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An Introduction to Philosophical Logic Paperback – 20 Nov 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 3rd Edition edition (20 Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631199829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631199823
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

A.C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy and Master of the New College of the Humanities, London. He believes that philosophy should take an active, useful role in society. He has written and edited many books, both scholarly and for a general readership, and has been a regular contributor to The Times, Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and is a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television programmes, including Newsnight, Today, In Our Time, Start the Week and CNN news. He is a former Fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos, a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, Patron of the UK Armed Forces Humanist association, Patron of Dignity in Dying, a former Booker Prize Judge, a Fellow of the Royal Literary Society, a member of the human rights group IHEU represented at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva; and much more.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

An Introduction to Philosophical Logic is a popular mainstay for students taking courses in philosophical logic and the philosophy of language. Covering some of the most central topics in philosophy – the proposition, theories of truth, existence, meaning and reference, realism and anti–realism – it aims to be an accessible guide to philosophical logic. This new edition keeps the same successful format, with each chapter providing a self–contained introduction to the topic it discusses, rewritten to include updated information. The author has also revised his concluding chapter and completely updated the bibliography.

About the Author

A.C. Grayling is Reader in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, London and aFellow of St Anne′s Colege, Oxford.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not for the faint hearted, and certainly one of the toughest books I have read, Grayling takes one to the very heart of the subject, where the most difficult questions seem to converge. On my first attempt at this book it became quickly apparent that an acquaintance with formal logic was presupposed, and that I had reached the point in my studies where I could no longer dodge the requirement. I therefore read Hodges' Logic, which is an excellent and quite brief introduction, and also Smith's An Introduction to Formal Logic, which is somewhat more in depth. I then commenced my second attempt at Grayling, gratified to find my comprehension significantly increased.

The first few chapters of the book review positions on various topics in an apparently piecemeal way; topics such as propositions, names and descriptions, existence and necessity, etc. At chapters five and six the focus narrows to concentrate on the nature of Truth, with things getting more intense at chapter six when we dive into Tarski's semantic theory of Truth. Chapter's seven and eight hone in on what would seem the book's central topic, insofar as all these topics are fiendishly interrelated, which is meaning. Chapter seven reviews various positions on meaning, while eight focuses on truth-functional theories of meaning; basically, those positions based on the meaning of a proposition being the conditions determining its truth or falsity. The final part of chapter eight delves into the manner in which the theory of meaning we choose determines and/or is determined by our metaphysical conception of the world, i.e.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Robinson on 1 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not a philosophy undergraduate, but have slowly been reading my way through from Descartes, forwards and backwards. This deals with some more or less complex core processes of philosophical logic (not the same as formal logic, it is not full of symbols and mathematics), and does so in a way that quickly inspires trust in the Author's teaching skills. A compelling study, and likely re-read - I am honestly not understanding everything first off, but feel encouraged by the style to return rather than run!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
An excellent, stimulating, and helpful introduction. 8 Oct 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent survey of the main discussions in analytic philosophy, covering truth, meaning, necessity, and the debate between realism and anti-realism. It is clearly written and well organised, and provides an in-depth but accessible introduction to the central preoccupations of contemporary analytic philosophy. Anyone studying philosophy will benefit from the thorough introduction this book gives to the family of fundamental debates which are gathered under the (slightly misleading) title of "philosophical logic" (misleading because "philosophical logic" is not about logic as such; rather, this is the name Bertrand Russell gave to the technical aspects of questions about truth, meaning, the modalities, and the relation of these questions to metaphysics and epistemology). Grayling has surveyed these fundamental debates in a way that equips the reader to engage in them himself or herself. There is a connection between this book and Grayling's two "Past Master" studies (Oxford University Press), one of them on Russell and the other on Wittgenstein, because these two philosophers (especially Russell) provided much of the basis of twentieth century analytic philosophy. The principal themes of their work figures largely here, along with the contributions of Quine, Strawson, Putnam, Dummett, and other major figures of recent and contemporary philosophy. In all, the result is an invigorating and marvellously helpful introduction to the heartland of current philosophy.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A great introduction to philosophical logic 23 Sep 2006
By Mark Twain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the years I return to Grayling's Introduction to Philosophical Logic to review and re-think some of the big issues of contemporary philosophy. Grayling clearly articulate the reasons for the debates and the sides that are battling it out. He covers propositions, necessity, existence, meaning, truth, reference, etc., and then finishes off by venturing into the fray between realism and antirealism. I just think this is one of the best philosophy books you'll ever buy, read, and use again.
71 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended. 12 Oct 1999
By John S. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Enough centuries have passed that everyone should know this: If you want a clear and readable exposition of a difficult and complex subject, you ask a British philosopher.
In that grand tradition of solidity and soundness, A.C. Grayling here provides, without fanfare but with a good deal of clarity and wit, a thoroughly reliable and lucidly intelligible introduction to logic as this topic is understood within the broad spectrum of analytic philosophy.
A standard textbook that is now in its third edition (with extensive revisions and additions by the author), this volume also makes for useful reading by interested laypersons (who may also know Grayling as the author of two excellent volumes in the _Past Masters_ series, on Russell and Wittgenstein). It is highly recommended to anyone seeking an accessible introduction to the field.
Grayling is also recommended as a master of what Brand Blanshard memorably called "philosophical style." The oracular pronouncements of the world's Nietzsches, Kierkegaards, Wittgensteins, and Ayn Rands usually get all the attention, but what really keeps the enterprise of philosophy going is the much-underappreciated art and skill of writing fine expository prose. In that respect, this volume is a gem.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Analytic philosophy 14 Dec 2007
By Polymath-In-Training - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When taking university courses in philosophy, this was the first text I ever used. Several years later, I now own some 200+ philosophy texts, but I consider this to be one of the most valuable. When reading original sources, I find myself returning again and again to Grayling's An Introduction to Philosophical Logic for reminders and clarification. This is my most well-worn philosophy book. If use and usefulness are measures of value, this text is a diamond.

If you are a beginner in philosophy, particularly analytic philosophy, this text and William Lycan's Philosophy of Language: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)should be your first two purchases.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Philosophy Majors: Read This Before Tackling Logic Exercises 1 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Lucid book on the philosophical implications of modern logic.
I wish my philosophy professors had assigned this book BEFORE they plunged us straight into rote drills in propositional and predicate logic. Grayling shows you what exactly all these sterile-seeming symbolic manipulations have to do with epistemology and metaphysics.
Also check out books by Graham Priest.
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