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The Logic Manual Paperback – 17 Oct 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (17 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199587841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199587841
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 1.5 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Volker Halbach is Reader and CUF Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Oxford


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Format: Hardcover
A clear introduction to the study of formal logic - including the systems of propositional and predicate logic (with identity) and the natural deduction system of proof. This book is the current set text for those studying the subject at Oxford where the author is the lecturer in this field. Very suitable for those who need a high level entry into the subject, not at all recommended for someone who is looking for a light holiday read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The material is well-presented for a student with little to no background in logic or set theory. However, the order is jumbled - semantics are studied before Natural Deduction, which leads one to the counter-intuitive position of having studied counterexamples to claims before proofs. With a reworked order, the book could be formidable.
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Format: Paperback
I was looking an introductory text to logic and stumbled across this one. It provided a detailed, yet clear and easy to understand, introduction to propositional, predicate and predicate logic with identity. It came with additional material such as exercises, lecture slides and a sample paper - all found online.

If you want an introduction to logic, then this one is good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x882bc5dc) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x880f85c4) out of 5 stars The Logic Manual 13 Sept. 2011
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm new to modern logic, and have been reading introduction-level books for about the last six months or so. The Logic Manual is one of the better ones, but perhaps not for starters; I think Tarski's Introduction to Logic is an excellent place to start, then Jc. Beall's Logic, and then possibly the Manual or Lemmon's intro book. I read the Manual before Lemmon and Lemmon's natural deduction proof system was a breeze, but that's mainly because the Manual's natural deduction system was less than clear until I used the associated on-line lecture notes. Those combined with the manual led to a bit of an "ah-ha" moment. Basically I think Halbach provides a bit less than full disclosure in his explanations, or is assuming some basic level of knowledge of logic of his readers. Without Tarski (at least) I would have been at a complete loss with the Manual; with Tarski and Beall (both 5 stars) I still had a bit of an issue, but only really with the natural deduction proofs.

Having access to the on line materials is certainly a plus with this one, and I highly recommend it as a second or third read for those new to philosophical logic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x880f82dc) out of 5 stars Good but inconsistent (!) 22 Jun. 2013
By John B. Sorrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Very well written intro to logic but has the weird structure of later chapters being sometimes a lot simpler than earlier chapters. The beginning chapter on relations seems unnecessarily complex especially being in the first chapter.
HASH(0x880f80cc) out of 5 stars highminded, formalistic, and incurious 24 April 2016
By mmw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I assigned this book for a logic course pitched to philosophy graduates and technically-minded undergraduates at a research university. The text appealed to me because it gives lucid and technically correct presentations of classical approaches to natural deduction and formal semantics, quite close to those of Gentzen and Tarski. The author also deserves credit for securing its publication as an inexpensive and well-designed paperback.

Mainly the text proved a disappointment. In my experience, what gets people hooked on logic is the puzzles---simple-looking questions which, sometimes after hours of struggle, illuminate some deep pattern or symmetry. The aim of this text, though, seems mainly to be to inculcate extremely 'correct' notations and definitions. The exercises (including the supplementary online exercises) are generally trivial applications of the formalism. My students also complained that the book's exposition lacked motivation.

The Gentzen-style approach to natural deduction is great for metatheory, but awkward for actually building proofs. So why are the exercises on natural deduction just routine proof constructions? Why not include, for example, questions about admissibility of inference rules?

Tarski-style semantics is already notationally awkward, but the author's choices make this worse. For example, instead of $M\models \phi$ we get $|\phi|_M=1$. The notation for the value of a variable $x$ under an assignment $\beta$ is $|x|^\beta_M$, even though it is simply the value of the function $\beta$ and so could be written $\beta(x)$. Altogether the discussion of semantics looks like a thicket of brambles. And after building up the formalism the author forgoes stimulating students with puzzles which could make the formalism seem worthwhile in the first place, for example regarding definability. Instead the semantic exercises are just routine verifications that the machine clicks forward properly.

So all in all, this book presents logic as a ritualistic or even priestly discipline where the main thing is to be notationally correct. It doesn't stimulate the creative thinking which makes logic fun.

Some examples of introductory books which (notwithstanding their own pros and cons) do convey the pleasure of puzzling include Barwise et al's *Language Proof and Logic*, Goldfarb's *Deductive Logic*, and Smullyan's *Logical Labyrinths*. Sadly, none of those exudes the philosophical purity of Halbach. But, better to start with puzzles---let precision arise as needed.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x880fe048) out of 5 stars A decent introduction 29 April 2013
By Joanne Leroy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really think this work could have been a little clearer. The early chapters feel a little rushed. Sometimes (even for logicians) brevity is not a virtue.
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