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The Snake and the Fox: An Introduction to Logic Hardcover – October 5, 1999

3.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A highly imaginative and fun way to learn logic. Mary Haight's characters guide you through an elaborate tale of how logic works ... The book teaches all the basics the reader needs to know about logic in a truly enjoyable and innovative way. Anyone teaching themselves logic, or learning it on a course is bound to get a lot out of The Snake and the Fox. - Zbl Math

About the Author

University of Glasgow --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (October 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415166934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415166935
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,810,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was executed clearly and well. All the points were made directly. The author did not waste any time at all talking about un-needed material.
Examples also aided in understanding. Stories and word problems illustrated the concepts extremely well and the reader knew why the problem worked the way it did, which also helped to understand.
Questions (and answers provided in the back) gave a chance to test yourself to see what you knew and what you didn't. My only critisism would be in this aspect of the book in which I found some of the questions irrelevant such as: Find and discuss some clear and some possible examples of 'tonypandy.' I found that this had not relevance whatsoever to Logic or Philosophy in any way. It seemed as if Mary Haight just stuck the passage and question in the book so that it would be longer.
Overall, one of the best logic books I have seen.
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Format: Paperback
How can you resist a logic text which begins, "The Snake and the Fox were rivals to lead a gang of thieves. The Snake proposed a test: 'By night and by day a hundred priests with knives guard the One-Eyed God of Zorro, in a room within a room within a room. Let whoever steals the God's Ruby Eye become our leader'"? (Which shows you where the title comes from - it's not an Isaiah Berlin reference.)

What do you expect from a freshman logic textbook? There was no magically sudden insightful clear thinking, but it does do a good job as an introductory text; written mostly in plain English instead of symbols, it builds nicely, and analyzes sample problems from sources like "Catch-22," "Foundation and Empire," and "Very Good, Jeeves" which make for fun reading. On the other hand, Haight starts to use more formulas and more structured proofs in the latter half of the book, and serious proofreading errors unfortunately crop up in those formulas and proofs which really interfere with the reading. Yes, you could argue it means I had to pay closer attention to the text and think harder about the content than I otherwise would have, and so I might have learned more; on the other hand, it means the book was no longer my partner and friend in learning but became instead my opponent to overcome. It became a struggle of willpower to finish.

The good parts of the book merit four stars, easily; the sloppy editing, one. I think I might enjoy taking Haight's class in person, but I could not enjoy reading this book. So I give it two on average, rounding down because a logic textbook with typos in the proofs is like a grimoire with errors in spelling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has an interesting way of presenting the material, but it is lacking in depth and is often not helpful.
There are quite a few occasions where an important concept is not explained or is explained poorly.
Also, the index is confusing and poorly organized.
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