# Philosophers - How hard is formal logic?

Ive herd people mention it and was wondering how much of a mathematician do you have to be?
I'm by no means a mathematician and I haven't found it too bad.

It was quite easy in the first term here, so they ease you into it. I don't know about the other philosophers, but I've felt quite a leap between the logic in the first term and this term. This term I'm finding it quite a bit harder.

I generally find the textbook we work out of is very good, more useful than the lectures. We get logic exercises once a fortnight and a logic class in which we go over our exercises, so anything you don't understand you get the opportunity to discuss with a grad student and fellow first-years.

So basically, you don't need to be good at maths, and as long as you make a conscious effort to read the chapters and do the exercises there should be no problems.
k that sounds cool.
is there anything i shud read b4 i (HOPEFULLY :s) start re: logic?
Is it possible to get hold your logic textbook?!
An Introduction to Formal Logic, Peter Smith, Cambridge University Press.

This book is basically the syllabus for the Part 1A Formal Logic course. It also has online worksheets. I managed to follow the course even though I'm not a Philosopher and my maths peaked about 25 years ago with a C grade O level. I just read the book and went to the lectures, no maths required. I think more maths may be required if you take the course into the second year?
Okeydokey, thanks for that. Might have a look at it
Dan=)
k that sounds cool.
is there anything i shud read b4 i (HOPEFULLY :s) start re: logic?

There's no need...they start from scratch and don't expect any prior knowledge in the logic lectures. I did read Hodge's 'Logic' before I came up but it wasn't beneficial. I'd say spend time revising for your A-levels instead and then just enjoy the summmer

threeportdrift
I think more maths may be required if you take the course into the second year?

Logic is compulsory in the second year though, so I hope not.
Jigglypuff

Logic is compulsory in the second year though, so I hope not.

My bad, I thought I had seen something about mathematical logic in the Reporter, but it may be an optional course rather than a section of the compulsory logic course.

I looked it up! Part 1B Logic doesn't appear to be any more mathematical. For Part II, there seem to be two Logic papers, Mathematical Logic and Philosophical Logic. Looks like maths can be avoided pretty well all the way then!
*Sigh* I try and procrastinate on TSR and what happens? I start reading a thread reminding me of the work I should be doing. Anyway, if you really want something to read, try 'The Languages of Logic' by Guttenplan. I only read the first couple of chapters, but it's supposed to be better than the Smith book. Like Jigglypuff said, though, you don't really need to - the lectures start off very basic.
No, if you're wanting help with the formal logic elements of the 1A logic paper, then read the Smith book. Peter Smith is the examiner who sets the questions, and he is also the lecturer. It makes sense to read and work from his book.

Personally, I don't see how any introductory formal logic book could be better. It's clear, easy to follow, and doesn't shy away from demonstrating the proofs where they're necessary. What more do you need?

re: how hard it is, some people find it very easy and some people find it very hard. This doesn't seem to relate much to how good they are at philosophy. You can pretty much avoid ever having to work with it, though. There is one compulsory "formal" question on the 1A Logic paper, but that will normally include questions on set theory and probability as well as QL translation and logic trees. Personally, I found the worksheets a nice change from reading and writing essays, but I should be a mathmo really.
matho... hmm.. i keep saying that to owen...
coldfish
No, if you're wanting help with the formal logic elements of the 1A logic paper, then read the Smith book. Peter Smith is the examiner who sets the questions, and he is also the lecturer. It makes sense to read and work from his book.

Personally, I don't see how any introductory formal logic book could be better. It's clear, easy to follow, and doesn't shy away from demonstrating the proofs where they're necessary. What more do you need?

I was assuming that anyone who does philosophy at Cambridge would read the Smith book when they got here - the Guttenplan would be if the OP wanted something extra. You definitely need the Smith book for the actual Logic course - sorry if my post made it sound like you didn't.

Edit:
groovy_moose
matho... hmm.. i keep saying that to owen...

Yes, and I keep pointing out that you also want to do SPS and Linguistics, and the only subject where you get to do stuff that relates to all 3 is philosophy
Laus, Laus, Laus...
Yes? Is there something you want to ask? I can't seem to get rid of you
ha ha ha!