Sommers, Fred. 1952. "The Passing of Privileged Uniqueness." Journal of Philosophy no. 49:392-396.
———. 1953. "Review: Das 'Physikalische Modell' Und Die 'Metaphysische Wirklichkeit'; Versuch Einer Metaphänomenologie, by Erwin
Nickel." Journal of Philosophy no. 50:332-334.
———. 1955. An Empiricist Ontology. A Study in the Metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead, Columbia University.
Unpublished Ph. D. thesis.
———. 1959. "The Ordinary Language Tree." Mind no. 68:160-185.
"An important part of any investigation into the meaning of an expression E consists of finding what may be called its sense location. This
is done by noting which expressions may be conjoined with E and which may not. "E is that expression which goes well with A, C, or G in a sentence but E fails
to make sense when used with B, D, F or H, etc." When the mutual sense relations of A, B, C, D, E, F, G . . . are known, then we have a map in which each
expression has a sense location with respect to the other expressions under consideration. The question we shall consider is whether the natural language
provides any rules for the construction of such a map, whether there is, as it were, an invariant structure to "linguistic cartography" in terms of which it
would be possible to give the sense location of any of the expressions in the language. To this question we shall eventually offer an affirmative answer.
The theory of meaning adopted here is a current one. It is the theory of meaning-in-use. Employing a convenient distinction of Ryle's between
two kinds of knowing, we may say that a knowledge of meaning is a "knowing how" rather than a "knowing that": to know the meaning of an expression is to know
how to use it. Such knowledge includes an ability to formulate a piece of non-absurd discourse containing the expression. Thus to know the meaning of a word is
to know how to formulate some sentences containing the word, to know the meaning of a sentence is to know how to formulate some coherent discourse containing
the sentence. It is almost true to say that the meaning is this use, i.e. the meaning of E (if "E" is a word or phrase) is the set of sentences containing E
and that my knowledge of the meaning of E grows (though not in direct proportion) with my ability to formulate more and more sentences in which E has a proper
use. A complete knowledge of E would then be represented by the set of all such sentences. The trouble with this view is that even such a set would not specify
uniquely the meaning of any one expression since the set would also specify the meaning of all those expressions which have the same use-at this level of use.
For example, the word " short " might be specified by the sentences in which it has a non-absurd occurrence from a purely semantic point of view, but those
sentences may also specify the word "tall". We must therefore keep in mind that a map of sense relations giving the locations of a group of expressions does
not tell the whole story of "their use in the language", i.e., their meanings. Nevertheless, we shall see that such a map removes ambiguity, ensuring univocity
for the expressions located on it. For this reason we shall identify the sense of an expression with its location on a map. This entails a distinction between
sense and meaning, a distinction which we shall enforce rather than justify. The sense of an expression will be its location with respect to other expressions,
its semantic range. It is what it "makes sense" with as contrasted with what it fails to make sense with. Its meaning is governed only in part by sense rules.
" Tall " and " short " may have the same " sense " ; it is because of other rules governing their use that they diverge in meaning. Thus, giving the sense of
an expression is not yet the same as giving its meaning. One who wishes to know more about the meaning of a given located expression will enquire at that
address." pp. 160-161.
———. 1963. "Types and Ontology." Philosophical Review no. 72:327-363.
Reprinted, with minor corrections, in: Peter Frederick Strawson (ed.) - Philosophical logic - Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1967
pp. 138-169 and in Dale Jacquette (ed.) - Philosophy of logic. An anthology - Oxford, Basil Blackwell 2002 pp. 103-119.
"In this paper (*) I shall be examining several notions of types which have important application in natural languages. I shall show that one
of Russell's definitions of a type can be combined with one of Ryle's to give us two other and more powerful type conceptions which are free of the criticisms
advanced against each of the former. The results cast considerable light on the relation of `a language' to the sorts of things one can use the language to
make statements about; for example, it becomes clear that the number of `sorts of things' discriminated by any natural language is always finite. But far more
important, the new type concepts enable us to exhibit formally the type structure of any natural language. It is this structure which determines the way the
language discriminates different sorts of things. Since the question of ontology is `What sorts of things are there?' the results may be construed as a formal
ontology. The old Russell programme for an ontology which is defined by a logically correct (or corrected) language is thereby reinstated, though in a revised
form. That programme has foundered on the type problem for natural languages. Black, for example, has brought out grave difficulties in Russell's type theory
as it applies to natural languages, and he used those difficulties to promote scepticism about the Russell programme. But if I am right, a simple and adequate
theory of types governs natural language and dictates its ontological commitments to different sorts of things."
