Solomon Feferman

Solomon Feferman (December 13, 1928 – July 26, 2016)[1] was an American philosopher and mathematician who worked in mathematical logic.

Solomon Feferman
Born(1928-12-13)December 13, 1928
DiedJuly 26, 2016(2016-07-26) (aged 87)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology
University of California, Berkeley
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
ThesisFormal Consistency Proofs and Interpretability of Theories (1957)
Doctoral advisorAlfred Tarski
Doctoral students
Main interests
Philosophy of mathematics
Notable ideas
Feferman–Schütte ordinal


Solomon Feferman was born in The Bronx in New York City to working-class parents who had immigrated to the United States after World War I and had met and married in New York. Neither parent had any advanced education. The family moved to Los Angeles, where Feferman graduated from high school at age 16.

He received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1948, and in 1957 his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, under Alfred Tarski,[2] after having been drafted and having served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955. In 1956 he was appointed to the Departments of Mathematics and Philosophy at Stanford University, where he later became the Patrick Suppes Professor of Humanities and Sciences.[3]


Feferman was editor-in-chief of the five-volume Collected Works of Kurt Gödel, published by Oxford University Press between 2001 and 2013.

In 2004, together with his wife Anita Burdman Feferman, he published a biography of Alfred Tarski: Alfred Tarski: Life and Logic.[4]

He worked on predicative mathematics, in particular introducing the Feferman–Schütte ordinal as a measure of the strength of certain predicative systems.


Feferman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972 and 1986[5] and the Rolf Schock Prize in logic and philosophy in 2003.[6] In 2006 he was invited to deliver the Tarski Lectures. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[7]



  • Feferman, Solomon; Vaught, Robert L. (1959), "The first order properties of products of algebraic systems", Fund. Math. 47, 57–103.
  • Feferman, Solomon (1975), "A language and axioms for explicit mathematics", Algebra and logic (Fourteenth Summer Res. Inst., Austral. Math. Soc., Monash Univ., Clayton, 1974), pp. 87–139, Lecture Notes in Math., vol. 450, Berlin, Springer.
  • Feferman, Solomon (1979), "Constructive theories of functions and classes", Logic Colloquium '78 (Mons, 1978), pp. 159–224, Stud. Logic Foundations Math., 97, Amsterdam, New York, North-Holland.
  • Buchholz, Wilfried; Feferman, Solomon; Pohlers, Wolfram; Sieg, Wilfried (1981), "Iterated inductive definitions and subsystems of analysis: recent proof-theoretical studies", Lecture Notes in Mathematics, 897, Berlin, New York, Springer-Verlag.
  • Feferman, Solomon; Hellman, Geoffrey (1995), "Predicative foundations of arithmetic", J. Philos. Logic 24 (1), 1–17.
  • Avigad, Jeremy; Feferman, Solomon (1998), "Gödel's functional (Dialectica) interpretation", Handbook of proof theory, 337–405, Stud. Logic Found. Math., 137, Amsterdam, North-Holland.


  • Feferman, Solomon. (1998). In the Light of Logic. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508030-0, Logic and Computation in Philosophy series.[8]
  • Feferman, Anita Burdman; Feferman, Solomon (2004). Alfred Tarski: Life and Logic. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80240-6. OCLC 54691904.[4]

See also


  2. Solomon Feferman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. Reviews of Alfred Tarski:
  7. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved December 2, 2012.
  8. Reviews of In the Light of Logic:

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