On the Theory of Probabilities, and in particular on Mitchell's Problem of the Distribution of the Fixed Stars.

London: Taylor, 1851. First edition.

A fine copy, in original wrappers, of Boole’s first paper probability. The ideas he put forth in this work were later developed and included in his famous Laws of Thought (1854).

“This seems to have been the first mention, by any author, of the close connection, both in essence and in form, between logic and probability and indeed of the dependence of the theory of probability on an underlying mathematical theory of logic” (MacHale, George Boole). In this paper, Boole applies his theory of probabilities to the specific problem of the distribution of fixed stars. This problem had been “creating considerable discussion among mathematicians and astronomers. Professor Boole felt much interest in it, both because of its intrinsic importance, and because of its close connection with a class of speculations in the pursuit of which he had long been engaged” (Robert Vaughan and Henry Allon, The British Quarterly Review, vol 44).

Boole’s paper is at once the beginning of the thought process that would develop into his seminal later work, as well as an answer to John Mitchell’s fixed star problem and to James Forbes’ own paper on the same subject.

In: The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine, Suppl. to vol. 1, no. 7, 4th series, pp. 521-530. 8vo (225 x 145 mm), the complete issue offered here in original blue printed wrappers, upper left corner of rear wrapper torn away, otherwise fine, uncut and unopened.

Item #2974

Price: $1,250.00

See all items by