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Logic: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #29)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  529 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
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 pa ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 18th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 18th 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,548)
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Alfaniel Aldavan
This is Paul Bryant's deleted review. According to the email from GR, it was off-topic.

I have flagged this one myself, when it was in Paul's review space. With some over-pretentious ironic or stupid message, I don't remember which.

GR Headquarters might have missed the ironic part. Unless they didn't, but never found it other than serious in the first place. I can't figure out which is more unfortunate.

I guess it's only fair from my part to salvage the content. Here it goes.

PS: There's a funnier
[the interesting words are in the comments]

I liked this book very much. It has good qualities.
I wholeheartedly recommend that you immediately spend your dollarpounds on this product.
Why not buy two and give one to a friend?

This review was about a book, not an author.

Jul 16, 2011 Landon rated it liked it
This is a decent book, but the audience is really limited. I would recommend it to an undergraduate studying philosophy, but not to someone just interested in getting some basic familiarity with logic. Some of the chapters would help to that end, but others are largely designed to tackle certain philosophical problems or arguments using the tools that logicians have given us over the centuries. And I suspect that a much clearer (i.e. more understandable) explanation of most of that stuff can be ...more
Mike W
Aug 01, 2013 Mike W rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy

This is a pretty good introduction to logic. It explains the subject clearly and concisely. And it uses some interesting examples. The explanation of the fallacy in St. Anselm's subtle, but ultimately sophistical, "proof" of God's existence, is a model of careful reasoning and explanation. But the book has some flaws.

First, it focuses on modern symbolic logic, which would be valuable for technical specialists, but not for the intelligent laymen the "Very Short Introduction" series is aimed at.
Heather Pagano
Jan 04, 2013 Heather Pagano rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
Read with my husband who has a strong background in math, physics, computer science. I can't count the number of times he paused in the reading to say: "okay, he didn't explain that very well," only to follow with a brief explanation or example that made all clear. Although I was familiar with basic logic (truth tables, modus ponens, etc.) things like modal logic and fuzzy logic were completely new concepts to me. I did get a basic overview and very rudimentary understanding of those fields, but ...more
Jul 25, 2007 Mark rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who have taken a logic course.
This is a very good book, but it is not an introduction to logic. It really does introduce all the interesting topics that one ought to be introduced to in logic. However the main focus of the book seems to be a demonstration of the problems with contemporary logic. Graham Priest definitely has an agenda, and he certainly wants to argue for the acceptance of his own paraconsistent logic. There is a lot to recommend it. Each chapter tries to illustrate a rather interesting philosophical point, th ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
I enjoyed this book a lot, and enjoyed trying to work out the problems myself. I remember less high school mathematics than I did at my final exam - and that was not a lot either - but at least reasoning things out seems to help with logic! Despite enjoying this book, I think Priest isn't as lucid as he should be in the later chapters once numeric values and algebra start featuring more prominently. Perhaps this book bit off a little more than it could chew? Still, a stimulating little book. Log ...more
Filipe Dias
Jun 11, 2014 Filipe Dias rated it did not like it
Actually I did not understand most of it.
I'm a complete beginner, so I thought an "introduction" would be the entering point to this topic, not so much with this book.
I guess the book is well written and concise, but as an introduction it jumps way too fast to understand or find relevance in the material being discussed, like starting in English and then jump to Chinese.
Maybe I'll get a different one on the subject and then read this again to understand how and why it's presented as it is.
David Haines
Sep 20, 2012 David Haines rated it liked it
An interesting resume of logic. He spends most of the book looking at important philosophical issues and explaining logical principles through his examination of the philosophical issues. The arguments about God that he touches on are essentially straw men created for the purpose of teaching logic. Unfortunately this gives the reader the impression that all arguments from God are faulty.
N.J. Ramsden
Feb 12, 2014 N.J. Ramsden rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm no expert on either general philosophy or logic, so can only base my review on limited experience and how it feels to read this as an interested beginner. I'll keep it short as there's not much to say, in that like Craig's "Philosophy" VSI, it has a very small remit, gets in there, does the small job it sets out to do, and gets out with minimum fuss. It felt tightly written, pretty well focussed, and left very few unanswered questions in my post-read mind – unlike some books that either pres ...more
Apr 18, 2015 Katharina rated it liked it
I have a hard time rating this book, as I honestly had a hard time understanding it.

I do not know what my expectations for a book about logic were, but I was definitely surprised by the amount of math. Seemingly the math was simple, there was just a lot of it and as a typical language/history/social sciences-person I had a hard time following. To me the word examples given made perfect sense, but as soon as letters and symbols started symbolising words and parts of sentences Priest lost me.

Mar 11, 2009 Brandon rated it it was amazing
Lived up to it's name: It was very short, and it did a nice job of introducing a very broad range of topics concerning logic. The bibliography seems good, and I'll be using it to further my study of the subject.
Otto Hahaa
Nov 03, 2014 Otto Hahaa rated it really liked it
Tämä on mukava pieni kirja, josta saa kuvan logiikan ongelmista lintuperspektiivistä. Ja juuri ongelmista, suurin osa tällaisista kirjoista keskittyy kertomaan kuinka homma on hanskassa ja jos jotain nyt on jäänyt tekemättä niin kohta ollaan kyllä valmiita (Katso vaikka ihmisen genetiikasta kertovia populaariteoksia ennen genomin avaamista). Kirja on erityisen hyvää luettavaa niille, jotka ajattelevat, että maailma olisi ehdottomasti parempi paikka jos emme ajattelisi niin epäloogisesti.

