Cardano, Girlamo

Cardano, Girolamo or Geronimo jērô´lämō kärdä´nō, jārô´nēmō [key], 1501–76, Italian physician and mathematician. His works on arithmetic and algebra established his reputation. Barred from official status as a physician because of his illegitimate birth, he practiced as a medical astrologer. His major work, De subtilitate rerum (1550), on natural history, is perceptive and implies a grasp of evolutionary principles. His book on games of chance represents the first organized theory of probability. Cardano described a tactile system similar to Braille for teaching the blind and thought it possible to teach the deaf by signs.

See his The Book of my Life (1643, tr. 1930) studies by O. Ore (with a tr. of Cardano's Book of Games of Chance, 1965) and A. Wykes (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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