[BOOKS] ✯ Logic ✴ Wilfrid Hodges – Tactical-player.co.uk

Logic great book If A Man Supports Arsenal One Day And Spurs The Next Then He Is Fickle But Not Necessarily Illogical From This Starting Point, And Assuming No Previous Knowledge Of Logic, Wilfrid Hodges Takes The Reader Through The Whole Gamut Of Logical Expressions In A Simple And Lively Way Readers Who Are Mathematically Adventurous Will Find Optional Sections Introducing Rather Challenging Material A Lively And Stimulating Book Philosophy Good basic book on the very important subject of logic Is basically at A level pre uni type level, so quite accessible to everyone I got it for my kids they actually like this stuff and use it to slam on people when presented with illogical thinking so be it At the same time, if one is actually looking to understand the full depth of logic, at a deeper mathematical or set theory level, this is fairly lightweight Notwithstanding, a bit logic in the general population and world would not hurt, so have a read of it. I had begun to read Grayling sAn Introduction to Philosophical Logic, but it soon became apparent that I would need than the hazy logic I had picked up over my years in software development to make genuine headway It would thus seem a detour into formal logic was in order Hodges book had been sitting on my shelf for some years, since an earlier fraternisation with the subject that had petered out This time I persisted, managing to read the thing in about half a dozen sittings.The book is divided into many short chapters, each on a distinct topic, which are bought together at two key points, the first to introduce propositional logic, and finally, at the end, first order predicate calculus There are exercises throughout each chapter, and since to learn logic one has to do it, it is necessary to engage with these exercises if genuine comprehension is to be acquired Most of the chapters are trivially easy, and Hodges friendly and informal style makes them a pleasure to read There are a handful of places where an idea is introduced, and one would really like to be able to clarify one s understanding with the author, or where, despite immediate understanding, it has implications later on which do not seem obvious Nonetheless, it is possible to go with these questions and still get to the end having comprehended the broad structure and most of the detail of the subject The exercises vary from trivially easy to rather opaque Indeed, there are a few places where one is grateful that comprehensive answers to the exercises are given, so that rather than doing the exercises, one is able to follow the working out of the answers as an amplification or clarification of the main text.I estimate that by the end of the book I had an 80% understanding of what was going on Which is to say that, in the final critical chapter where everything comes together, while I didn t feel confident to do most of the exercise questions, I was able to follow their answers and understand most of what was happening Further, I was able to precisely identify the points where my understanding broke down, leaving me with a succinct list of would be questions rather than a general sense of bafflement So, is that my fault or Hodges I m pretty confident that I could read the book a second time around and come out with 90 95% comprehension As it happens though, I probably won t be doing that, because I have since got going with Smith s excellentAn Introduction to Formal Logic, which largely covers the same ground but with different emphases, and with which I am proceeding very comfortably I can t really know how difficult I would have found Smith if I had not read Hodges first What I can say though is that, having read Hodges first, I am completely at home with the core material in Smith, and am thus able to concentrate directly on the subtle aspects of the subject that Smith attempts to introduce Thus, if asked, I would say read Hodges, but don t get hung up on any details that don t at first seem clear, then read Smith.I undertook this detour into formal logic to enable me to make progress with philosophical logic, and I am gratified to find that I am now able to read Grayling with far ready comprehension But what I did not anticipate was that I would come to a revelatory appreciation of formal logic in its own right There is an aesthetic dimension to the subject that I was quite unprepared for, and I feel I have been given a glimpse into an abstract world of beauty that I wish to form a deeper acquaintance with I realise that I am probably a long way from being the first of Mr Hodges many readers to have been granted this dawning awareness, and find myself harbouring a deep sense of gratitude towards him Thank you Mr Hodges. I had to start somewhere There are plenty of examples throughout and exercises to do More importantly the majority of the answers are in the back of the book for those of us who are perplexed.Admittingly some of the methods seem perhaps a bit dated but this is still a good book to have to start you off Just enough to raise your game but easy enough for beginners to get a grasp of Of course if you do get into logic properly though this only really scratches the surface. Alistair Robinson s review is spot on and reflects my experience I have read fairly widely in general philosophy but, having always averted my eyes when symbolic logic appeared, I decided that the time had come to get to grips with the subject I bought this book and was soon irritated by its pedagogic air, redolent of chalk dust and tweed jackets This irritation was no doubt due to my incomprehension, as I don t have a mathematical brain, and nothing was explained simply enough for me I gave up reading the book, and started again with Siu Fan Lee s Logic A Complete Introduction This is a wonderful book, and having read it I was able to tackle Professor Hodges again, and make it to through to the end I gather that the methodology used in the book is now outdated, but working through it was a useful exercise and I even came to find Professor Hodges s company quite pleasurable.

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