribution, whose generalization is now referred to as the Central Limit Theorem. De Moivre was one of the great pioneers of classical probability theory." [Bellhouse-Genest, p.1]. It is the first systematic treatment of probability in English. Abraham De Moivre became, with Edmund Halley, a founder of English actuarial science. The author's dedicatory letter is address to Lord George Carpenter (1702-1749) (the first edition had been dedicated to Newton), where the author states emphatically "that this Doctrine is so far from encouraging Play, that it is rather a Guard against it." [DNB, vol. 38, p.116]. "The first edition of this work contains 175 pages, the second edition 258 pages and the third 348 pages. The following list will indicate the parts which are new in the third edition: the Remark pages 30/33 and pages 48 & 49, the greater part of the second Corollary pages 64/66, the Examples page 88; the Scholium page 95, the Remark page 149 and pages 151/159, the fourth Corollary page 162, the second Corollary pages 176/179, the note at the foot of page 187, the Remark pages 251/254. The part on life annuities is very much changed. The Introduction is very much fuller than the corresponding part of the first edition. In his third edition De Moivre draws attention to the convenience of approximating to a fraction with a large numerator and denominator by continued fractions, which he calls "the Method proposed by Dr. Wallis, Huygens and others". He gives the rule for the formation of the successive convergents. This third edition contains 74 problems exclusive of those relating to life annuities (in the first edition there were 53 problems). The pages 220/229 contains one of De Moivre's most valuable contributions to mathematics, namely that of Recurring series. Pages 261/328 are devoted to Annuities on lives ; an Appendix finishes the book, occupying pages 329/348 : this also relates principally to annuities, but it contains a few notes on the subject of probability." â€" (Todhunter). A very full account of the above third edition will be found in Todhunter's History of the theory of probability. "De Moivre's first book on probability was based upon a short memoir entitled De mensura sortis, published in the 1711 volume of the Philosophical Transactions. The 1718 first edition is essentially a gambler's manual, giving a systematic presentation of the arithmetic principles upon which are based the solution of problems concerning the advantage of players and size of wager which may be lain in a wide variety of games of chance. [Walker]. It does not contain De Moivre's work on the normal approximation of the binomial probability distribution, which ranks as the most memorable of his discoveries; this discovery was first printed in its entirety in 1733 in a Latin pamphlet, which was later translated into English and incorporated, in successively expanded versions, in the second (1738) and [posthumous] third (1756) edition of The doctrine of chances." [Norman]. In terms of mathematics applied to the human actuarial lifespan, "De Moivre, French Huguenot mathematician and demographer, formulated the hypothesis that among a body of persons over a certain age the successive annual decreases by death are nearl [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Jeff Weber Rare Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2017-11-20           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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