I am an engineer by profession and my background is that of circuit design and signal processing. I have a PhD in analog circuit design. I read math purely out of interest and I am extremely passionate about it. Unfortunately, I do not have a professor to guide me so I look for good books online and teach myself.
Not to refute what other reviewers have said but I feel that the negative points that are usually mentioned about this book are actually the most positive aspects about the book. It is amazing that the same aspect can be very useful for one person while for others, it might not be that suitable.
1. People say that it is verbose: For me, I would like to rephrase that as 'the book carefully walks the student through the basic notion and structure of logic the way it must be in an introductory course'. For someone like me who is new to pure math, his presentation is extremely useful. Logic is very abstract and unless taught well, it will not sink in.
Example: Why the hell did they formulate the 'if....then....' statement in such a weird manner? More precisely, the sentence 'if 2+2=5, then santa clara is a small town' is considered true. Why? For someone who is being introduced to logic for the first time, this sentence will sound really weird. What the hell is the relationship between 2+2=5 and the size of santa clara? On top of that, how can this statement be true when the two sentences are not related in any possible way?
The answer lies in the difference between material logic which is used in mathematical logic and formal logic which we are all familiar with. MATH LOGIC is not same as the logic we are used to. I realized this when I read this book and has been explained extremely well in the second chapter. Please do make sure that you read the paragraphs which are marked with '*' sign. Those are supposed to be difficult concepts but whether you understand it or not, the quality of the experience of the learning process increases by a h_uge factor if you read those sections. The difference between material logic and formal logic is discussed in a section marked with '*'.
2. People say that the first half of the book is well known and is redundant: It is not. For me, it is a boon that he wrote those initial sections explaining very carefully what a sentence is and what a sentential function is. If you are doing a course in a school, the prof helps the student with these subtle but extremely important concepts. For someone like me who is doing self study of pure math, these sections are extremely useful.
I would like to stress that it is an INTRODUCTORY course and it lives very well to the title. If you are really familiar with this matter, then I suggest you move on to Schoenfeld's or Rautenberg's books.
All in all, this has been a great book to read so far and I am quite positive that it will prove crucial in me being able to read the more advanced books on mathematical logic.
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications (27 March 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 048628462X
- ISBN-13: 978-0486284620
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.3 x 21.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 249 g
- Customer Reviews: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)