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

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  398 ratings  ·  39 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 1,187)
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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.

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

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
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 4 of 5 stars
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
David Haines
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
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
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.

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
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
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
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
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!
Alexi Parizeau
Used this as a quick refresher. Absolutely loved the tone of the writing, it's really great when authors are playful with their subject.
Filipe Dias
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.
A bit too mathsey in places for me, but overall, really interesting.
Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.
Jay Miklovic
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.
This book is less an introduction than a series of fairly disconnected highlights. It introduces some basic concepts and symbols used in analysis and tackles some classic philosophical problems. It is more like lecture material than textbook material. I can say that I didn't learn that much from it because the material was not presented systematically.
The author says, toward the end of the book, that Logicians, like Mathematicians, write primarily for each other, rather than for the general public. Yet, says he, I gave it a shot. I thought the book was well written, understandable, and helpful mostly. It is, in my opinion, a very nice, very short introduction to Logic, and I recommend it.
Mikael Lind
First, some positive remarks: kind of witty and fun. Unfortunately, though, the examples are - even though the algebra looks complex - kind of trivial. I would like more of an introduction to using logic as a tool. This book is instead sometimes like a logic's quiz book: here a problem is presented, here is the answer to that problem.
Steve Mitchell
The trouble with this book is the subject is easier to understand than the description of how to understand it! I realise that may not make a lot of sense but think of it like this; we all know a paperclip when we see one, but try describing one to somebody! Otherwise it does exactly what it says on the cover.
Daniel Wright
A difficult introduction to a difficult subject, one that calls to be re-read. The constant sideswipes at arguments for the existence of God were rather irritating, even when they were more-or-less well-aimed sideswipes. The author seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder about the subject.
Do not waste your time with this book unless you are completely new to the subject. The main reason I did not enjoy this book was the author's selection of symbols, I am aware that there is no standard set of symbols, but the author's selection was the main reason I did not relish this book.
C is for **censored**

The star rating given reflects my opinion within ‘the official goodreads rating system’.

1 star: Didn’t Like it
2 stars: It’s Okay
3 stars: Liked it
4 stars: Really Liked it
5 stars: It Was Amazing

I don’t really give a rat-fuck that there are some who think I ‘owe’ an explanation for my opinion. Nope, nada, and not sorry about it.

Sometimes I may add notes to explain what my opinions are based on, and sometimes I don’t. I do this for me, on my books, in my library and I don’t ‘owe’ any special snowfla
Troy Mattila
A refresher for anyone familiar and a solid introduction to anyone who wonders about the basics. Warning to theists, Priest for some reason decides to use arguments for the existence of god in showing bad logic. That seemed a little unnecessary but still gets the point across.
Leon M
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