Ja vaikk
Mar 06, 2011 David rated it liked it
Shelves: read-philosophy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a really great book. It covers a wide range of topics within the area of logic in an accessible and engaging way. It was usually simple to follow his reasoning although sometimes I'd have to read things twice and I found the chapter on conditionals rather tricky. The book is also supplemented by a useful glossary of terms and symbols as well as a final chapter on the history of logic and some suggestions for further reading. Also, at the back of the book you can find a practice problem ...more
Dahn Jahn
Aug 07, 2015 Dahn Jahn rated it liked it
A fair introduction, goes for breadth rather than depth, but still attempts to be quite rigorous and accurate. This may confuse many, especially those who are not used to the process of reading a denser mathematical/logical text.
That being said, I haven't fully understood all of the book myself (particularly the parts about modal logic). Re-reading of some sections is necessary (and possibly working through the problems at the end of the book)
فےـيےـصِےـل | Faisal
I encounter with logic in different occasions through my study life and almost everybody uses and hears the famous phrase, "Be logical" or "you are not logical" as an insult, many times in our lives.

However reading a book about pure logic is a completly different thing. It's not like reading a novel, someone has to concentrate and even re-read some things in order to keep with the book. The problem is that there is nothing which deserves concentrating, the auther tries to indulge god to make it
Kyle van Oosterum
Nov 22, 2015 Kyle van Oosterum rated it really liked it
Extremely helpful! Everyone seems to have some sort of reservation when it comes to being called logical or illogical; some don't care and some clearly do. I never thought I was leaning too much towards any of these extremes, but I definitely feel like I'm being tipped in the right direction. Graham Priest has really clearly introduced the language of logic to me, the so-called language of truth, with very lucid and unassuming examples.
Dec 07, 2015 Arioua rated it really liked it
For those who are interested in the development and the philosophical underpinning of Logic, this book is the one, it introduces complex notions in an accessible manner (E.g. the principle of explosion in classical logic, the validity of inference, logical fallacies, etc.).
For those who are seeking a deep technical knowledge, in my opinion this book is not suitable.
Logan Borges
Jan 14, 2016 Logan Borges rated it really liked it
Pretty good intro to logic, especially if you're studying philosophy or math. Brings up arguments that have been made for the existence of God, some don't seem to be analyzed as well as he thinks, but other wise it's worth a buy.
Tso William
Do not be misled by the 'very short' to think that this book is easy. It's not. Priest introduces logic by presenting a puzzle, and then guiding the readers to solve it at the end. I am not sure whether this is an appropriate way to present logic to a complete novice like me (although I did take a lame course on critical thinking). This is not assisted by his uncritical use of algebraic notations throughout the whole book. I generally like the Very Short Introductions series but I am disappointe ...more
Stuart Rice
Feb 08, 2014 Stuart Rice rated it liked it
This was definitely a very difficult book. I am not sure if it did a good job of explaining logic to a non-philosopher. However, if i ignored the mathematical equations and focused on the big ideas that the equations were trying to explain, I did learn new things!
Mike Jart
Jun 28, 2015 Mike Jart rated it liked it
very very very hard to understand at times, but it's logic so it's not like I'm surprised. The few "concrete" examples there were were very illuminating, and Priest just has a pleasant writing style in general.
Nazmul Hasan
Jun 11, 2015 Nazmul Hasan rated it it was ok
A little too advanced to be a 'short introduction', and the authors constant need to point out flaws in badly worded arguments for God makes it a little annoying.
Alexi Parizeau
Apr 13, 2015 Alexi Parizeau rated it it was amazing
Used this as a quick refresher. Absolutely loved the tone of the writing, it's really great when authors are playful with their subject.
Ergun Ahunbay
Nov 21, 2015 Ergun Ahunbay rated it liked it
Not impressed. Normally, I love G Priest, maybe had my expectations too high
Feb 07, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it
A bit too mathsey in places for me, but overall, really interesting.
Dec 18, 2014 BoBandy rated it liked it
Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.
Jay Miklovic
Oct 24, 2012 Jay Miklovic rated it it was ok
When I pick up "A Very Short Introduction" to anything I find myself expecting a winsome treatment of the subject that is intended to draw me into that subject. I did not find that with this book at all. It was too technical for an introduction and of course not technical enough for a thorough treatment of logic.

To put it plainly, this was boring, and I imagine there are better introductory works out there. I read half, and didn't bother to finish.
Jun 27, 2015 Napalmlolita rated it really liked it
Very well written and detailed account of various branches of logic.
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“I know what you are thinking about’, said Tweedledum: ‘but it isn’t so, nohow.’ ‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be: but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.” 0 likes
“if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be: but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.” 0 likes
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