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Logic: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
 
 

Logic: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Graham Priest
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Review

"This book is terrific... It covers a lot of ground, but in a wonderfully relaxed and interesting way."-Simon Blackburn, University of Cambridge and author of Think"This text is ideal for giving students a quick introduction to formal logic or for adding pizzazz to an otherwise dry logic course."--Glenn Ross, Franklin & Marshall College

Product Description

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple,
non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not the ideal introduction 18 May 2009
Format:Paperback
I was fairly pleased after reading this book, with an acquaintance of some basic formal logic, and a fresh outlook on reasoning.

The book deals with some fascinating issues such as arguments for and against God's existence (and how they are flawed), and some strange concepts on time.
I certainly left the book realising how much logic has to do with real life, and Graham Priest lays out the book well: there is logic notation which is easy to grasp; questions at the end that can check your knowledge; main ideas are summarised at the end of each chapter; and the short chapters present key individual ideas which vary the book to keep you interested.

Why then in the light of the above reasons did I give it four stars? I found that after a while Priest's power of explanation declined when you most needed it in the harder topics, and I had to re-read a few sections.

This was my first book on logic and I for one can say that it was not an ideal introduction, it was interesting but some bits were hard to grasp. I recommend this book, but if you have not studied logic before or read about it, then you may encounter some problems.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Either you will buy this book, or Pigs will fly. 15 Dec 2000
Format:Paperback
If you've never studied any formal Logic before then this book is ideal. It's clear and concise; the chapters are quite short and they follow well from each other. The book introduces a number of Philosophical Problems like the "Thunderplow", and exposes the fundamental flaws in ideas by using methods developed in the book, e.g. The Cosmological Argument. Don't be scared by the formal notation that Priest introduces into the book; I can never understand why people shy away from anything that looks slightly Mathematical. The notation adds clarity and is very easy to follow (and a good way to impress friends). Other good features include a summary at the end of each chapter; exercises on each chapter with answers on the Internet; and a quick-reference glossary of terms. Indeed, this book is such a good introduction to Logic I should give it Five Stars. The reason I didn't is that it is a bit too short; you feel it lacks a certain something. One final thing, it is really nicely presented, right down to the glossy paper and clever outer cover (buy it and you'll see!).
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction 18 Oct 2002
By A.G.
Format:Paperback
..this book is a very good introduction to logic, a fundamental aspect of philosohpy and mathematics. For example, logical propositions are constructed as a so called fraction with the premiss as the "numerator" and the conclusion as the "denominator", and this is explained clearly on page 7 out of 109.
The book condenses a wide range of loigcal topics into 109 pages very well, and as it says on the back cover 'it does not attempt to be a text-book' but rather provides a basic introduction to logic.
Any one with a difficulty, perhaps, to mathemtics and symbols might find this book slighlty challenging, but even then the symbols are explained so well it should be no problem. Besides, one cannot hope to be introduced to a technical subject, similar but not the same as mathematics, without the use of symbols.
The whole text is very thought provoking and mentally stimulating, and further questions for consideration are provided a the back, as well as a further reading list.
So, this book is a good introduction for anyone interested in formal logic, mathematics, computers etc., irrespective of previous knowledge.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A logical choice... 23 Nov 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
Graham Priest is author of several books on logic, including 'An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic' and 'Towards Non-Being: The Logic And Metaphysics Of Intentionality'. He has experience as a professor of logic at the University of Queensland in helping to determine the needs of those who are in need of logic help. This book, part of the Very Short Introductions series of Oxford University, is both an introduction and a refresher for those who have had logic before. Because of its brevity, it might be a bit too condensed for those looking for a logic course; however, used together with a larger text (Copi's logic book is the one I used in my early logic days), this VSI book provides good supplemental information and helps clarify key points.
This book provides an introduction both to symbolic logic as well as linguistic logic. Issues such as probability, truth and fact statements, conditional statements, decision theory and validity are all presented in clear, concise ways. There are fourteen chapters (a lot of chapters for book with barely over 100 pages of text), and each chapter deals with a few key points summarised in a pull-quote box at the end of each chapter. There are diagrams, sentences and equations to illustrate the points in visual as well as language terms.
The final chapter, 'A Little History and Some Further Reading', is a good short review of key figures and historical issues that underpin the material presented in the previous chapters. There is a helpful glossary of terms, and Priest also provides a page of logic puzzles and problems to be worked by the students, keyed to an Oxford University Press website that has the solutions to the questions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
As far as I know this book is unique.

There are many excellent introductions to mathematical logic allowing the reader to learn the skills and methods of modern symbolic... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ornette Coltrane
5.0 out of 5 stars The Limit of Thought
One of the many things that makes books better than chocolate is that once consumed you can consume all over again. The second time all becomes clearer than the first. Read more
Published 18 months ago by opus
1.0 out of 5 stars Straggly with an agenda
After each could-be-better introduction to some logic matter, Priest presents a simplified and badly presented argument for the existence of God (or similar), and misuses the logic... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lorents
5.0 out of 5 stars short and sweet
Masterpiece of compression and with a very light touch. Gives the bare bones of a dozen areas of logic and even has space to discuss contentious issues in each.
Published 21 months ago by Laurence Goldstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
Good book if you like to think hard. I bought this for my husband who reads all these types of books, but you have to have his sought of mind to understand it.
Published on 11 Feb 2011 by C. S. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This book is so much fun for those who want a rigorous introduction to Logic but want to read this before going to bed...
Published on 9 July 2010 by C. Emilio
3.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to logic... and atheist propaganda...
This introduction to logic is fairly good and comprehensive. It tries to give a complete overview in a very short space, and does admirably, although a few more illustrative... Read more
Published on 15 April 2010 by PhilosopherKing
1.0 out of 5 stars Symbols great - Logic not so great
If you are interested in how logical constructs can be encoded in symbols then this book is OK. However I was looking for something that actually looked at and explained different... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2009 by R. Agar-Hutton
3.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for beginners
This book is really not an introductory text.
It does delve too deep for someone not acquainted with formal logic. Read more
Published on 5 Jun 2003 by A. I. Mackenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and thought-provoking.
Contrary to the review by "a reader from London", the algebraic notation is both explained and simple - and the book gets progressively easier to understand (although... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2001 by Mr. A. J. Norman
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