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Thomas Bayes's Bayesian Inference

Stephen M. Stigler
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General)
Vol. 145, No. 2 (1982), pp. 250-258
Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2981538
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2981538
Page Count: 9
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Thomas Bayes's Bayesian Inference
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Abstract

We consider Thomas Bayes's famous Scholium--his argument in defence of an a priori uniform distribution for an unknown probability, and argue that critics (R. A. Fisher) and friends (Karl Pearson, Harold Jeffreys) alike have misinterpreted the argument as an appeal to the principle of insufficient reason, and that Bayes's actual argument is free from the principal defect it has been charged with. True "Bayesian Inference" is found to differ considerably from and perhaps be logically preferable to modern perceptions of it.

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