A Study Guide (and other Book Notes)
A re-titled, expanded version of the old Teach Yourself Logic study guide. This is a book length guide to suitable texts either for teaching yourself logic by individual self-study, or to supplement a university course. You only need to read just the first half-dozen pages to see if this is for you!
- Beginning Mathematical Logic: A Study Guide [18 Feb 2022]
The Guide is also available as a very inexpensive paperback, about the price of a couple of coffees, but only direct from Amazon (sorry!) as this minimizes the price for you: ISBN 1916906338.
- Corrections to printed versions
- Appendix: Some Big Books on Mathematical Logic (pdf)
- Book Notes (links to 38 book-by-book webpages, the content overlapping with the Appendix)
About the Study Guide, in more detail
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. In 2012, I started the Teach Yourself Logic Study Guide, which aimed to provide the needed advice by suggesting some stand-out books on various areas of mathematical logic. NB: it covered mathematical logic — so we are working a step up from what’s rudely called “baby logic” (that philosophers may encounter in their first year courses).
The Guide went through a lot of iterations over the years, ending up in a somewhat untidy and uneven state. So it was time for an end-to-end rewrite. After a couple of preliminary chapters, Chapters 3 to 9 introduce core topics from the mathematical logic curriculum, and suggest suitable entry-level reading. Chapters 10 and 11 broaden the scope just a bit. And then there is a final Chapter 12 pointing to more advanced texts on the core topics.
Mathematical logic is indeed a big subject, and different people have different backgrounds and/or requirements. So you’ll want detailed advice from which you can work out which books on which areas might be suitable for you. That’s why the Guide is so long. But there are a lot of pointers to help you find your way around.
About the Appendix and Book Notes
Most of the recommendations are in the Guide are for books which focus on particular areas. But I have added an Appendix reviewing some of the big multi-area textbooks on mathematical logic. The same reviews can also be found in the suite of Book Notes, which also comment on various other books on logic and the philosophy of mathematics.
It goes without saying, of course, that all constructive comments and suggestions continue to be most warmly welcomed. Many thanks, in particular, to all 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.