(*) There are four sections to the paper. Section I isolates the problem of types for natural language and develops four type concepts
appropriate to it. Section II reformulates these concepts syntactically and reconsiders Black's general criticism of a formal theory of types for natural
language. In Section III the relation of types to ambiguity, and a problem raised by Black, is examined in detail. Section IV is constructive; the
type-structural principle is stated and proved. The ontological meaning of the principle is discussed and the principle is illustratively applied.
———. 1963. "Meaning Relations and the Analytic." Journal of Philosophy no. 60:524-534.
"In his critique of the analytic-synthetic distinction Quine distinguishes two classes of analytic statements: (a1) those that are logically
true and (a2) those that lean on extralogical meaning relations. In this paper the same critique that Quine applies against a2 statements is used against a1
statements. By showing that both suffer the same fate at Quine's hands, it is shown that Quine's vital contrast is not a contrast at all and that his criticism
goes further than he wants it to go. The paper concludes that the "flight from intension" can become a flight away from the grounds presupposed for any
application of logical and linguistic rules."
———. 1964. "A Program for Coherence." Philosophical Review no. 73:522-527.
"The following are some points made in reply to criticism of the author's Types and ontology: (1) if p is a property, define the
category of p (cp) as the set of individuals that can "significantly" be said to have p. (2) if any "individual" belongs both to cp and cq, then either cp
includes cq or cq includes cp or cp=cq. (3) an ontology is coherent only if it satisfies (2) for all individuals.
Suppose that spirits cannot be characterized as colored or colorless, i.e., they are not in c-colored. Assume also that chairs are not in
c-sad. Then neither category includes the other. yet persons are in both. To avoid incoherence we must deny that persons are individuals.
Coherent alternatives to Cartesianism put chairs in c-sad (panpsychism) or spirits in c-colored. The thesis supports Russell's general idea
than any coherent ontology is formally isomorphic to linguistic type structure."
———. 1964. "Truth-Functional Counterfactuals." Analysis no. 24:120-126.
———. 1965. "Predicability." In Philosophy in America, edited by Black, Max, 262-281. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
———. 1965. "A Reply to Mr. Odegard's "on Closing the Truth-Value Gap"." Analysis no. 25:66-68.
———. 1966. "Why Is There Something and Not Nothing?"Analysis no. 26:177-181.
"The question is not why it is possible there is something but (granting that something is possible) why is there something? Why not
This can be answered by way of an ontological proof. For this purpose we define a neglected but important kind of possibility which we call
categorial. We say for example that things older than the square root of 2 are not possible things or that unfed theorems are 'categorially' impossible. A
thing older than the square root of 2 is not a possible thing because while there is nothing that is older than the square root of 2, neither is there anything
that fails to be. Again the statement `some theorems are fed' is a category mistake. There is nothing that is an unfed theorem and nothing that fails to be one
since what failed to be one would be a fed theorem or an unfed non-theorem, or a fed non-theorem and there are no such things. So understood, categorial
impossibility is existentially definable. More generally, if D is a monadic descriptive term and D is its logical contrary (2) (applicable to all those D-less
things that are 'privative' to the state of being D) then D-things are categorially impossible, if and only if there is nothing that is D and nothing that is
By this definition things that are red and blue (all over)-though presumably impossible in some other way-are categorially possible since any
table is either red (failing to be blue) or blue (failing to be red) or it fails to be red and also fails to be blue. The logical contrary of the term `red and
blue' is truly affirmable of all material objects of whatever colour and also of those that are colourless.
Without having defined possibility in any general way, we are accepting as a premiss of our argument that something is possible. We assume
further that whatever is not a categorially possible thing is not a possible thing.
