Equi-Probability Prior to 1650


In: Early Science and Medicine

The assumption that two probabilities can be equal is a conceptual prerequisite for the development of a numerical probability calculus. Such a calculus first emerged in the seventeenth century. Several accounts have been proposed to explain the delayed development of numerical probability, yet it has thus far not been noted that the concept of equi-probability was virtually absent from medieval thought. This article argues that its rise began in the early sixteenth century, a fact that contributes to a better understanding of the preconditions which facilitated the modern mathematization of probability.


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