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(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
£125.00
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Notes

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.

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Description

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

Condition

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.

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