There are very few things which we know, which are not capable of being reduced to a mathematical reasoning. And when they cannot, it’s a sign our knowledge of them is very small and confused. Where a mathematical reasoning can be had, it’s as great a folly to make use of any other, as to grope for a thing in the dark, when you have a candle standing by you.
—Of the Laws of Chance, Preface (1692)
John Arbuthnot (1667–1735)