4 August 1834|
Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England
|Died||4 April 1923
|Institutions||University of Cambridge|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Notable awards||Fellow of the Royal Society|
John Venn FRS (4 August 1834 – 4 April 1923), was a British logician and philosopher. He is famous for introducing the Venn diagram, which is used in many fields, including set theory, probability, logic, statistics, and computer science.
John Venn was born on 4 August 1834 in Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire to Martha Sykes and Rev. Henry Venn, who was the rector of parish of Drypool. His mother died when he was three years old. Venn descended from a long line of church evangelicals, including his grandfather John Venn. He would follow his family lineage and become an Anglican priest, ordained in 1859, serving first at the church in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and later in Mortlake, Surrey.
He was educated by private tutors until 1853 where he went to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1857, he got his degree in mathematics and became a fellow. In 1862, he returned to Cambridge University as a lecturer in moral science, studying and teaching logic and probability theory.
In 1883, he resigned from the clergy having concluded that Anglicanism was incompatible with his philosophical beliefs. In the same year, Venn was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in the same year was awarded a Sc.D. by Cambridge.
He died on 4 April 1923. His death is unspecified.
- Venn is commemorated at the University of Hull by the Venn Building, built in 1928.
- A stained glass window in the dining hall of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, commemorates Venn's work.
- Venn, John (January 1876). "Consistency and Real Inference". Mind 1 (1).
- Venn, John (1881). Symbolic Logic. London: Macmillan and Company. ISBN 1-4212-6044-1.
- Venn, John (1880). "On the Employment of Geometrical Diagrams for the Sensible Representation of Logical Propositions". Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 4: 47–59.
- The Logic of Chance: An Essay on the Foundations and Province of the Theory of Probability
- Venn, John (1901). Caius College. London: F. E. Robinson & Co.
- John Caius, John Venn (1904). The Annals of Gonville and Caius College. Printed for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, sold by Deighton, Bell & Co. (1904) – by John Caius, edited by John Venn
- Venn, J. (1880). "I.On the diagrammatic and mechanical representation of propositions and reasonings". Philosophical Magazine Series 5 10 (59): 1–0. doi:10.1080/14786448008626877.
- Anon (1926). "Obituary Notices of Fellows Deceased: Rudolph Messel, Frederick Thomas Trouton, John Venn, John Young Buchanan, Oliver Heaviside, Andrew Gray". Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 110 (756): i–v. doi:10.1098/rspa.1926.0036.
- John D. Pickles, (2004). ‘Venn, John Archibald (1883–1958)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/40972.
- John Venn - Mathematician Biography, Facts and Pictures
- Venn biography
- John Venn
- John Venn (English logician and philosopher) - Encyclopedia Britannica
- The Venn archives clarify the confusing timeline of the various Venns.
- Obituary of John Venn (New York Times)
- Portrait of Venn by Charles Brock, and a link to a site about Venn
- Another (clearer) view of the Venn stained glass window
- John Venn at Find a Grave