Statistical Science

Richard Price, the First Bayesian

Stephen M. Stigler

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Abstract

Roughly half of Bayes’s famous essay was written by Richard Price, including the Appendix with all of the numerical examples. A study of this Appendix reveals Price (1) unusually for the time, felt it necessary to allow in his analysis for a hypothesis having been suggested by the same data used in its analysis, (2) was motivated (covertly in 1763, overtly in 1767) to undertake the study to refute David Hume on miracles, and (3) displayed a remarkable sense of collegiality in scientific controversy that should stand as a model for the present day. Price’s analysis of the posterior in one particular example, including locating the posterior median and giving and interpreting credible regions, qualifies him as the first person to apply Bayes’s theory.

Article information

Source
Statist. Sci., Volume 33, Number 1 (2018), 117-125.

Dates
First available in Project Euclid: 2 February 2018

Permanent link to this document
https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1517562029

Digital Object Identifier
doi:10.1214/17-STS635

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)
MR3757508

Zentralblatt MATH identifier
07031394

Keywords
Thomas Bayes Richard Price David Hume history

Citation

Stigler, Stephen M. Richard Price, the First Bayesian. Statist. Sci. 33 (2018), no. 1, 117--125. doi:10.1214/17-STS635. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1517562029


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References

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