Fred Sommers

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Frederic Tamler Sommers
Born January 1, 1923
New York City, U.S.
Died October 2, 2014(2014-10-02) (aged 91)
Other names Fred Sommers
Alma mater Columbia University
Spouse(s) Christina Hoff Sommers

Frederic Tamler Sommers (January 1, 1923 – October 2, 2014), better known as Fred Sommers, was an American philosopher who, after an initial focus on ontology more generally, turned his attention specifically to a revival of classical logic.

Birth and education

Sommers was born in New York City on January 1, 1923.[1] He received his BA and PhD in philosophy at Columbia University, his dissertation being entitled An Empiricist Ontology: A Study in the Metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead.[1]


Sommers began his academic career at Columbia University,[2] where he was assistant professor of philosophy from 1955 to 1963. He was invited to Brandeis University in 1964 as an associate professor of philosophy and was promoted to full professor in 1966.[1] From 1965 until his retirement, he held the Harry Austryn Wolfson Chair of Philosophy; from 1993 until his death he was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Brandeis. He died aged 91 in 2014.[3]


  • An Empiricist Ontology. A Study in the Metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead, Columbia University, 1955 (unpublished Ph.D. thesis)
  • The Logic of Natural Language, Oxford University Press, 1984. ISBN 978-0198247401
  • An Invitation to Formal Reasoning, with George Englebretsen and Harry A. Wolfson. Ashgate, 2000. ISBN 978-0754613664
  • Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life: Introductory Readings in Ethics, with Christina Hoff Sommers. Harcourt Brace, 1989. 9th edition: ISBN 978-1111837549


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Dictionary Of Modern American Philosophers, Thoemmes, 2005, p. 2281.
  2. The Old New Logic: Essays on the Philosophy of Fred Sommers, MIT Press 2005, p. 1.
  3. In Memoriam: Fred Sommers (1923-2014)


  • Englebretsen, George. Three Logicians. Aristotle, Leibniz, Sommers, Van Gorcum Ltd, 1981. ISBN 978-9023218159
  • Englebretsen, George. The New Syllogistic, New York, Peter Lang, 1987. ISBN 978-0820404486
  • Englebretsen, George. Essays on the Philosophy of Fred Sommers: In Logical Terms, Edwin Mellen Pr, 1990. ISBN 978-0889463226
  • Oderberg, David S. The Old New Logic: Essays on the Philosophy of Fred Sommers, MIT Press 2005. ISBN 0262651068
  • Shook, John R., The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, Thoemmes, 2005. ISBN 978-1843710370

External links