George Boole

b. 2 November 1815, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England
d. 8 December 1864, Ballintemple, Cork, Ireland

Boole is the author of the 1854 work: An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, on which are founded the mathematical theories of logic and probabilities. A digital copy of the original may be accessed or a reproduction downloaded from Project Gutenberg. Boole's papers on probability are reprinted in Studies in Logic and Probability, Open Court Publishing Co., 1952.

John Michell wrote a memoir "An Inquiry into the probable Parallax, and Magnitude of the fixed Stars, from the Quantity of Light which they afford us, and the particular Circumstances of their Situation," by the Rev. John Michell, B.D. F.R.S published in Philosophical Transactions Vol. LVII, Part 1 (1767), pp. 234-264. Many years later a letter by James Forbes regarding this paper to the editors of the Philosphical Magazine dated 13 July 1849 prompted Boole to contribute to this topic.
Boole next posed a problem in conditional probabilities which ultimately caused him to re-examine his work. The difficulty lies in some implicit assumptions made by Boole. Boole also gives the solution in detail in Chapter XX, pages 321-326 of his An Investigation of the Laws of Thought as Problem I. 

At this time Henry Wilbraham publishes in the Philosophical Magazine Series 4 Volume 7, "On the Theory of Chances developed in Professor Boole's 'Laws of Thought,' " (Supplement, 1853), pages 465-476.

Boole now replies in two letters and three papers published in the Philosophical Magazine:
Richard Dedekind enters the discussion in defence of Cayley. He contributes the memoir "Bemerkungen zu einer Aufgabe der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung," Crelle, Vol. L, (1855), pp. 268-271. This is translated as "Remarks on a problem in the calculation of a probability."

Cayley again is published on this same controversy in Philosophical Magazine, Series 4, Vol. 23 (1862), pp. 361-365 & 470-471. The same may be found in his Collected Mathematical Papers Vol. V, pages 80-84 as Item 318. A short note, Item 319 accompanies this on page 85.

Boole continued to be bedeviled by difficulties with the conjunction of events and condition probabilties.