- Paperback: 364 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (December 8, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521008042
- ISBN-13: 978-0521008044
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Introduction to Formal Logic
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This is a highly accessible guide to the fundamental aims and basic elements of formal logic. Peter Smith introduces the reader to the languages of propositional and predicate logic, and then develops formal systems for evaluating arguments translated into these languages, concentrating on the easily comprehensible 'tree' method. His discussion is richly illustrated with worked examples and exercises, and also provides provides illuminating philosophical commentary. It will make an ideal text for a first logic course, and will provide a firm basis for further work in formal and philosophical logic.
About the Author
Peter Smith's publications include The Philosophy of Mind (1986) and Explaining Chaos (1998).
Top customer reviews
This book is a beautiful entry-point, a must, in the world of logic.
This book now stands in my list of outstanding books on logic :
1. A. Tarski's "Introduction to Logic", a jewel, followed by P. Smith's superb entry-point "An introduction to Formal logic" and the lovely "Logic, a very short introduction" by Graham Priest
2. D. Goldrei's "Propositional and Predicate calculus"
3. Wilfrid Hodges' "Logic", followed by Smullyan's "First-order logic".
4. P. Smith's "An introduction to Gödel's theorems".
5. Kleene's "Introduction to metamathematics" & "Mathematical Logic".
6. G. Priest's " Introduction to non-classical logic".
Hence forgetting altogether Van Dalen's indigestible "Logic & Stucture" as well as
the even more indigestible Enderton, Mendelson & al...
Hey Peter Smith, if you are going to make examples of what you consider to be """quantifier shift fallacies """" using pathetic watered down strawmen of theistic arguments for God, why don't you balance it out a little bit and lay out some arguments that demonstrate what a bunk worldview naturalism is?--- at least the reader would come away with the common sense notion that you were trying to play it fair and balanced.
In Chapter 1 Mr. Smith uses an "intelligent design" example and asks the reader to evaluate it for deductively validity, of course the author is quick to indicate that "entire books have been written about it but it is not deductively valid""
He also uses the conceivability argument from Descartes but does not make any conclusions about the deductive validity of this argument - interesting.
I figured maybe he would throw something in about the question begging nature of certain materialistic explanations of reality, yet these were strangely absent in the comparative sense.
In Chapter 4, Smith can't help but bash Aristotle, quote "Did Aristotle really use the terrible argument""? Smith apparently thinks he did. Smith continues his advocacy for materialism by preaching at the end of Chapter 4, where Smith states, ""It is perhaps worth noting that a number of SUPPOSED arguments for the existence of God commit the same quantifier shift fallacy."" Peter Smith then begins to erect the strawmen
E" (1) Every causal chain has an uncaused first link
C: God uncaused cause at the first link
Then Smith throws in a strawman argument for design
E"" (1) Every ecological system has a designer,
C: God made every ecological system
Smith explains that its wrong to reach the conclusion that a single God caused the each thing to exist or that a single master designer built all ecological systems, there could after all be many designers ----- Duh, yeah, if you set the argument up that way, sure Smith -- I don't know many theists that use arguments like these, though. Why do I need to read about this in your book?
Lastly, Peter Smith can't help himself again after using erecting the strawman argument for design, stating """THOUGH THAT IS A PREMISE WHICH DARWIN EXPLODED"" -- -really, Peter Smith?
It would have been a different story had the author used some horrible arguments for naturalism that are frequently used by militant atheists like Dawkins, but for some strange reason Peter Smith couldn't seem to present a fair and balanced approach remaining content to focus on theism.
If you are going to read a book on formal logic and are a theist, I would choose another --- if you are a militant atheist, this is definitely the book for you as you and the author would appear to share a commonality.
Peter Smith should have used an example like the KCA instead of the garbage he pedaled off as being representative of arguments used by theists.
Everything that begins to exist, has a cause
THE UNIVERSE (not everything Pete), began to exist,
Therefore, the universe has a cause
In the future, I would suggest Mr. Smith re-evaluate titles of books he authors if he intends to advocate for a particular metanarrative of reality. For example, this book would best be titled "Formal Logic In The Setting Of Metaphysical Naturalism." At least this way, readers would know what they are getting into before buying the book.