A Logic Book

A Logic Book: Fundamentals of Reasoning by Robert M. Johnson is an introductory book to logic. It begins by explaining what logic is all about, what constitutes a valid argument, and then goes into ways of determining if an argument is invalid. It explains the use of truth tables, gets into common reasons that arguments can be flawed, and is full of a variety of examples.

I used this book as part of a college class on logic. It seemed that everybody in the class had complaints about the book and its obtuse language. Many people ended up going to other books and to websites in order to figure out what the topic at hand was. Some people were so confused by the book's descriptions that they ended up with absolutely backwards understandings of concepts.

Certainly I'm not saying that what the book is presenting is *wrong*. It's just not written in the most understandable way, so that a person new to the topic could easily draw in and learn the material.

I earned an A in the course, so it's not that I found the overall idea of logic confusing. I have several other books on logic and they did a much better job of explaining the material, so that I could then explain it more thoroughly to my classmates and understand it myself.

I also found some of the examples in the book to be questionable. For example, in Chapter two, there is the following example to evaluate:

1. Abortion is the act of killing the fetus.
2. The fetus is a person.
3. Killing a person is morally wrong.
4. Therefore, abortion is morally wrong.

This is a class on logic, not on morals. I'm uncomfortable with a book on logic using charged material for its examples. Surely the lesson could be taught with examples involving cats and dogs, rather than abortion.

In the end, especially given the astronomically high price for a book which doesn't even have color images to justify its high price, I would say to give a pass on this one.

I purchased this book with my own funds in order to take a college course on logic.

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