Teach Yourself Logic: A Study Guide (and other Book Notes)

Most philosophy departments, and many maths departments too, teach little or no serious logic, despite the centrality of the subject. Many students will therefore need to teach themselves, either solo or by organizing study groups. But what to read? Students need annotated reading lists for self-study, giving advice about the available texts. The Teach Yourself Logic Study Guide aims to provide the needed advice by suggesting some stand-out books on various areas of mathematical logic. (NB: mathematical logic — so we are working a step up from the kind of ‘baby logic’ that philosophers may encounter in their first year courses.) There are also supplements and further Book Notes of various kinds.


The main Guide and its Appendix are in PDF form, designed for on-screen reading. Learning mathematical logic involves a serious time commitment, and different people have different backgrounds/requirements, so you’ll want detailed advice from which you can work out which books might work for you. That’s why the Guide is substantial. But it is friendly and (I hope!) informative. Try it out!


If the Guide’s length makes it sound daunting, there are also some supplementary webpages which might help ease your way in:

And here are some additional webpages:

  • Serious Set Theory The final section of the Guide in stand-alone form.
  • Category Theory The first of some planned supplements.
  • Book Notes  Links to separate webpages on the books covered in the Appendix and also to other books on logic and the philosophy of mathematics. Latest new page added 28 Sept. 2104.

It goes without saying, of course, that all constructive comments and suggestions continue to be most warmly welcomed. Many thanks, in particular, to those who have earlier sent comments which are now deleted because I’ve taken up (or plan to take up) the suggestions in newer versions of the Guide.

4 Responses to Teach Yourself Logic: A Study Guide (and other Book Notes)

  1. Samuel T. X. Khoo says:

    I would like to know what you think of Katalin Bimbó’s new book “Proof Theory: Sequent Calculi and Related Formalisms” (2014, Taylor and Francis). It’s a textbook aimed at advanced undergraduates focusing ‘on sequent calculi for various non-classical logics, from intuitionistic logic to relevance logic, linear logic, and modal logic.’

    Do you think it would be suitable for learning more about sequent calculi in general, and proof theory in specific?

  2. Rowsety Moid says:

    I’ve noticed a new category theory book that takes a different sort of approach: Category Theory for the Sciences by David I. Spivak (MIT Press). It’s not quite out in the UK but is available from US Amazon. It focuses on ideas and examples, rather than proofs for theorems, and it looks like it aims to show how category theory can be useful outside mathematics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>