on 17 July 2011
This is a great book on formal logic. The explanations are very concise but in my opinion this is a good thing, as it makes it far easier to find what you're looking for. The authors state that the book should only be used to accompany a taught logic course, and that it's not suitable for self teaching. I agree with this to a certain extent, but I do think that if you've already got some knowledge of formal logic and find logic relatively easy to understand, it is possible to get something just from the book. The book contains lots of exercises, and these really are crucial to understanding what's going on. They can take quite a lot of time, but they really are one of the best things in the book. The accompanying website is also a very useful tool. One point that should be noted is that the book does contain numerous errors. There is a list of known errors on the accompanying website, along with corrected pdf pages, so make sure to check this if you get the book. Several of the errors are in the solutions to problems, and it can be very frustrating trying to understand why the answer is what they say it is because you didn't realise what they've written is incorrect! Also, be aware that often there is more than one possible solution to the problems, so just because your answer doesn't match theirs, this doesn't mean it's wrong. Again, the accompanying website is very useful in this respect, as it allows you to check whether you have written a correct proof/countermodel.
on 9 January 2009
I've been studying Intermediate Logic as part of my Philosophy degree using this book. It's pretty good. Clear, lots of exercises, good layout, lots of nice clear definitions for important terms. There is also a website which you don't need a password to get to which has some quite neat stuff, including an automatic proof-checking programme.
It covers sentential (propositional) logic, truth tables, predicate logic, and models and countermodels. It does not cover modal logic. Answers to lots (but not all) of the exercises are in the back of the book.
This book is not really suitible for self-teaching, and the authors are clear in the introduction that they wrote it intending it to be used with an instructor who knows what s/he is doing. It is very light on explanation - pretty much just a list of definitions and lots and lots of exercises to practice with. If you are teaching yourself this stuff, you will need a book with more explanation of what is going on. If you are being taught then this book is great as it gets to the point. With logic exercises, you always have to flick back and forth to remind yourself of secondary rules, or what goes in the assumption set when using a particular operator, so it's great not having lots of annoying explanatory text in the way when you're doing that.