Logic for Fun & Profit

Logic for Fun & Profit

by Sanford W Wood




This book is intended to be used for an introductory course in logic that includes both traditional and contemporary approaches to the study of logic. Throughout the book, humorous examples of logical errors are used in a style that is both light-hearted and witty to keep students actively engaged in the exercises. Also, the subject matter is presented in such a way that it is attractive to those who have a personal interest in pursuing the mental challenges of logic on their own.

The exercises begin with a warm-up of “mental calisthenics”, proceeding to humorous examples of misuse of language, and gradually moving to mathematical and computer logic as each chapter builds upon the lessons of the preceding one. Each chapter contains sample exercises with solutions, followed by additional exercises that can be worked in class or assigned for students to work on their own. Where rigor is required, clarity of exposition is supplemented with detailed examples. The Appendix contains solutions to odd-numbered exercises. The solutions provide not only the answers but explanations of how the answers are derived so that students can understand the methods they should use to reach their logical conclusion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781644560372
Publisher: Sanford W. Wood
Publication date: 08/24/2019
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Sanford W. Wood received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt at the age of 29. Some years later he returned to graduate school for post-doctoral studies in computer science and artificial intelligence. During his 40-year teaching career, his preferred subject of instruction was logic.

Near the end of his career, Dr. Wood began organizing his cumulative knowledge to create a logic textbook that would be both challenging and engaging for students, going beyond the often dry applications most commonly found in other texts. But his wife's failing health forced him to put his work on hold for several years. After her death, Dr. Wood was able to return to his endeavor, completing it in 2019.
He now lives alone with his two cats and pursues his hobbies - gardening and cooking. He maintains a large vegetable garden with a small orchard, and uses the produce he grows to make jams, pickles, and sweetbreads to give to friends and family and sell at the local farmers' market. He is still active in church and civic affairs, where he often accepted positions of responsibility in years past. However, as he approaches 80, Dr. Wood has decided to take a more passive role and pass the baton on to the younger generation, preferring now to spend his time in quiet contemplation with his cats and his garden.

Danielle Johnston has been a freelance graphic designer for over 5 years and is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in graphic designs. She draws her inspiration primarily from Disney and anime. Disney having instilled values, and the beliefs, of magic and wonder in childhood, while anime inspired fun and crazy creative worlds that pushed the boundaries of the imagination later in life.

Table of Contents

Preface vii


Mental Calisthenics

Identifying Problems

Math Word Problems


Position Puzzles

Relationship Puzzles

Matrix Puzzles

Logic and Language

The Importance of Language

Uses of Language

Language Forms and Language Functions

Misuses of Language


Ambiguity and Vagueness




Traditional Logic


The Terminology of Logic

Recognizing Arguments

Arguments and Explanations

Informal Logic


Informal Fallacies

Fallacies of Ambiguity

Fallacies of Irrelevant Premises

Fallacies of Inadequate Premises

Fallacies of Unfair Premises

Formal Logic

Standard Form

Immediate Inference

Inference Along the Sides of the Square

Other Immediate Inference

Immediate Inference and Translation

Extended Inference


Venn Diagrams



Enthymemic Sorites

Modern Logic

Mathematical Logic

Logical Operators

Truth Tables

Mathematical Symbolism

Summary of Logical Operators


Computer Logic

Circuit Design

Boolean Algebra

Decision Structures


The Probability Calculus

Conjunction Rules

Disjunction Rules

Deductive Inference

Statements and Statement Forms

Tautologies, Contradictions, and Contingent Statements

Assigning Truth-Values

Proving Validity

Proving Invalidity

Proving Validity (Re-visited)

Review – Methods for Determining Validity

Formal Proof of Validity

Arguments and Argument Forms

Formal Proof

Rules of Replacement

Constructing Proofs

Inductive Logic

Inductive Inference

Argument by Analogy

Refutation by Logical Analogy



Mill’s Methods

Scientific Method

Inductive Generalization

Scientific Explanation

The Hypothetico-Deductive Technique



Answers to Odd-Numbered Exercises

Mental Calisthenics

Logic and Language


Informal Logic

Formal Logic

Extended Inference

Mathematical Logic

Computer Logic


Deductive Inference

Formal Proof of Validity

Inductive Inference

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