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Thinking about Logic: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Logic (OPUS) [Paperback]

Stephen Read

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Book Description

5 Sep 2000 OPUS
Logic deals with the inevitable - those consequences which follow inescapably from a given set of premisses. This fact has caused it to be seen as different from other more self-questioning branches of philosophy. In this book, Stephen Read sets out to rescue logic from its undeserved reputation as an inflexible, dogmatic discipline by demonstrating that its technicalities and processes are founded on assumptions which are themselves amenable to philosophical investigation. He examines the fundamental principles of consequence, logical truth and correct inference within the context of logic, and shows that the principles by which we delineate consequences are themselves not guaranteed free from error. Central to the notion of truth is the beguiling issue of paradox. Its philosophical value, Read shows, lies in exposing the invalid assumption on which the paradox is built. Thinking About Logic also discusses logical puzzles which introduce questions relating to language, the world, and their relationship. While formal logic often employs its own esoteric language, the achievement of this book is to focus on those issues which raise exciting philosophical questions, and to make them intelligible to readers with no previous knowledge of logic.

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."..intelligent, informed, and provocative.....this is a worthy book. I hope it is found by its appropriate audience."--Teaching Philosophy"Highly recommended."--Choice

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of interesting issues 9 Jan 2001
By Greg Restall - Published on
Stephen Read is a great philosopher and logician, and he shows in this book that logic is philosophically <em>alive</em>. There's lots of insight in this book, and it's an ideal companion for anyone who is learning logic at a university level and who has a niggling feeling that not everything is as clear-cut as it's sometimes taught.
The book is wide ranging, with excellent chapters on conditionality, truth, vagueness, names and non-referring terms. My upper level logic students love it, and my intro students use it to see where logic can take them and why it's such an interesting field. Read it!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes reader behind the logical scenes 26 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on
I checked this book out of the library to do a basic review of intuitionistic vs. classical logic. It was so readable and so useful, I had to buy a copy of my own. Undergrad students often balk at some of the assumptions they meet in introductory logic classes. What, for instance, is the rationale behind the truth values for material implication? Why is every proposition either true or false? Why can we reason from a double-negation to the affirmative? If you are familiar with classical logic already, this book is an extremely accessible introduction to long-standing debates among professional logicians.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reason Returns to Logic 11 Dec 1999
By Arthur L. Fisher - Published on
This book is one of the best I have read on the philosophy of logic. The best chapters are 1, 2, and 3 on truth, logical consequence, and conditionals. The author espouses moderate realism, a commonsense approach. He reviews the existing scholarship on topics before proffering his own well-reasoned opinions.
Most modern basic logic texts go off a cliff in accepting bizarre definitions of validity and truth conditons for conditional propositions. Most explain that conditional propositions can be treated as truth functional material conditionals. Read corrects these errors.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Gem 27 Oct 2010
By Dennis D. Buchholz - Published on
I have only recently run across this little introduction to the philosophy of logic. Read raises and discusses many of the problems that professional logicians argue about. His language is accurate and precise. One needs to have at least an elementary introduction to logic to comprehend what he is saying. I believe those who have given the book low reviews have mistakenly believed that this is an introduction to Logic. It is an Introduction to the Philosophy of Logic, a much more abstract and foundational subject.

Read discusses excellently the relationship of ordinary language and logic, the concepts of truth, logical consequence, possible worlds, paradoxes, sorites, relevance, etc. He surveys problems with Conditionals, Constructivism, etc. And he is obviously knowledgable on all of these areas. At the end of each chapter he has a few pages of anotated bibliography referring the reader to the best sources and discussions of the issue.

I am recommending this book as supplemental reading to my logic students. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
4.0 out of 5 stars A friendly book 3 Feb 2013
By Alvaro Pedro Café - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is an easy readable book to revisit simple questions of logic. I would recomend it to someone who wants to think about logic in a light and funny way.
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