Now suppose there were nothing. It is then true for every predicate term P, that nothing is P. It is also true that there is nothing that
fails to be P so that P-things are categorially impossible. If P-things are categorially impossible, they are not possible things. Since this holds for every
P, nothing at all is possible. But we have assumed that something is possible and this is incompatible with the nihilist hypothesis. We see then that if
something is possible, something is actual.
The same argument can be viewed another way. If something is possible it is categorially possible. For something to be possible there must be
some terms predicable of some things. But if there were nothing at all, all terms would be like 'older than the square root of 2'. That some terms are
predicable can be argued from the fact that-as matters actually stand-there are many things and many terms truly applicable to those things. But if there were
nothing at all, not only would terms like `old' not be truly applicable, they would be altogether impredicable. Nothing would then be possible. But we recall
that our question was not `why is anything even possible?' And we see again that if anything is possible, something is actual." pp. 177-178.
(1) Heidegger considers this the crucial question for the philosophy of existence. What is given here is the traditional or "essentialist"
(2) The relation of contrariety holding between a pair of terms (or attributes) does not force us to consider either one of the pair to be
negative. Just as being D is a privation of D, so (equally) is being D (or -D) a privation of D. Coloured objects, for instance, fail to be colourless.
———. 1966. "On a Fregean Dogma." In Problems in the Philosophy of Mathematics, edited by Lakatos, Imre, 47-62. Amsterdam:
Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science (Bedford College, 1965).
Discussion: L. Kalmár: Not Fregean and not a Dogma 63; M. Dummett: A Comment on 'On a Fregean Dogma' 63; C. Lejewski:
The Logical Form of Singular and General Statements 68; W. V. Quine: Three Remarks 70; F. Sommers: Reply 71-81.
"In the following passage Russell states an accepted and familiar thesis :
The first serious advance in real logic since the time of the Greeks was made independently by Peano and Frege -- both mathematicians.
Traditional logic regarded the two propositions 'Socrates is mortal' and 'All men are mortal' as being of the same form; Peano and Frege showed that they are
utterly different in form. The philosophical importance of logic may be illustrated by the fact that this confusion - which is still committed by most writers
-- obscured not only the whole study of the forms of judgment and inference, but also the relation of things to their qualities, of concrete existence to
abstract concepts, and to the world of Platonic ideas . Peano and Frege, who pointed out the error did so for technical reasons ... but the philosophical
importance of the advance which they made is impossible to exaggerate.(*)
In what follows I wish to be understood as criticising the quantificational "translation" of general categoricals like 'All men are mortal'
only insofar as this is represented as exhibiting such statements to have a different logical form from singular predications. I am not criticising
quantification theory as an indispensable logical tool, especially for inference involving statements of more than one variable. The standard general
categoricals however are not of this type ; it is for example well-known that quantification is not needed for syllogistic inference. What is not known is that
we can treat the categoricals as simple subject-predicate statements on an exact par with singular predications. There is therefore no good logical reason for
saying that general and singular statements must differ in logical form.
The doctrine that (1) 'Socrates is mortal' and (2) 'Men are mortal' differ in logical form assumes that the following is the corect account
of what these statements say: (a) Both say that 'is mortal' is true of some, thing or things; the first says it is true of Socrates; the second that it is true
of whatever 'is a man' is true. It follows (b) that the logical form of the second statement differs from that of the first. For while the first is a simple
predication, the second is a "quantified" statement." pp. 48-48.
(*) [Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, Lecture II, (1914)]
———. 1966. "What We Can Say About God." Judaism no. 15:61-73.
———. 1969. "On Concepts of Truth in Natural Languages." Review of Metaphysics no. 23:259-286.
"Remarking on alternatives to his conception of truth Tarski rejects a formulation associated with correspondence theories:
If we should decide to extend the popular usage of the term "designate" by applying it not only to names, but also to sentences, and if we
agreed to speak of the designata of sentences as "slates of affairs" we could possibly use for the same purpose the following phrase:
(C) A sentence is true if it designates an existing state of affairs. However [this] formulation can lead to various misunderstandings for
[it is not] sufficiently precise and clear . . . . It is up to us to look for a more precise expression of our intuitions. (1)
The purpose Tarski speaks of is "to do justice to our intuitions which adhere to the classical Aristotelian conception of truth." Tarski
takes this to be some form of correspondence theory. He has earlier considered and rejected an even less satisfactory formula of this sort: 'a sentence is true
if it corresponds to reality'. His own semantic conception of truth is meant to be a more precise variant doing justice to the correspondence standpoint. In
this spirit I shall presently suggest a revised version of (C).
