Learning about logic

I’ve just finished up reading The Philosopher’s Toolkit. It’s not a bad introduction, but it’s really more of a reference point than anything you’d read through (which was my mistake). Probably good for a high school library.

The thing that drove me crazy, though, was the author’s unwillingness to take a stand on a single point. Probably appropriate in a catalogue like that, but … it strikes me as implausible that a professional philosopher has no opinions on this stuff.

UPDATE: Although, I should say that there was one passage I absolutely loved. After describing how Einsteinian relativity is abused in other contexts, Baggini and Fosl write:

Philosopher of mathematics Kurt Godel’s (1906–78) incompleteness theorem suffers from a similar fate. The reality is that, unless you’ve studied mathematics at a very high level, you probably don’t understand what Godel’s theorem means, let alone what its implications are for other areas of philosophy…

It is tempting to draw all sorts of implications from Gödel’s theorem to philosophy in general, but often rash and difficult to do so.

I like that. As someone who struggled through Godel’s Proof at university, I still have no idea what the theorem means. Maybe one day.


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