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, linked below, 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. You can also find here some 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 full Guide is rather long. But it is (I hope) approachable written and informative. Try it out here:
- Teach Yourself Logic 2105: A Study Guide (PDF, iv + 94 pp.) Last updated 1 Jan 2015.
- Appendix: Some Big Books on Mathematical Logic (PDF, 39pp.) Comments on a number of the more general, multi-area, textbooks on mathematical logic. Last updated 2 August 2014.
If the Guide’s length makes it sound daunting, there are also some supplementary webpages which might help ease your way in:
- About the Guide Is the Guide for you? A short excerpt on the general aim of the Guide and what it covers.
- The Very Short Teach Yourself Logic Guide A summary of the headline recommendations on the core mathematical logic curriculum.
And here are some additional webpages:
- Serious Set Theory The final section of the Guide in stand-alone form.
- Category Theory A supplementary page linking to a reading list, my work-in-progress Notes on Category Theory, and other on-line resources
- Book Notes Links to separate webpages on the books covered in the Appendix and also to various 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.