The Four Best Books on Logic

Lennox Johnson Books

This page contains a list of the best books on logic. To be clear, there is no single best book on logic. The best book for you will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time that you want to spend reading about logic. An 800-page scholarly overview is unlikely to be best for someone looking for a short beginner-friendly introduction, for example. This list aims to take this ambiguity into account by featuring books that will appeal to a variety of learning styles.

Secondly, this is not a list of personal recommendations. It was created by compiling recommendations from a variety of online sources including bibliographies, course syllabi, and community recommendations. You can find out more about this process here. Links to the sources used to create this list are at the end of the post. Following these links will help you quickly find a wider range of options if the listed books do not fit what you are looking for.

Here are the best books on logic in no particular order.

Logic: A Very Short Introduction – Graham Priest

Category: Short Introduction | Length: 184 pages | Published: 2017 (2e)

Publisher description: Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are
explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy.

In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics.

A Concise Introduction to Logic – Patrick J. Hurley & Lori Watson

Category: Comprehensive Introduction | Length: 736 pages | Published: 2017 (13e)

Publisher description: Over a million students have learned to be more discerning at constructing and evaluating arguments with the help of A CONCISE INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC, 13th Edition. The text’s clear, friendly, thorough presentation has made it the most widely used logic text in North America. The book shows you how the content connects to real-life problems and gives you everything you need to do well in your logic course. Doing well in logic improves your skills in ways that translate to other courses you take, your everyday life, and your future career. The accompanying technological resources offered through MindTap, a highly robust online platform, include self-grading interactive exercises, a new digital activity that allows you to apply the skills you learn to a real-world problem, and videos to reinforce what you learn in the book and hear in class.

Introduction to Logic – Irving M. Copi et al.

Category: Comprehensive Introduction | Length: 654 pages | Published: 2010 (14e)

Publisher description: Introduction to Logic is a proven textbook that has been honed through the collaborative efforts of many scholars over the last five decades.  Its scrupulous attention to detail and precision in exposition and explanation is matched by the greatest accuracy in all associated detail.  In addition, it continues to capture student interest through its personalized human setting and current examples. The 14th Edition of Introduction to Logic, written by Copi, Cohen & McMahon, is dedicated to the many thousands of students and their teachers – at hundreds of universities in the United States and around the world – who have used its fundamental methods and techniques of correct reasoning in their everyday lives.

A Companion to Philosophical Logic – Dale Jacquette

Category: Overview | Length: 816 pages | Published: 2002

Publisher description:

This collection of newly commissioned essays by international contributors offers a representative overview of the most important developments in contemporary philosophical logic.

  • Presents controversies in philosophical implications and applications of formal symbolic logic.
  • Surveys major trends and offers original insights

The following sources were used to build this list:

University Course Syllabi:


Other Recommendations:

The Daily Idea was created to help make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by collecting the best philosophy articles, videos, podcasts, and book recommendations from across the internet and organizing them into one place. You can find a collection of links to these resources and recommendations here or try taking the 52 Book Philosophy Challenge.