1902 Encyclopedia > Probability



Pages 768-770

I. Determination of the Probablities of Compound Events, when the Probabilities of the Simple Events on which they depend are known

Page 771Page 772Page 773

II. Probability of Future Events Deduced from Experience

Page 773Page 774Page 775

III. On Expectation

Page 775Page 776Page 777

IV. Probability of Testimony

Page 777Page 778Page 779Page 780

V. On Mean Values and the Theory of Errors

Page 780Page 781Page 782Page 783Page 784

VI. On Local Probability

Page 784Page 785Page 786Page 787Page 788

Literature [Further Reading]

Page 788

The above article was written by: Morgan William Crofton (1826-1915), an Irish mathematician who contributed to the field of geometric probability theory.

Notes on Morgan William Crofton and this article, Probability, written by him for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition:

Morgan William Crofton (image)

Morgan William Crofton

"Crofton's lengthy article Probability which appeared in 1885 is still worth reading and is one of many outstanding articles in what many consider to be the greatest encyclopaedia ever produced."
-- MacTutor History of Mathematics archive (University of St Andrews, Scotland):

"In 1885, however, [Crofton] published what was perhaps his most important contribution to the field [geometrical probability], an extended entry on 'Probability' in the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica with its sixth section on local probability per se."
-- Eugene Seneta et al., "Nineteenth-Century Developments in Geometric Probability: J. J. Sylvester, M. W. Crofton, J.-É. Barbier, and J. Bertrand", in: Archive for History of Exact Sciences (Volume 55, Number 1, pp. 501-524)

"The subject of most of his [Crofton's] original memoirs was that beautiful combination of geometry with the integral calculus to which has been given (perhaps by himself) the name of Local Probability. In these investigations the elegant geometrical touch which he had acquired in the Dublin school found full scope. The whole subject of Probabilities fascinated him, as it had fascinated the somewhat kindred mind of Pascal; and he always expressed high admiration for Laplace's great treatise [Théorie analytique des probabilités (1812)]. His own lucid and elegant exposition of the subject in the ninth edition of the 'Encyclopedia Britannica' might well be recovered from oblivion, and should, in fact, survive as a classic on the subject."
-- Sir Joseph Larmor's 1915 obituary on Crofton and his assessment of Crofton's article, "Probability", in the Britannica, 9th edition. This obituary originally appeared in the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society (1915) (Volume s2_14 (1), pp. xxix-xxxviii.

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