Irving Copi


Irving Marmer Copi (/ˈkɒpi/;[3] Copilovich or Copilowish; July 28, 1917 – August 19, 2002) was an American philosopher, logician, and university textbook author.

Irving Copi
Copilovich or Copilowish

(1917-07-28)July 28, 1917
DiedAugust 19, 2002(2002-08-19) (aged 85)
NationalityUnited States
EducationUniversity of Chicago
Notable work
Introduction to Logic (1953)
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
InstitutionsUniversity of Illinois
Academic advisorsBertrand Russell
Main interests
Calculus of relations
Notable ideas
Logical matrix
Venn diagram method for syllogism testing[1]
Reverse truth table method for syllogism testing[2]


Copi studied under Bertrand Russell while at the University of Chicago.[4] In 1948 he contributed to the calculus of relations with his article using logical matrices.[5]

Copi taught at the University of Illinois, the United States Air Force Academy, Princeton University, and the Georgetown University Logic Institute, before teaching logic at the University of Michigan, 1958–69, and at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1969–90.

Assigned to teach logic, Copi reviewed textbooks available and decided to write his own. The manuscript was split into Introduction to Logic and Symbolic Logic. A reviewer noted that it had an "unusually comprehensive chapter on definition" and "The author accounts for the seductive nature of informal fallacies."[6] The textbooks proved popular, and a reviewer of the third edition noted over 100 new exercises added.[7] Both textbooks are widely used, with the former currently in its 14th edition.[8]

In 1941 Copi married Amelia Glaser. They had four children David, Thomas, William, and Margaret.[9]


  • 1953: Introduction to Logic. Macmillan.
  • 1954: Symbolic Logic. Macmillan.
  • 1958: Artificial Languages.
  • 1958: (with Elgot and Wright) Realization of Events with Logical Nets.
  • 1965: (edited with Paul Hente). Language, Thought and Culture. The University of Michigan Press.
  • 1966: (edited with Robert Beard) Essays on Wittgenstein's Tractatus.
  • 1967: (edited with James Gould) Contemporary Readings in Logical Theory. Macmillan.
  • 1971: The Theory of Logical Types, Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  • 1986: (with Keith Burgess-Jackson) Informal Logic, Macmillan.



  1. ^ Irving Copi, Introduction to Logic (6th ed.), Macmillan, 1982, p. 223; cf. Wayne Grennan, Informal Logic: Issues and Techniques, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997, p. 115.
  2. ^ Irving Copi, Introduction to Logic (6th ed.), Macmillan, 1982, p. 345; cf. Wayne Grennan, Informal Logic: Issues and Techniques, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997, p. 100.
  3. ^ "Introduction to Logic 14th Edition by Pearson"
  4. ^ Educator earned worldwide fame for work in logic from Honolulu Star-Bulletin
  5. ^ Irving M. Copilowish (December 1948) "Matrix development of the calculus of relations", Journal of Symbolic Logic 13(4): 193–203 Jstor link
  6. ^ George Nashnikian (1956) "Review: Introduction to Logic, Symbolic Logic, Philosophy of Science 23(3): 267 doi:10.1086/287494
  7. ^ Alfons Borgers (1970) Review: Introduction to Logic, Journal of Symbolic Logic 35(1): 166 link from Project Euclid
  8. ^ Preface of the thirteenth edition from Pearson Education
  9. ^ David Ouse (2002) Irving Copi, from Zenith City Online

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