Luis Augusto’s Formal Logic

“Of making many logic books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” The author of logical Ecclesiastes had probably just been reading the likes of Luis M. Augusto’s unnecessary Formal Logic: Classical Problems and Proofs (College Publications, 2019). I’ve noted before that this publisher’s quality control is lousy. Fortunately, because its books are relatively inexpensive, you can take the chance and order one which has a tempting-seeming  blurb, without cursing too much if the punt doesn’t come off.

This particular book aims to highlight problems which, though they “feature in introductory logic textbooks aimed at computer science students, … are largely or wholly absent from textbooks targeting a mathematical or philosophical studentship.” Looking for books with a compsci angle for the Logic Guide, I was intrigued.  But, apart from being written in poor almost-English, the technical exposition here is unappealingly hard going, and the level of motivational explanation third-rate. It could be so much better. So this is just a warning note: if you are similarly tempted by the blurb for this book, simply resist. And if that sounds a bit tetchy, it could be because my flesh is more than a bit weary after trying to study it for a day.

1 thought on “Luis Augusto’s Formal Logic”

  1. It’s so funny that you review this book. I recently purchased Odysseus Makridis’ two-volume Fathoming Formal Logic, published by the same company. I too was taken aback by the formatting and typesetting of the book. The font is humongous and much of the text is jumbled or misplaced, which often interferes with the interpretation of certain symbols and statements, as do the rather awkward exposition and frequent misspellings. It also, unfortunately, doesn’t have a bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes. I bought it mainly because I was interested in texts that cover the metatheory of first-order logic in greater detail than the usual introductory texts. I suppose it’s reasonable to assume that it does, though how well and how completely remains to be seen. I’d be curious to know your thoughts on its contents if you’re ever inclined to read it.

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