Logical Forms: An Introduction to Philosophical Logic

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9780631177784: Logical Forms: An Introduction to Philosophical Logic
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This book is primarily intended for people who have some acquaintance with deductive methods in elementary formal logic, but who have yet to study associated philosophical problems. Russell coined the phrase "philosophical logic" to describe the process whereby sentences are formalized in the language of logic. Most of this book is devoted to problems which arise when attempts are made to formalize English in logical languages. The rest considers the rationale behind this activity. The exercises in the text are designed to encourage readers to contribute their own thoughts to the various problems.

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When is a reason for doing or believing something a good reason? Over the past century, logic's contribution to answering this question has typically involved finding ''logical forms": that is, using a special notation to bring out logical features more clearly.

The correct identification of logical forms has been held to be important not only to logic but also to philosophy. Bertrand Russell coined the phrase "philosophical logic" to describe an approach to philosophical problems: find the correct logical form of the problematic sentences, and the problems vanish. Logical Forms explains both the theoretical underpinnings of the approach and the detailed problems involved in finding logical forms in the languages of propositional logic, classical first order logic, modal logic, and some alternatives such as free logic, binary and substitutional quantifiers.

This revised edition incorporates results of recent work. Chapter 3 on conditionals, and the sections dealing with predicate quantifiers, free logics and subjunctive conditionals have been completely rewritten. The exercises are integrated throughout the book, and each chapter concludes with updated notes to guide further reading. The result is a genuinely interactive introduction which engages the reader in developing the argument.

This book does not presuppose knowledge of deductive methods in formal logic and it will be of immense benefit to those approaching philosophical logic for the first time.

About the Author:

Mark Sainsbury is Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King's College London. He is the author of Russell (1979) and Paradoxes (second edition, 1995).

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