Théorie Analytique des Probabilités. LAPLACE, Pierre Simon.
First edition of "the most influential book on probability and statistics ever written." (Anders Hald). "Laplace’s great treatise on probability appeared in 1812, with later editions in 1814 and 1820. Its picture of probability theory was entirely different from the picture in 1750. On the philosophical side was Laplace’s interpretation of probability as rational belief, with inverse probability as its underpinning. On the mathematical side was the method of generating functions, the central limit theorem, and Laplace’s technique for evaluating posterior probabilities. On the applied side, games of chance were still evidence, but they were dominated by problems of data analysis and Bayesian methods for combining probabilities of judgments, which replaced the earlier non-Bayesian methods of Hooper and Bernoulli." (Grattan-Guiness: History and Philosophy of the Mathematical Sciences, p.1301). "In the Théorie Laplace gave a new level of mathematical foundation and development both to probability theory and to mathematical statistics. [It] emerged from a long series of slow processes and once established, loomed over the landscape for a century or more." (Stephen Stigler: Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics, p.329-30). "It was the first full–scale study completely devoted to a new specialty, [and came] to have the same sort of relation to the later development of probability that, for example, Newton’s Principia Mathematica had to the later science of mechanics." (DSB). Evans, First Editions of Epochal Achievements 12; Landmark Writings in Western Mathematics 24; Honeyman 1923. 4to: 255 x 190 mm. Contemporary half calf. Pp. [VI], 464, [2: errata and blank]. A little browning and spotting throughout (as usual with this book), old owners signature scraped from the lower right corner of the title, in all a very good copy. N° de réf. du libraire 2407