Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The delights of moving semicolons

I have been very distracted over the last week reading and re-reading IFL. The trouble with writing or tinkering with something like a logic textbook is that there is no obvious point where you should call a halt to the revisions. You can always make it just that little bit better. Even if it is merely changing a bit of punctuation to improve the structure of a sentence.

Still, on the whole, I'm quite enjoying the job. I certainly feel more warmly inclined to IFL than I did. But it has also made me want to rethink how I should run my first-year lectures based on the book. Our students are a bright bunch. Rereading IFL, it's mostly extremely clear (although I say so myself!). Given the back-up of logic example classes, students can actually teach themselves a lot of stuff just from the book. This year, I think I'll try using some of the lectures to range a bit more widely around and about what's in the book itself. More fun for me and surely more fun for the audience.


Anonymous said...

Based on this post, I checked your logic text out of the library and I am enjoying it very much.

I am having trouble with "validity". The intuitive definition you give on page 4 makes perfect sense to me, but we've been given another definition that confuses me, and I am trying to make sense of it all.

"It's impossible for all of the premises to be true and the conclusion false".

And we are told if the premises include a contradiction (cannot be true), and the conclusion is a tautology, then we can satisfy this definition.

And I can't understand this.

Anonymous said...

Your book really is very good. You answer my questions above directly and reasonably. I think the structure of your book is very good. It is helping me a lot. Thanks!