The Game of Logic Hardcover – August 8, 2015
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- Publisher : Andesite Press (August 8, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 116 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1297503112
- ISBN-13 : 978-1297503115
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.14 x 0.31 x 9.21 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,974,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Before buying the paperback, I read all the comments here on the poor layout of the tables in the Kindle edition, but I am sad to say that the print edition is only marginally better. I'd like to send this book back, but Amazon doesn't want it even with a refund. I agree, it's more trouble than it's worth.
Tables are composed of ASCII characters pipe and underscore, with atrocious layout errors such as the mixture of fixed- and variable-width fonts, tables continuing on the next page, misalignment due to section numbers being inserted in the MIDDLE of the table, and the general ugliness of these illustrations.
Very disappointed, and putting HardPress Publishing on my dead-to-me list.
If you want to see what these tables were supposed to look like, check out Google Books' free PDF scan of Carroll's Symbolic Logic.
I just ordered this one as a replacement (looks like the tables are well-set in this version):
Symbolic Logic and the Game of Logic (Dover Recreational Math)
Using a clever set of box diagrams and colored counters, you'll discover how to understand and manipulate the four categorical propositions: A-propositions ("All X are Y"), I-propositions ("Some X are Y"), E-propositions ("No X are Y"), and O-propositions ("Some X are not-Y"). You'll begin by learning how to transfer the propositions to the box diagrams and how to read the propositions from the box diagrams, and then you'll use these skills to process syllogisms (and pseudo-syllogisms). I was especially impressed with how you can use the two diagrams to collapse the middle term(s) in a syllogism and how logical fallacies play out on the diagrams. Even though I was familiar with the material, I still found Carroll's game intellectually stimulating and loads of fun.
What's amusing is how Carroll seems to realize that his logic game isn't going to be a crowd hit (not that it was intended as such). Probably with a resigned sense of futility, he still proceeds to drum up whatever excitement he can with a humor that can be interpreted as hilariously self-deprecating. Thus he mentions that his game requires only one player: "I am not aware of any Game that can be played with LESS than this number." He contrasts that with cricket: "How much easier it is, when you want to play a Game, to find ONE Player than twenty-two." He says his game provides a little instruction as well as amusement and rushes to defend this minor inconvenience: "But is there any great harm in THAT, so long as you get plenty of amusement?" He offers a compelling benefit for knowing the words PROPOSITION, ATTRIBUTE, TERM, SUBJECT, PREDICATE, PARTICULAR, and UNIVERSAL: ". . . if any friend should happen to ask if you have ever studied Logic. Mind you bring all seven words into your answer, and your friend will go away deeply impressed." He congratulates the reader's progress: "And you have now worked out, successfully, your first 'SYLLOGISM'. Permit me to congratulate you, and to express the hope that it is but the beginning of a long and glorious series of similar victories!" And he suggests finding company for his exciting new game: ". . . you may be safely left to play the Game by yourself, or (better) with any friend whom you can find, that is able and willing to take a share in the sport."
Really my only complaint is that the book is too short (there's actually only one chapter of content in three sections -- when looking at the table of contents, it's easy to miss that the other three chapters consist of exercise questions and solutions), but that's probably a good thing for the intended audience, and there's always his _Symbolic Logic_ for the keen student of logic.
Now, a couple of caveats that aren't Carroll's fault:
KINDLE FORMATTING: Carroll makes extensive use of block diagrams to convey his points. The Project Gutenberg text on which the Kindle edition is based reproduces these diagrams in ASCII form brilliantly. Unfortunately, the Kindle edition turns those brilliant ASCII diagrams into a chaotic mess, making the book completely unreadable. I strongly suggest reading the freely available Project Gutenberg text or one of the freely available scanned copies over at the Internet Archive.
A-PROPOSITIONS ASSIGNED EXISTENTIAL IMPORT: The flavor of logic Carroll uses in _The Game of Logic_ (and in _Symbolic Logic_, for that matter) is a little different from that of modern logic. If you're sufficiently new to logic, this won't be a problem at all. Nor will it be a problem if you're sufficiently advanced. But readers in between the two extremes may become confused if they try to relate what they may have learned elsewhere to Carroll's way of handling A-propositions ("All X are Y"). Here's the difference:
~~ Carroll's logic ~~
An A-proposition ("All X are Y") is understood as two sub-propositions:
(i) "Some X are Y" and
(ii) "No X are not-Y"
So the A-proposition ("All X are Y") implies the I-proposition ("Some X are Y"), an implication traditionally referred to as subalternation.
Because Carroll accepts that an I-proposition ("Some X are Y") has existential import ("There actually exists at least one X"), it follows that an A-proposition ("All X are Y") has existential import as well ("There actually exists at least one X").
