Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Problem of Points

Cantillo, Andres (2011): The Problem of Points.

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Abstract

According to Katz [6] some of the basic notions of probability existed in ancient civilizations. In The Talmud and in Roman calculations of annuities there is some evidence of this. However, no record of numerical probability calculations exists. Hald [5], Bernstein [1] and Katz [6] agree that this numerical development was intimately linked to the study of gambling, contracts and profits. These authors also coincide in that the formulation of “The Problem of Points” is a crucial event. The paper is centered on evaluating and explaining the history of the formulation of “The Problem of Points”. The solution to this problem originated the deductive notions of probability [5]. I will center my attention on the formulation and attempt of solution by Pacioli [4], Cardano [2], Tartaglia [14] and Forestani [4]. In this process Cardano began to unveil some principles that are coherent with a modern theory of probability.

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