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Logic
 
 

Logic [Kindle Edition]

Wilfrid Hodges
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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'A lively and stimulating book' Philosophy

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If a man supports Arsenal one day and Spurs the next then he is fickle but not necessarily illogical. From this starting point, and assuming no previous knowledge of logic, Wilfrid Hodges takes the reader through the whole gamut of logical expressions in a simple and lively way. Readers who are more mathematically adventurous will find optional sections introducing rather more challenging material. 'A lively and stimulating book' Philosophy

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad choice for an intro to logic 29 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
I've been working through this book independently, including all of its exercises, and I'm most of the way through. While it might not be perfect, I would definitely recommend it.

It covers many of the basics of modern logic, and serves as a good introduction for anyone, student or layman. I believe it was used for many years, and until very recently, as the set text for Oxford's first year logic course for philosophy students; so it's very reliable. One cannot really learn logic without doing exercises, so this book has a small set of exercises for every topic; if you're looking for something more discursive and readable, this might be the wrong choice. Working alone I have not found it overly difficult - in fact it's good fun - but it must be approached as a course of study rather than the way you might approach a popular science book. You won't be reading ABOUT logic - you'll be DOING logic.

There are a few things to bear in mind:

It tries to be two things at once - a layman's introduction and a textbook - and in some ways fails at both. For those studying independently there are some sticking points: just where one would hope to find much more discussion and easing in - such as the sections on formalization - you find impenetrable proofs written out in English. Minimizing the mathematics here only succeeds in confusing the reader (though maybe it was just me). And as a textbook it is also somewhat lacking, in that its small paperback format makes it difficult to work with: you'll struggle to keep it open while you've got a pencil in your other hand, and it necessitates constant flicking back and forth. I would have preferred a large format text with extensive glossary, appendices, lists of symbols and rules, all easily accessible at the back.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new realm of beauty 28 Feb 2012
By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I had begun to read Grayling's An Introduction to Philosophical Logic, but it soon became apparent that I would need more than the hazy logic I had picked up over my years in software development to make genuine headway. It would thus seem a detour into formal logic was in order. Hodges' book had been sitting on my shelf for some years, since an earlier fraternisation with the subject that had petered out. This time I persisted, managing to read the thing in about half a dozen sittings.

The book is divided into many short chapters, each on a distinct topic, which are bought together at two key points, the first to introduce propositional logic, and finally, at the end, first order predicate calculus. There are exercises throughout each chapter, and since to learn logic one has to do it, it is necessary to engage with these exercises if genuine comprehension is to be acquired. Most of the chapters are trivially easy, and Hodges' friendly and informal style makes them a pleasure to read. There are a handful of places where an idea is introduced, and one would really like to be able to clarify one's understanding with the author, or where, despite immediate understanding, it has implications later on which do not seem obvious. Nonetheless, it is possible to go with these questions and still get to the end having comprehended the broad structure and most of the detail of the subject. The exercises vary from trivially easy to rather opaque.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As a beginner... 18 May 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
...I had to start somewhere. There are plenty of examples throughout and exercises to do. More importantly the majority of the answers are in the back of the book for those of us who are more perplexed.

Admittingly some of the methods seem perhaps a bit dated but this is still a good book to have to start you off. Just enough to raise your game but easy enough for beginners to get a grasp of. Of course if you do get into logic properly though this only really scratches the surface.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction 19 Dec 2002
Format:Paperback
Wilfrid Hodges' book is a comprehensive introduction to its subject, it's attractive presentation making the complexities and abstract qualities of his themes far more accessible. The book conveys something of the history of the subject through references to key names (e.g. Carnap and Russell) and suggests the relevance of logical thought to everyday activities. An excellent introduction to the Philosophy of Logic which invites the reader though clear explanations, rather than leaving them at a distance through what might otherwise be the daunting, mathematical-style appearance of numbers and symbols.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Logical Choice 10 April 2002
By Ben Saunders VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Logic can be a funny and confusing subject, but this is the introduction I used for the first year of my degree course. There are different Logic systems out there, and if you're being taught you'll have to consult your syllabus - obviously this is only any good if doing Hodges' Logic, not, for example, Newton-Smith's.
I found this a good clear introduction for someone with no background in philosophy. Obviously not the most advanced text, but a simple introduction for beginners with definitions and plenty of question sets for you to try (answers in the back).
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