Logic: The Laws of Truth Hardcover – 12 June 2012
From the Back Cover
"Smith's book combines accessibility with comprehensiveness in a way that I have not found in other texts. It is very readable and well paced, but does not sacrifice precision. Difficult issues aren't glossed over or skipped, but are introduced at a gentle pace for novice logicians. As a teacher of logic, I see real benefits in Smith's approach."--Jennifer Duke-Yonge, Macquarie University, Australia
"Lots of books aim to provide a first introduction to symbolic logic. I predict that this one will be widely adopted throughout the English-speaking world. One of its unique strengths is that it broaches important philosophical issues that naturally arise in connection with symbolic logic. The book thus serves both as an introduction to logic itself and to the philosophy of logic."--Stewart Shapiro, editor of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic
- Publisher : Princeton University Press; 1st edition (12 June 2012)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 544 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0691151636
- ISBN-13 : 978-0691151632
- Dimensions : 15.49 x 4.06 x 23.37 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 120,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The terms and vocabulary of the text have an understated but consistent informational tone and informational concepts are put to good use without being distracting or obstructive. They are introduced in order to promote understanding of propositions and semantic content. The concept of referring terms and semantic content is presented using the idea of the conveyance of information about a state of affairs. This demonstrates that the scholarly underpinnings of the text are informed by the latest developments in the philosophy of information and associated developments in logic (See Luciano Floridi's analysis of 'the information that' in relation to his IL or information(al) logic: The Philosophy of Information ). This approach is also conducive to handling the concepts associated with propositions and truth.
PL and truth tables are presented before trees, and then predicate logic is introduced in a helpful stepwise manner. Explanations of quantifiers, variables and scope is clear, comprehensive, and effective. Chapter 6 provides an in depth and yet accessible explanation of the differences between natural languages and PL, and helps clarify the project and theme of the entire book (the laws of truth) which is established in the earlier chapters. The progression through monadic to general predicate logic in part II is well executed with a solid step by step development and consolidation of key concepts, and again the theme of the book is reinforced.
The syntactic/semantic distinction is treated well throughout and the notation is presented systematically in a helpful manner in step with the explanatory content.
I found the text excellent for my own revision, and would recommend it for that purpose and for the purpose of tutoring undergraduate students.
P.S. Like most Kindle editions, this one would benefit from a mapping of page numbers to location numbers in the text, but the sections and exercises are all labelled amply with section and subsection numbers and so it is not difficult to search for the material students are interested in referring to from their hardcopy texts.