(1) A. Tarski, "The Semantic, Conception of Truth,"Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 4 (1944). Reprinted in H. Feigl and W.
Sellars, Readings in Philosophical Analysis (New York, 1945), p. 54. (Page reference is to this reprinting.)
———. 1969. "Do We Need Identity?"Journal of Philosophy no. 66:499-504.
"Identity is shown to be definable within traditional syllogistic logic. the idea is to treat singular terms as general terms syntactically.
this means we allow singular terms in predicate positions and also allow them to be prefixed by 'every', 'some' and 'no' when in subject position.
However universal and particular singular statements are logically equivalent: if K is a singular term then K is p every K is p some K is p.
This equivalence is called the law of wild quantity.
Identity is defined thus: J is identical with K df. some J is K. This definition together with the law of wild quantities gives all the
formal properties of the identity relation."
———. 1970. "The Calculus of Terms." Mind no. 79:1-39.
Reprinted in: George Englebretsen (ed.) The new syllogistic - New York, Peter Lang, 1987
———. 1970. "Confirmation and the Natural Subject." Philosophical Forum no. 2:245-250.
———. 1971. "Structural Ontology." Philosophia.Philosophical quarterly of Israel no. 1:21-42.
"Whether a certain sort of things exists is commonly disputed in philosophy. I argue that in some important classical instances the dispute
is grounded in another more fundamental one: whether certain entities are individuals or composite. Disputes over individuality or compositeness are generated
when certain accepted conditions for individuality seem not to be satisfied. In the last part of the paper I examine the formal condition for non-compositeness
(it is not yet a criterion for individuality) tracing it to its logical source. The condition is shown to provide the structural constraints for coherent
———. 1973. "Existence and Predication." In Logic and Ontology, edited by Munitz, Milton K., 159-174. New York: New York University
"To contemporary philosophers the question whether 'exists' is a predicate is a syntactical question. Using an older terminology, it is the
question whether 'exists' is an autocategorematic or a syncategorematic expression. In more recent parlance it is the question whether 'exists' belongs among
the formative-logical signs or among the descriptive-extralogical signs of a logically adequate language.
Those who give canonical status to the idioms of quantification theory have a ready answer to this question. In the syntax of modern logic
'exists' is a syncategorematic expression. In canonical translations 'exists' is never a predicate. To accept this popular view is to assume that the formative
expressions enumerated in the formation rules for predicate logic constitute a definitive list. But this overlooks the fact that the line distinguishing
certain signs as formative, logical, or syncategorematic from other signs that are descriptive, extralogical, or autocategorematic has been arbitrarily drawn.
How, indeed, do we decide whether a sign is syncategorematic or autocategorematic?
There is, of course, the indirect appeal to the power of a logic with this or that list of formatives. For example, if identity is added to
the list of logical signs of the lower functional calculus, there is a significant increase in inference power. This, however, is an argument for adding
identity to a system whose logical syntax has already been determined by an arbitrarily enumerated list of formatives. It can, for example, be shown that
identity is not needed in a logical language whose syntax differs radically from that of the standard first-order functional calculus.(1) The point is that the
question whether a certain sign is formative or descriptive cannot be fruitfully answered by considering how an already-constituted logical language will fare
with this sign or without it. This retail approach begs the more fundamental question raised by the distinction between logical and extra-logical signs: What
principle governs the distinction; what distinguishes the logical signs from the extralogical signs?
The problem in this general form has been raised by Tarski and since discussed by many other writers, most notably by Pap, Popper and Quine.
