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Symbolic Logic (5th Edition) [Paperback]

Irving M. Copi Late
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 1979 0023249803 978-0023249808 5
For courses in Formal Logic. The general approach of this book to logic remains the same as in earlier editions. Following Aristotle, we regard logic from two different points of view: on the one hand, logic is an instrument or organon for appraising the correctness of reasoning; on the other hand, the principles and methods of logic used as organon are interesting and important topics to be themselves systematically investigated.

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From the Publisher

The general approach of this book to logic remains the same as in earlier editions. Following Aristotle, we regard logic from two different points of view: on the one hand, logic is an instrument or organon for appraising the correctness of reasoning; on the other hand, the principles and methods of logic used as organon are interesting and important topics to be themselves systematically investigated.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, But Outdated June 30 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I thourougly enjoyed learning from this book, and it became the foundation of my analytic philosophy knowledge.
That said, I do not recommend this book as a text for those attempting to learn logic today. The symbolic language that is used and the mode of problem-solving demonstrated by Copi in this work is long since outdated and using this text will only confuse a logic amateur when they move on to more current and complicated logic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a classic textbook on logic Sept. 19 2000
Format:Paperback
This was my first textbook on logic and it has a warm place in my heart. It is not very current or modern, and it's probably not appropriate for teaching logic in the math or computer science departments, but otherwise, it's a lovely book. The two nicest features of this book are the wealth of interesting exercises and the emphasis on language: The correspondence between sentences in English and propositions in logic.
Re the logical structure of English sentences, I would like to note that I used many of the exercises from this book in a logic class I taught a few years ago, and was stunned to see the difficulties students were having: Difficulties in comprehending the logical structure of a sentence in English and then expressing this structure using Boolean connectives and quantifiers. I found this discovery both alarming and curious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is "the" book to use. Feb. 10 1999
Format:Paperback
This was the book I used when I took symbolic logic in college. Very self explanitory - the book can be used to learn symbolic logic on your own. Why? Simply because it's fun!
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My Background: Graduate Computer Science student, emphasis in complex programming.
Most programmers never get beyond the first-order (unquantified) predicate calculus introduced in the standard finite math course. This text goes to the next level in formal logic, teaching how to prove or disprove that a quantified expression follows logically from a group of premises.
Copi's notation is concise, leads to elegant proofs, and to proofs which are much shorter than many of the tree methods.
Even if you don't feel that you have the stamina to take on quantified logic, the book is an excellent text to unquantified rules of inference. But the real wealth here is the treatment of UI, UG, EI, and EG. To become fluent with this notation requires diligently working the host of example problems in each chapter, but the result will be problem-solving abilities that are much more flexible than the abilities of mathematics alone. You may find yourself becoming addicted to formal logic! Steve
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent text dealing with 2nd order predicate calculus. July 7 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My Background: Graduate Computer Science student, emphasis in complex programming.
Most programmers never get beyond the first-order (unquantified) predicate calculus introduced in the standard finite math course. This text goes to the next level in formal logic, teaching how to prove or disprove that a quantified expression follows logically from a group of premises.
Copi's notation is concise, leads to elegant proofs, and to proofs which are much shorter than many of the tree methods.
Even if you don't feel that you have the stamina to take on quantified logic, the book is an excellent text to unquantified rules of inference. But the real wealth here is the treatment of UI, UG, EI, and EG. To become fluent with this notation requires diligently working the host of example problems in each chapter, but the result will be problem-solving abilities that are much more flexible than the abilities of mathematics alone. You may find yourself becoming addicted to formal logic! Steve
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, But Outdated June 30 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I thourougly enjoyed learning from this book, and it became the foundation of my analytic philosophy knowledge.
That said, I do not recommend this book as a text for those attempting to learn logic today. The symbolic language that is used and the mode of problem-solving demonstrated by Copi in this work is long since outdated and using this text will only confuse a logic amateur when they move on to more current and complicated logic.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Foundations of Formal Logic Oct. 5 2005
By S. Wuest - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
S. Wuest, M.S. in Computer Science, AI, Data Fusion

Caveats to the Rating:

1. You had better be willing to work at this book

2. This is a classical, analytical approach

3. The terminology is not the easiest

Strengths of this book:

1. Serial proof notation

2. Much emphasis on the accurate representation of ideas

3. The approach to formal logic is analytical (as opposed

to brute force, "sub-logical" algorithms such as

resolution). This provides a theoretical background for

sound algorithm design that is lacking in programmers only

familiar with resolution

4. The quantified exercises given begin to develop intuition

as to the most efficient ways to combine multiple

operations--such heuristics are key to designing automated

proof generators.

5. I have only found about 1 error in the answers.

I agree with the comment of Mayer: many technical people do not

know how to accurately represent English statements in a formal

logic notation. I work with engineers, and have observed the

confusion of cause and effect in their rule writing, and the

confusion of abductive pattern matching with deductive reasoning

(abductive pattern matching is not covered in the book).

Exercises in representing English sentences in symbolic logic

notation would soon fix this confusion.

I rate one of the strengths of Copi's notation to be the serial

proof (as opposed to tree). Tree notations blows up

combinatorially, and become useless for anything but toy

problems. Tree notations may be more intuitive, but have too low

a glass ceiling.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a classic textbook on logic Sept. 19 2000
By Mayer Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was my first textbook on logic and it has a warm place in my heart. It is not very current or modern, and it's probably not appropriate for teaching logic in the math or computer science departments, but otherwise, it's a lovely book. The two nicest features of this book are the wealth of interesting exercises and the emphasis on language: The correspondence between sentences in English and propositions in logic.
Re the logical structure of English sentences, I would like to note that I used many of the exercises from this book in a logic class I taught a few years ago, and was stunned to see the difficulties students were having: Difficulties in comprehending the logical structure of a sentence in English and then expressing this structure using Boolean connectives and quantifiers. I found this discovery both alarming and curious.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid introduction to the study Dec 20 2004
By Jon Torodash - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Copi's textbook lays out all of the basic concepts in symbolic logic necessary for more advanced work as well as many of the fundamentals of discrete mathematics. Some people have commented that his treatment is outdated, but a thorough understanding of chapters 6, 8, and 10 should equip anyone to understand the newer forms of notation. Chapter 7 is notably excellent but seemed out of place. As the most advanced of the whole book, it relates more than later chapters to the "further reading" topics. Proof of the redundancy of "indirect proof" (chapter 3?) and multi-modal logic were other very notable highlights.

A few criticisms: Copi explains the quantification rules of first order predicate logic rather tersely for a primer, and I was glad to have used Virginia Klenk's book originally when encountering these concepts. (Although Klenk's explanation of EI and UG are non-standard and will make transitioning very confusing if you cannot grasp the validity of her methods.) The index only provides a step by step answer key for selected exercises, which leaves stuck if Copi has solved only one problem to demonstrate some concept which still isn't clear. Finally, the binding on this book is just cheap. On all copies that I have encountered, the glued pages were breaking away from the spine after only a few months of regular use. Perhaps the newer edition is better, but I haven't had experience with it.

Despite these rather minor shortcomings, Copi's work unfolds almost as systematically as the content it teaches. This is an excellent introduction.
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