If you say, truthfully, "All apples in the box are red," Carroll would take it for granted that the box has at least one apple.
~~ modern logic ~~
An A-proposition ("All X are Y") is understood differently, such as "Nothing is X without being Y."
So the A-proposition ("All X are Y") doesn't imply the I-proposition ("Some X are Y"). There's no subalternation.
Most modern logicians still accept that an I-proposition ("Some X are Y") has existential import ("There actually exists at least one X"), but they don't assign existential import to the A-proposition ("All X are Y").
If you say, truthfully, "All apples in the box are red," most modern logicians won't take it for granted that the box has at least one apple. There may be no apples in the box, and you'd still be telling the truth. (Incidentally, immediately after saying that, you could say, truthfully, "All apples in the box are not-red.") Essentially, when it comes to empty sets, you get a kind of free pass when it comes to what's true. (Don't have any movie-star friends? No problem! Modern logic lets you go around saying "All my movie-star friends are awesome!")
~~ other notes ~~
To his credit, Carroll does mention at the end of the first section his assigning of existential import to A-propositions, but the possible confusion would've already occurred by then.
And at the end of the second section, he discusses alternative systems of logic in which I-propositions ("Some X are Y") don't have existential import ("There actually exists at least one X"), but this obviously isn't a nod to modern logic, which, as seen above, does things differently.
In my mind, this tarnishes the whole Kindle experience. What is worse, the Amazon reviews (usually a powerful guide to quality or lack thereof) are dragged in as co-conspirators. To wit: The Game of Logic is a delightful book and the print edition certainly deserves several stars. The Kindle edition is a mess, as I and others have explained. Averaging the star ratings for the book with the star ratings for this Kindle edition provides deceptive guidance. I refrain from judging if this deception is intentional or just further sloppiness. I had come to have higher expectations of Amazon and of Kindle Books. This experience is a bit of a thud.
("1. The study of the principles of reasoning, especially of the structure of propositions as distinguished from their content and of method and validity in deductive reasoning.
a. A system of reasoning: Aristotle's logic.
b. A mode of reasoning: By that logic, we should sell the company tomorrow.
c. The formal, guiding principles of a discipline, school, or science.
3. Valid reasoning: Your paper lacks the logic to prove your thesis.
4. The relationship between elements and between an element and the whole in a set of objects, individuals, principles, or events: There's a certain logic to the motion of rush-hour traffic.
5. Computer Science
a. The nonarithmetic operations performed by a computer, such as sorting, comparing, and matching, that involve yes-no decisions.
b. Computer circuitry.
c. Graphic representation of computer circuitry.") The Game of Logic
Without readble diagrams the book is pointless.
This is just a copy of txt version of Gutenberg project edition. If they used the html version the text would keep the format of the tables.
Amazon does not emphasize or even show the publisher of digital editions making impossible to select a good one, as if all digital editions were equal. This is irresponsible and borderline criminal.
Top reviews from other countries
In order to describe the ideas and principles of logic in a way that makes them easy and accessible, Carroll designed his book around the idea of a game.
In his original book he `drew' the game board on a typewriter using horizontal and vertical dash characters carefully spaced to create the board's grid. Unfortunately in the Kindle HTML converts these carefully crafted diagrams into a jumble of random characters and all of the scanned conversions of his book suffer from this destruction of the diagrams.
One approach is to create new versions of the diagrams as in The Game of Logic - Elite Illustrated Edition to create an updated version which takes full advantage of the eBook format.
The book reviewed here takes a different approach and instead comprises `photographic' images of each of the pages. Thus you have a `facsimile copy' of the original which avoids the problems with the diagrams, but also loses the advantages of the electronic book.
The Kindle device simply displays the book as a series of fixed pictures so it's not possible for example to search the text or alter the font size and the opportunities for navigating through the text are lost.
As the page images are rather small with the text displayed as black on grey in a fixed small font, the result is rather more a curio than an effective eBook.
The result is a facsimile of the original, but not an effective way to discover Carroll's work.
As the title suggests, Carroll uses the framework of a game to aid communication of what otherwise might be dry or difficult concepts.
The book relies heavily on a large number of diagrams illustrating the `playing board'. Carroll originally `drew' these on a typewriter using simple vertical and horizontal dashes carefully spaced to form grids.
HTML automatically converts all strings of spaces into single spaces and the result is that the diagrams are reduced to an incoherent clump of characters that make no sense at all.
As the diagrams are used both to describe the ideas and concepts, and also to define the questions posed to the reader and their corresponding solutions, this edition of the book is thus virtually worthless.
This is a great book, but not this edition. Search for a version that has properly drawn diagrams such as this one The Game of Logic - Elite Illustrated Edition .