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"Logic: A Very Short Introduction" by Graham Priest

Superb, introductory text for math majors, computer science students and philosophy.

I can't stress this enough: Logic is one of my favorite subjects of all time. With its ties with Philosophy, Mathematics, Computer Science and more, this discipline seems to be my personal strong-point. Even though I've gotten a huge exposure to the subject, I'm sure there may be some I may not know about. Oh man, glad I picked this book up because I thought I knew all of Logic, mathematical or otherwise.

Author Priest did an amazing job introducing the subject. However, to those hoping to get a gist of the philosophical side of Logic will certainly be disappointed with this volume. Priest introduces and wholly focuses on the mathematical/symbolical side of Logic. In other words, this is best suited for those majoring in mathematics, computer science, some physics and other disciplines requiring mathematical logic. As you start the book, you're already jumped in to the various notations and deductive problem solving breaking statements down to variables to prove its validity. Besides, it's more than Truth Tables.

Possibly the newest thing I read about was the integration of Probability when deducting odds of various statements, like the odds of rain or even the existence of God. It also included some arithmetic to break down the numerical likelihoods/chances derived from the statements/claims. That discipline, presented near the end of the book, was so good that I read that chapter twice. It's brand new to me but very fascinating.

Along the way, you also learn how to abbreviate and to sum a statement with simple variables. You also get a taste of summing a complete statement using math-like equations paired with notations that you may never have seen before. Fun fact: Logic is the foundation in which Mathematics stands on. For those of you wanting to strengthen and overcome your fear of Math, you may loosen those knots in your brain with a good dose of Logic. It should help you out a little and understand all of Mathematics' structure.

The book was a bit rushed already throwing out the introduction and disciplines to the reader, so you may want to read carefully. Other than that, it's an excellent introduction to an awesome subject. Once again, this book focuses on the mathematical side of Logic. If you want to stay in the philosophical side, I may recommend Deborah J. Bennett's Logic Made Easy as a great introduction to the subject.

A wonderful introduction you should pick up!





  • Excellent introductory text to the amazingness of Logic.
  • Focuses more on the mathematical side of Logic.
  • Parts are explained concisely and to the point.
  • Feels a little rushed.
95% (A)
Fan Rating
Title Logic: A Very Short Introduction
Author(s) Graham Priest
Description Logic is often perceived as an esoteric subject, 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 this subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of self-reference, change, and probability. Along the way, the book explains the basic ideas of formal logic in simple, non-technical terms, as well as the philosophical pressures to which these have responded. This is a book for anyone who has ever been puzzled by a piece of reasoning.
Acknowledgements "This book is dedicated to all those who have ever thought about logic - or who ever will."
ISBN 978-0-19-289320-8
Book Dimensions Width: 4.88″ (4 7/8″)
Height: 6.88″ (6 7/8″)
Depth: 0.31″ (5/16″)
Page Count 160
Contents Preface, List of diagrams, Models, Numbers and abstraction, Proofs, Limits and infinity, Dimension, Geometry, Estimates and approximations, Some frequently asked questions, Further Reading, Index
Cover Painting Philip Atkins
Published 2000
Publisher Oxford University Press
Copyright © Graham Priest 2000
Printed in Great Britain
Book Format Paperback, Kindle, eBook
Quoted Reviews "This book is terrific. . . . It covers a lot of ground, but in a wonderfully relaxed and interesting way." —Simon Blackburn, University of Cambridge, author of Think

"a thoroughly good idea. Snappy, small-format . . . stylish design . . . perfect to pop into your pocket for spare moments" —Lisa Jardine, The Times

"Expert, concise but far from bland, Oxford's Very Short Introductions series must rank by now as a thinking reader's Wikipedia" —Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

"a delightful and engaging introduction to the basic concepts of logic. Whilst not shirking the problems, Priest always manages to keep his discussion accessible and instructive." —Adrian Moore, St. Hugh's College, Oxford

"an excellent way to whet the appetite for logic. . . . Even if you read no other book on modern logic but this one, you will come away with a deeper and broader grasp of the 'raison d'être' for logic." —Chris Mortensen, University of Adelaide

"This new addition to the VSI series makes a splendid fist of warming up logic for the general palate. You still have to learn a few symbols, but the pleasure in following Priest's mind-bending puzzles about dividing amoebas, or refuting, with his guidance, a famous refutation of the existence of time, will be worth it." —Guardian

"This elegant and beautifully written book provides the novice with an excellent introduction to the general field of logic." —Michael Detlefsen, University of Notre Dame
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Other Graham Priest is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Queensland. He also held positions at the University of St. Andrews and the University of Western Australia. He is the author of In Contradiction, Beyond the Limits of Thought, and over 100 articles in philosophy books and journals. He has held visiting positions in universities in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, and Brazil, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.
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