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Socratic Logic (3rd Ed.) by Peter Kreeft

Socratic Logic (3rd Ed.) by Peter Kreeft

This is a solid logic textbook. It starts with a short introduction, including a brief two-page overview, before going through the basics. The text is just under 400 pages but don’t let that bother you. It is a lot of pages but the book is structured nicely, each chapter and sub-section broken up into manageable lengths. More importantly, Kreeft’s explanations are easily accessible even for a beginner. For those interested, there are exercises, and answers to even-numbered questions at the back.

The layout is clear with the appropriate use of headings, sub-headings and emphasis, so quick re-reads can actually be quick as opposed to taking half an hour trying to find something.

There is only an index of principal names (of philosophers and like historical figures). There is no index of relevant keywords and terms, and it arguably doesn’t need one given the progressive structure of the text and the clearly laid out table of contents that includes the sub-headings. It does, however, lack a glossary. Whilst that is not essential, it would be a helpful feature for beginners.

On balance, this a useful and practical textbook.

Below are the chapter titles (without the sub-headings which are, as mentioned above, listed in the table of contents).


I. The First Act of the Mind: Understanding

II. Terms

III. Material Fallacies

IV. Definition

V. Second Act of the Mind: Judgment

VI. Changing Propositions

VII. Contradiction

VIII. The Third Act of the Mind: Reasoning

IX. Different Kinds of Arguments

X. Syllogisms

XI. Checking Syllogisms for Validity

XII. More Difficult Syllogisms

XIII. Compound Syllogisms

XIV. Induction

XV. Some Practical Applications of Logic

XVI. Some Philosophical Applications of Logic

Appendix: Problems with Mathematical Logic

Answers to Even-numbered Exercises

Index of Principal Names


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