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Possibilities and Paradox: An Introduction to Modal and Many-Valued Logic Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (April 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199259879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199259878
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,257,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A clear, self-contained, unified introduction to a variety of extensions and alternatives to classical logic. Philosophically engaging and technically accomplished, it will serve as an excellent textbook for beginners as well as a valuable reference for advanced students and researchers."--Achille Varzi, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

"An exciting new logic text that investigates non-classical propositional logics in an unusual way. Propositional model, intuitionistic, multivalued, relevance, and conditional logics are developed in detail. This book should be invaluable to any member of the profession interested in these topics at any level."--Edmund L. Gettier, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts

"A well-organized introduction to the variety of logics extending or departing from classical propositional logic that have been of interest to logically-minded philosophers and philosophically-minded logicians. An extremely useful book. Written in a concise yet highly accessible style that provides a clear and well-motivated treatment of an impressively wide range of material."--Michael Glanzberg, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About the Author

J.C. Beall is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. Forthcoming publications include 'Logical Pluralism' (with Greg Restall) and 'Deflationism and Paradox' (edited with Bradley Armour-Garb). Bas C. van Fraassen is the McCosh Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. Past publications include 'The Empirical Stance' (2002), 'Topics in the Foundation of Statistics' (1997) and 'Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View' (1991).

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Wisdom on January 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
In Possibilities and Paradox, J.C. Beall and Bas Van Fraassen team up to present a rigorous introduction to modal and many-valued logic. After presenting a brief motivation for the development of modal logic (chapter 1), the authors provide a discussion of set theory (chapter 2), logical semantics (chapter 3), the tableau or "tree" method of proof (chapter 4), normal modal logics (chapter 5), and intuitionistic and non-normal modal logics (chapter 6). These chapters prepare the reader for future topics, including many-valued logics (chapter 7), the Sorites and Liar paradoxes (chapter 8), and supervaluations and continuum-valued logics (chapter 9). The final section is devoted to metatheory and includes further tools for understanding and working with, among other things, functions, sentences, and soundness and completeness proofs.

For the student with only a basic logic course or two under his or her belt, Possibilities and Paradox is going to be a tough read. Despite its brevity (233 total pages), the book is extremely information dense--the philosophical equivalent of Grape Nuts cereal, if you will. Virtually every sentence of every chapter contains an essential point or concept that merits a careful reading, re-reading, re-re-reading, and perhaps two or three readings on top of that before an exam if it is a required text, as it was in my case. While this makes the book exemplary when it comes to an efficient presentation of the material, since it is an introductory text it would have benefited from at least three additional features. First, I would have liked to see the authors provide more of a "big picture" framework for approaching the mechanics of logic- what a good logical language should do, why we'd want a syntax to work a certain way, etc.
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This book may be great; however, unless you have a very strong background in higher mathmatics then this book is not for you.
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