Whilst I appreciate and, I hope, understand the pedagogical value of using “practical” examples to offer motivation for topics that can, like modal logic, seem purely theoretical, I am beginning to appreciating just how interesting, versatile and useful a field modal logic really is by looking at it from a more theoretical and general point of view. The first twenty-four pages of Modal Logic (Blackburn, de Rijke and Venema)) have impressed upon me more readily and immediately than umpteen different modally interpreted implication operators or logics of time did, the flexibility of the modal semantics that I was taught in Philosophy and Logic.
That is not to say, however, that the more theoretical approach is better or more suitable than teaching “by example”. In a course without prerequisites in mathematical reasoning, teaching modal logic by focusing on examples of its use is the most obvious, and quite probably the best, course. Without the opportunity to study modal logic in such a course, it would probably not have caught my attention and I would be in no position to be reading this book.