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    An Introduction to Formal Logic

    (9 reviews)

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

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    Publisher: Fecundity

    Language: English

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    Reviewed by Matt Carlson, Associate Professor, Wabash College on 2/28/21

    The book covers the standard material for a first course in formal logic: central logical concepts (validity, consistency, etc.), symbolization in sentential logic and FOL with identity, truth tables, formal semantics (employing set-theoretic... read more

    Reviewed by Philip Robbins, Associate Professor, University of Missouri on 6/19/18

    The book is a fairly standard treatment of first-order logic (sentential and predicate calculus). It covers all the usual bases. A number of more peripheral topics (e.g., metatheory) are touched on but not discussed in depth, but those topics are... read more

    Reviewed by David Shikiar, Adjunct Intructor, Rhode Island College on 5/21/18

    This concise text accomplishes what it sets out to achieve. It manages to cover the material of sentential logic up through quantificational logic right up to the point of setting up the problem of completeness. It does not include independent... read more

    Reviewed by Kenneth Boyce, Assistant Professor, University of Missouri on 5/21/18

    This textbook is a comprehensive overview of sentential logic and first order quantified logic. It begins by introducing basic notions such as the nature of arguments and deductive validity. It continues by introducing the language of sentential... read more

    Reviewed by Ioan Muntean, Research Professor, UNC Asheville on 2/1/18

    The book covers most of the topics needed for an introduction to logic class. In sections 6.9 a glimpse into metalogic is offered. The book does not suggest nevertheless any connection to informal logic (other textbooks in logic abound in this... read more

    Reviewed by Ashley Shew, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech on 2/8/17

    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 things out very clearly and offers concise explanations that I think students would appreciate. It... read more

    Reviewed by Matthew Knachel, Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee on 8/21/16

    Though concise, the book is comprehensive: it covers all the topics one would normally discuss in an introductory logic course, with both sentential and quantificational logic--syntax and semantics, truth tables, natural deduction. The book has... read more

    Reviewed by Diane Steinberg, Associate Professor Emerita and Part-Time Instructor, Cleveland State University on 8/21/16

    The text covers propositional logic (symbolization, truth tables and proofs) and predicate logic (symbolization, semantics, and proofs). There is a short appendix on alternate symbolizations (including Polish notation), and another which gives... read more

    Reviewed by Corey Maley, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas on 8/21/16

    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 reader with an idea of where to find various topics. This book would be useful for a one-semester... 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

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    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.

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