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Modal Logic: An Introduction

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521295154
ISBN-10: 0521295157
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

An introductory textbook on modal logic the logic of necessity and possibility.

From the Back Cover

"Modal Logic" is a textbook on modal logic, intended for readers already acquainted with the elements of formal logic. Brian F. Chellas provides a systematic introduction to the principal ideas and results in contemporary treatments of modality, including theorems on completeness and decidability. Illustrative chapters focus on deontic logic and conditionality. There are nearly 500 exercises.

This has been a rapidly expanding branch of logic over the last ten years, and familiarity with the subject is now regarded as a necessary part of every philosopher's technical equipment. Chellas here offers an up-to-date and reliable guide of the kind that is very badly needed: his exposition is distinguished by its clarity, economy and elegance, and the book is expected to supplant existing textbooks in the field.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 29, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521295157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521295154
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,773,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By C. Conrad on May 2, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Looking for an _introduction_ I selected this book. After receiving it I realized that I was not prepared for this introduction. With a background in business, math and computer logic I thought that this might be an easy place to start to learn (it says introduction) Modal logic.

1. The syntax is never fully explained
2. The symbols are so small they are very hard to read - hence, it is easy to mix some of them to the ​point of ill-logic
3. Never is there an explanation as to what the reader should have studied to understand the introduction

Will hold on to this book and re-review after I find a REAL introduction to modal logic.
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Format: Paperback
There are essentially two symmetrical sections to the book. The first covers Kripke models ('standard models' in the jargon of Chellas), axiomatic normal modal logics, and then filtrations of such models to show these logics have the finite model property and are decidable. To tie up the section there is an application with a chapter on deontic logic. The second section has the same structure with the topics being neighborhood models (called 'minimal models' by Chellas) and classical modal logics (some of which are strictly weaker than the weakest normal modal logic K). Unfortunately the application chapters (deontic logic and conditional logic) are poorly motivated, though one might think the whole point of those chapters is to motivate the inclusion or validation of certain deontic or conditional principles.

There is a lot of good stuff that is relegated to sections on exercises--e.g., p-morphisms, a safe extensions theorem, modal algebras, translations and correspondences between modal formulas and their models and first-order ones and their models (known other places as "correspondence/definability theory").

While there is a good number of exercises, most of them I encountered were quite easy and repetitive. Because of this, I found the text better suited to philosophy undergraduates (or novice graduates) than computer science or mathematics students. But at the same time there is little philosophical digression.

The most redeeming feature of the book, I thought, was the latter section on neighboorhood models and weak modal logics. I was also surprised to find the little "correspondence theory" that there was in the book. However, a better variation of exercises (in terms of both difficulty and method of proof/construction) would be greatly welcome.
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Format: Paperback
Modal logic is the logic of necessity and possibility. It includes "deontic logic" - the logic of duty (and the logic of the law), plus epistemic logic. Modal logic is a simplified form of the first order predicate logic.
The text explains the various axioms of modal logic -- such as "M, C, K, N, P" Other texts include Sally Popkorn (emphasis on semantics), and Hughes & Cresswell (slighly more advanced).
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Some notation and terminology is outdated, but Chellas' "Introduction to Modal Logic" is still the best choice to start learning modal logic.
It covers all remarkable topics in the subject.
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