The Stochastikon Encyclopedia


Elart von Collani, the founder and developer of the Encyclopedia, wanted it, once completed, to contain all the scientific knowledge on stochastics available at that time. “Science” was to be considered in the context of stochastics and not in the sense of traditional science. The Encyclopedia is, therefore, not comparable to any of the other existing reference works because it was primarily intended to describe the development of stochastics and the resulting need for a different representation of the existing knowledge.


Originally, many experts from all fields of knowledge were to work together on the Encyclopedia. The presentation of knowledge, however, was to follow the rules of stochastics and be interpreted in terms of stochastics. But due to the death of its founder, the expansion and further development of the Encyclopedia were halted. It now only contains preparatory keywords and biographies.


If you are interested in contributing to the Encyclopedia, please write to us.


Structure and Aim

The Encyclopedia of the Stochastikon project aims to present mankinds’s knowledge from the point of view of stochastics. The view of stochastics is fundamentally different from the view of traditional science, which is characterized by reductionism and determinism. In contrast, stochastics represents a holistic approach that embraces human ignorance and universal randomness.


The Encyclopedia therefore contains both a description of deterministic science as developed by René Descartes (1596–1650) and represented by Antoine Arnauld (1612–1694) and Pierre Nicole‘s (1625–1695) work La logique, ou l'art de penser (“Ars cogitandi”, Logic or the Art of Thinking, 1662) and the stochastic thinking developed by Jakob Bernoulli (1654/55–1705) in his work Ars conjectandi (The Art of Conjecturing, 1713). Both works represent two scientific opposites, but in Bernoulli's approach Elart von Collani saw the great potential to solve pending problems, at least approximately.


That theology is also involved alongside the stochastic-mathematical approach is due to overlaps between the two fields. Probabilism or casuistry, which is also of eminent importance in stochastics, originated in the confessional practice of the Dominicans and later the Jesuits. Probabilism means that in a case of doubt, one can also assume the confessor's innocence, even if weighty reasons speak against it. Stochastics, on the other hand, is about the higher probability of a fact.


Since the Encyclopedia is only under construction and its creator passed away in 2017, it only partially fulfils its intended purpose. For the most part, it will consist of biographies of scientists from various disciplines and of missionaries to China. In addition, there are contributions from the field of Bernoulli stochastics. The entries available so far relate to historical contexts in relation to stochastics, mathematical methods and the stochastic set of rules itself.


All contributions are “free content” and can be redistributed and used free of charge as long as Stochastikon is acknowledged as the source.



The technical development of the Encyclopedia was originally done by Andreas Binder († 2009). For technical reasons, however, in 2020 it became necessary to rebuild the Encyclopedia, which was done in 2021 with the support of Azubi-Projekte.


Authors are:

  • Claudia von Collani, responsible for the biographies of scientists and missionaries to China

  • Elart von Collani, responsible for stochastics

  • Tora von Collani, coordinator of the new Stochastikon website



Encyclopedia, Stochastikon Encyclopedia, contributors


Authors of this post:

Elart von Collani, Tora von Collani


Last updated: 10 July 2022