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Introduction to Logic Hardcover – 28 Dec 2007
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Top customer reviews
I first learned logic in a two-semester sequence through the philosophy department at my university from the fifth edition of Copi's text, supplemented by other material from Copi and a few others on symbolic logic. Logic was required of philosophy majors; it was strongly recommended of majors in sciences and mathematics; it was preferred for students in social sciences. Indeed, the principles of logic contained in Copi's text would not be out of place in most any discipline.
This introductory text is also recommended reading for those preparing for major placement examinations, such as the LSAT and the MCAT. Learning how to think, and recognising typical and non-so-typical flaws in argumentation and reasoning are vital in many professions; the applications for law and medicine are fairly clear.
The text is divided into different sections, including Language, Induction, and Deduction. Language issues look at aspects such as definitions, informal fallacies in language, the question of meaning, truth and validity, and how to recognise argument forms. Deduction, what Sherlock Holmes always claims to be engaging, is a method whereby the validity of the premisses provide the truth of the conclusion. In fact, Holmes usually engages in Inductive reasoning, including arguments by analogy and establishing probabities, but not certainties.
This book beyond the introductory chapters on language arguments engages in symbolic logic -- rather like mathematics, it uses non-linguistic tools to work out the framework. The pieces of symbolic logic (fairly standard across the discipline, like mathematics) are introduced in various stages as inductive and deductive reasoning are developed.
Copi and Cohen look at real-life applications, particularly as logic relates to scientific reasoning and social science reasoning. While this is not a mathematics text, it introduces some elements useful in mathematics, particularly in probability and in elements used in statistical reasoning.
This text can be used for self-study, as some of the exercises are worked out in the back. There are also study guides available that have been produced for earlier editions; they are nonetheless useful, as much of the material remains the same from one edition to another.
A great text!