An Introduction to Formal Logic

(4 reviews)


P.D. Magnus, University of Albany, State University of New York

Pub Date: 2012

ISBN 13:

Publisher: Fecundity

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Reviewed by Matthew Knachel, Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, on 8/22/2016.

Though concise, the book is comprehensive: it covers all the topics one would normally discuss in an introductory logic course, with both sentential … read more



Reviewed by Diane Steinberg, Associate Professor Emerita and Part-Time Instructor, Cleveland State University, on 8/22/2016.

The text covers propositional logic (symbolization, truth tables and proofs) and predicate logic (symbolization, semantics, and proofs). There is a … read more



Reviewed by Corey Maley, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, on 8/22/2016.

This book is a comprehensive introduction to formal logic. Although it does not have an index, the table of contents is sufficient to provide the … read more



Reviewed by Ashley Shew, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, on 2/9/2017.

This textbook is very good at covering the basics one would expect to find an an introductory logic course that focuses on deductive logic. It lays … read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: What is logic? 
  • Chapter 2: Sentential logic 
  • Chapter 3: Truth tables 
  • Chapter 4: Quantified logic 
  • Chapter 5: Formal semantics 
  • Chapter 6: Proofs 

About the Book

forall x is an introduction to sentential logic and first-order predicate logic with identity, logical systems that significantly influenced twentieth-century analytic philosophy. After working through the material in this book, a student should be able to understand most quantified expressions that arise in their philosophical reading.

This books treats symbolization, formal semantics, and proof theory for each language. The discussion of formal semantics is more direct than in many introductory texts. Although forall x does not contain proofs of soundness and completeness, it lays the groundwork for understanding why these are things that need to be proven.

Throughout the book, I have tried to highlight the choices involved in developing sentential and predicate logic. Students should realize that these two are not the only possible formal languages. In translating to a formal language, we simplify and profit in clarity. The simplification comes at a cost, and different formal languages are suited to translating different parts of natural language.

The book is designed to provide a semester's worth of material for an introductory college course. It would be possible to use the book only for sentential logic, by skipping chapters 4-5 and parts of chapter 6.

About the Contributors


P.D. Magnus - In addition to loving wisdom, I am a philosopher by vocation. I am an associate professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. I previously taught at UC San Diego (where I received my PhD) and at Bowdoin College.

My primary research is in the philosophy of science, motivated broadly by a falliblist but non-sceptical conception of scientific knowledge. I have written a lot on the underdetermination of theory by data, and my recent work is on natural kinds.