*Our shops are open!*
Dover Street: 10am – 6pm, Monday to Saturday
Fulham Road: by appointment, 10am – 6pm, Monday to Saturday
Click for more information about safety measures in store.

(SIDGWICK, Henry.) VENN, John.

The Logic of Chance.

An Essay on the Foundations and Province of the Theory of Probability, with especial reference to its application to moral and social science. Second edition, re-written and greatly enlarged.

London, Macmillan and Co., 1876 Stock Code: 135356
Reserve Ask us a question


Second edition, revised. The copy of Venn's associate, the economist and utilitarian philosopher Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900), with his bequest bookplate to Newnham College - which he founded in 1875 with Millicent Garrett Fawcett - to the front pastedown. Sidgwick donated many of his own books to the college library, some of which were later deaccessioned, as here with the relevant stamp. Sidgwick and Venn were contemporaries, both members of the circle around the philosopher John Grote, and continuing as members of the Grote Society following his death in 1866. Within the network of members, "Venn discussed each chapter of The Logic of Chance (1866) with fellow conversationalists who included John Grote, Henry Sidgwick, Joseph Mayor etc... This network provided the milieu and origins of the modern style of Cambridge philosophy with its conversational, common-sense, and analytic approach" (ODNB). Sidgwick can consequently be seen to have some role in the composition and revision of the book. Moreover, Venn's association with Henry Sidgwick and other Cambridge agnostics helped to erode his faith in the Church of England and the 39 Articles (Hurley, A Concise Introduction to Logic, p. 269).
The Logic of Chance was first published in 1866. "In The Logic of Chance Venn pioneered the frequency theory of probability, in which assertions of probability are understood as purely empirically based judgements of the recurrence of types over events over time, independent of an observer's feelings. As with much of his work, Venn is here exploring the logic and limits of belief" (ODNB). "In this book Venn disclaimed any attempt to make extensive use of mathematical techniques; he believed that there was a need for a thorough and logical discussion of principles, and his work was an essay in that direction" (DSB). Seminal in the development of the young science of statistics, Venn's views on probability were to receive their most comprehensive philosophical critique in Keynes's Treatise on Probability in 1921.

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. Original red cloth, rebacked preserving the original spine, spine lettered in gilt, dark blue endpapers.


Spine sunned with library shelfmarks, ownership ink stamp of Sir Richard Stone ("Stone") to half-title, first 28 pages with 60 mm. tear to the gutter, text unaffected.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book