4
$\begingroup$

I've always been interested in logic, but unfortunately my school contains no logicians. What are some good logic puzzles/books and how would I know if logic is right for me?

Also, what can I do with logic? Is it strictly academic? Can I do math with it?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Mathematical logic is not about puzzles. It's not "logical thinking" as many people may think it would be. Looking at puzzles is absolutely no indication to whether or not you are going to be good in logic. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Oct 9 '13 at 13:38
4
$\begingroup$

There are several questions here, but maybe I can answer the ones in the last paragraph. Different occupations use logic in different amounts. Probably mathematical logicians use it the most, other mathematicians, somewhat less, and some other professionals such as lawyers use it even less, but still more than the average person. Here I am talking about informal logical reasoning, which is a mode of thinking that helps with many things in life. Mathematical logic and formal logic, by contrast, are academic subjects (although of course they do have some relation with the layman's notion of logic.)

Being a mathematical logician is quite different from just practicing logical thinking. Mathematical logic is a big field of mathematics that includes set theory, model theory, recursion theory, and proof theory. Formal logic underlies all of these fields, but once you learn it, you can proceed to reason informally almost as much of the time as you can in other areas of math. In short, logic isn't only about logical reasoning, just as math isn't only about numerical calculation. Probably the only way to know if you like mathematical logic is to be introduced to some of its subject matter (perhaps someone else will answer with some suggested reading for you.)

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

You may try to read some of the Raymond Smullyan puzzle books. He is professional logician and he popularizes logic. He wrote his puzzle books which concern many different topics of logic. One I especially like is "To Mock a Mockingbird" it is about combinatory logic. Another author you may try is Ian Steward. He also writes puzzle books but they are quite different. Personally I prefer Smullyan. I think his books are more educative. Both authors write books that are suitable for layman.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.