- Hardcover: 688 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 13 edition (January 7, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0136141390
- ISBN-13: 978-0136141396
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Introduction to Logic (13th Edition) 13th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I first learned logic in a two-semester sequence through the philosophy department at my university from the fifth edition of Copi's text, supplemented by other material from Copi and a few others on symbolic logic. Logic was required of philosophy majors; it was strongly recommended of majors in sciences and mathematics; it was preferred for students in social sciences. Indeed, the principles of logic contained in Copi's text would not be out of place in most any discipline.
This introductory text is also recommended reading for those preparing for major placement examinations, such as the LSAT and the MCAT. Learning how to think, and recognising typical and non-so-typical flaws in argumentation and reasoning are vital in many professions; the applications for law and medicine are fairly clear.
The text is divided into different sections, including Language, Induction, and Deduction. Language issues look at aspects such as definitions, informal fallacies in language, the question of meaning, truth and validity, and how to recognise argument forms. Deduction, what Sherlock Holmes always claims to be engaging, is a method whereby the validity of the premises provide the truth of the conclusion. In fact, Holmes usually engages in Inductive reasoning, including arguments by analogy and establishing probabilities, but not certainties.
This book beyond the introductory chapters on language arguments engages in symbolic logic -- rather like mathematics, it uses non-linguistic tools to work out the framework. The pieces of symbolic logic (fairly standard across the discipline, like mathematics) are introduced in various stages as inductive and deductive reasoning are developed.
Copi and Cohen look at real-life applications, particularly as logic relates to scientific reasoning and social science reasoning. While this is not a mathematics text, it introduces some elements useful in mathematics, particularly in probability and in elements used in statistical reasoning.
This text can be used for self-study, as some of the exercises are worked out in the back. There are also study guides available that have been produced for earlier editions; they are nonetheless useful, as much of the material remains the same from one edition to another.
A great text!
However, Langer's classic text is now rather dated; her first edition (1937) is credited with being the first introductory level text on symbolic logic. The second (1953) and third (1967) editions offer new prefaces, updated reading lists, and expanded appendices, but are not dramatically changed. The third edition (1967) is still available in an inexpensive Dover reprint.
Symbolic logic was a young discipline when Langer was writing her first edition. The classic work of Boole, De Morgan, Schroeder, Peano, and Frege had all occurred in previous seven decades. Not everyone agreed, but many logicians still viewed Whitehead and Russell's monumental Principia Mathematica (1910-1913) as the detailed reduction of all of mathematics to logic.
Susanne Langer's personal choice of some symbols now seems idiosyncratic, but to be fair it should be noted that even today's textbooks have yet to agree fully on a standard set of logic symbols. What really dates Langer's text is her effusive admiration for the "logistic masterpiece" of Whitehead and Russell. Not surprisingly, her text culminates, after much preparation, in two final chapters devoted to Principia Mathematica and logistics. Reading Langer is like reading history. (And I for one do enjoy reading classic mathematical texts, monographs, and papers.)
Langer's early chapters include the essentials of logical structures, generalization, classes, principal relations among classes, and the universe of classes. The latter half is more challenging with chapters titled The Deductive System of Classes, The Algebra of Logic, Abstraction and Interpretation, The Calculus of Propositions, and of course, The Assumptions of Principia Mathematica. Readers already familiar with the fundamentals of symbolic logic might skip the early chapters.
Langer made no mention of Godel's incompleteness theorem despite its direct reference to Russell and Whitehead's work. Godel's classic 1931 paper was titled "On formally undecidable propositions of Principia Mathematica and other related systems". Perhaps, Godel's work was judged too technical for an introductory text.
My review refers to the second edition of An Introduction to Symbolic Logic. My 1953 soft cover Dover edition, a library discard, is still in surprisingly good condition.