Probability and Statistical Inference in Ancient and Medieval Jewish Literature

By Nachum L. Rabinovitch

© 1973

This book throws new light on the origins of probability and statistics. Heretofore these were thought to be entirely the creation of recent centuries, but it is demonstrated here that probability has a much longer history, reaching back to biblical times. Study of the Talmudic sources, with frequent reference to selected commentaries, as well as post-Talmudic sources, reveals that such reasoning was used by Talmudic rabbis from the first centuries of the Christian era in dealing with juridical problems. The Talmudic rabbis even formulated the rudimentary rules of the arithmetic of probabilities and later also the mathematical theory of combinations and permutations. It is shown that almost all the conceptions of probability which are entertained today, as well as some of the enigmas which beset contemporary philosophers of probability and induction, are described in the rabbinic writings.

Readers interested in the history of ideas and the philosophy of science, the development of logic and mathematics, as well as students of Jewish thought and medieval philosophy, will find much to engage their attention.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 220 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5in x 0.7in x 8.6in
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SKU# SP005811

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1973

    From: $21.71

    Regular Price: $28.95

    ISBN 9781487585242
  • PUBLISHED DEC 1973

    From: $21.71

    Regular Price: $28.95

Quick Overview

This book throws new light on the origins of probability and statistics. Heretofore these were thought to be entirely the creation of recent centuries, but it is demonstrated here that probability has a much longer history, reaching back to biblical times.

Probability and Statistical Inference in Ancient and Medieval Jewish Literature

By Nachum L. Rabinovitch

© 1973

This book throws new light on the origins of probability and statistics. Heretofore these were thought to be entirely the creation of recent centuries, but it is demonstrated here that probability has a much longer history, reaching back to biblical times. Study of the Talmudic sources, with frequent reference to selected commentaries, as well as post-Talmudic sources, reveals that such reasoning was used by Talmudic rabbis from the first centuries of the Christian era in dealing with juridical problems. The Talmudic rabbis even formulated the rudimentary rules of the arithmetic of probabilities and later also the mathematical theory of combinations and permutations. It is shown that almost all the conceptions of probability which are entertained today, as well as some of the enigmas which beset contemporary philosophers of probability and induction, are described in the rabbinic writings.

Readers interested in the history of ideas and the philosophy of science, the development of logic and mathematics, as well as students of Jewish thought and medieval philosophy, will find much to engage their attention.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 220 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5in x 0.7in x 8.6in
  • Author Information

    NACHUM L. RABINOVITCH was principal of Jews’ College, London, England.