Biography:Solomon Feferman

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Short description: American philosopher and mathematician
Solomon Feferman
Feferman Solomon.jpg
Solomon Feferman at the Association of Symbolic Logic, Pittsburgh, May 2004
Born(1928-12-13)December 13, 1928
The Bronx, New York City, US
DiedJuly 26, 2016(2016-07-26) (aged 87)
Stanford, California, US
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology
University of California, Berkeley
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
ThesisFormal Consistency Proofs and Interpretability of Theories (1957)
Doctoral advisorAlfred Tarski
Main interests
Philosophy of mathematics
Notable ideas
Stratified systems for the foundations of category theory[1]
Feferman–Schütte ordinal
Ordinal collapsing function
Explicit mathematics

Solomon Feferman (December 13, 1928 – July 26, 2016)[2] was an American philosopher and mathematician who worked in mathematical logic.


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,[3] 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.[4]

Feferman died on 26 July 2016 at his home in Stanford, following an illness that lasted three months and a stroke.[2][5][6] At his death, he had been a member of the MAA for 37 years.[7]


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.[8]

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[9] and the Rolf Schock Prize in logic and philosophy in 2003.[10] He was invited to give the Gödel Lecture in 1997[11] and the Tarski Lectures in 2006.[12] In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[13]



  • 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.


See also


  1. "Enriched Stratified systems for the Foundations of Category Theory" by Solomon Feferman (2011)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Solomon Feferman (1928-2016)". 
  3. Solomon Feferman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. "Solomon Feferman's homepage". 
  5. Lanier Anderson, R. (4 August 2016). "A tribute to Solomon Feferman (1928–2016)".–2016. 
  6. "Stanford mathematical logician Solomon Feferman dies at 87" (in en). 7 October 2016. 
  7. "In Memoriam | Mathematical Association of America". 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Reviews of Alfred Tarski:
  9. "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Solomon Feferman". 
  10. "Feferman awarded Rolf Schock Prize in logic and philosophy". 
  11. "Gödel Lecturers – Association for Symbolic Logic" (in en-US). 
  12. "The Tarski Lectures | Department of Mathematics at University of California Berkeley". 
  13. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved December 2, 2012.
  14. Reviews of In the Light of Logic:

External links