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February 2018 Richard Price, the First Bayesian
Stephen M. Stigler
Statist. Sci. 33(1): 117-125 (February 2018). DOI: 10.1214/17-STS635


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.


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Stephen M. Stigler. "Richard Price, the First Bayesian." Statist. Sci. 33 (1) 117 - 125, February 2018.


Published: February 2018
First available in Project Euclid: 2 February 2018

zbMATH: 07031394
MathSciNet: MR3757508
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/17-STS635

Keywords: David Hume , History , Richard Price , Thomas Bayes

Rights: Copyright © 2018 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.33 • No. 1 • February 2018
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