However, the state of the problem has not been significantly advanced beyond the conclusion tentatively offered by Tarski:
Perhaps it will be possible to find important objective arguments which enable us to justify the traditional boundary between logical and
extralogical expressions. But I also consider it quite possible that investigation will bring no positive results in this direction so that we shall be
compelled to regard such concepts as `logical consequence', 'analytic statement' and 'tautology' as relative concepts which must, on each occasion be related
to a definite, although in greater or less degree, arbitrary division of terms into logical and extra-logical.(2)
In this larger perspective the syntactic status of existence can only be determined within some general theory of logical syntax that
"justifies" and sharpens the boundary between logical and extralogical signs. As Tarski noted, such a theory will have important bearing on such fundamental
notions of logical theory as tautology and validity. But it should also, and, as it were, incidentally, answer our own question, namely, whether 'exists' is a
syncategorematic or autocategorematic expression." (pp. 159-160).
(1) See my paper "Do We Need Identity?" The Journal of Philosophy (August 7, 1969).
(2) Alfred Tarski, Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics, (Oxford, 1956), p. 420.
———. 1973. "The Logical and the Extra-Logical." In Methodological and Historical Essays in the Natural and Social Sciences, edited
by Cohen, Robert and Wartofsky, Marx, 235-252. Dordrecht: Reidel.
Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science - vol. 14.
———. 1975. "Distribution Matters." Mind no. 84:27-46.
———. 1976. "Leibniz's Program for the Development of Logic." In Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos, edited by Cohen, Robert,
Feyerabend, Paul and Wartofsky, Marx, 589-615. Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Company.
Boston studies in the philosophy of science Vol. 39
———. 1976. "Frege or Leibniz?" In Studies on Frege. Logic and Semantics, edited by Schirn, Matthias, 11-34. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt:
———. 1976. "Logical Syntax in Natural Language." In Issues in the Philosophy of Language. Proceedings of the 1972 Oberlin Colloquium in
Philosophy, edited by MacKay, Alfred and Merrill, Daniel, 11-42. New Haven: Yale University Press.
———. 1976. "On Predication and Logical Syntax." In Language in Focus: Foundations, Methods and Systems. Essays in Memory of Yehoshua
Bar-Hillel, edited by Kasher, Asa, 41-53. Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Company.
———. 1978. "The Grammar of Thought." Journal of Social and Biological Structures no. 1:39-51.
———. 1978. "Dualism in Descartes: The Logical Ground." In Descartes: Critical and Interpretative Essay, edited by Hooker, Michael,
223-233. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
———. 1981. "Are There Atomic Propositions?" In Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Volume Vi. The Foundations of Analytic Philosophy,
edited by French, Peter, Uehling, Jr.Theodore E. and Wettstein, Howard, 59-68. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
This paper is chapter on of The logic of natural language by Fred Sommers, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1982.
———. 1982. The Logic of Natural Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
———. 1983. "The Logic of Natural Language: A Reply to Geach." Times Literary Supplement.
———. 1983. "The Logic of Natural Language: A Further Reply to Geach." Times Literary Supplement.
———. 1983. "Linguistic Grammar and Logical Grammar." In How Many Questions? Essays in Honor of Sidney Morgenbesser, edited by
Cauman, Leigh, Levi, I., Parsons, Charles and Schwartz, R., 180-194. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.
———. 1983. "The Grammar of Thought: A Reply to Dauer." Journal of Social and Biological Structures no. 6:37-44.
———. 1987. "Truth and Existence." In The New Syllogistic, edited by Englebretsen, George, 299-304. New York: Peter Lang.
———. 1990. "Predication in the Logic of Terms." Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic no. 31 (1):106-126.
———. 1993. "The World, the Facts, and Primary Logic." Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic no. 34 (2):169-182.
———. 1993. "The Enemy Is Us: Objectivity and Its Philosophical Detractors." In The Imperiled Academy, edited by Dickman, Howard,
239-268. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
———. 1993. "Saying What We Think." In Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry, edited by Cahn, Steven M.,
291-294. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
———. 1994. "Naturalism and Realism." Midwest Studies in Philosophy no. 19:22-38.
———. 1996. "Existence and Correspondence to Facts." In Formal Ontology, edited by Poli, Roberto and Simons, Peter M., 131-158.
———. 1997. "Putnam's Born-Again Realism." Journal of Philosophy no. 94:453-471.
———. 2000. "Term Functor Grammars." In Variable-Free Semantics, edited by Böttner, Michael and Thümmel, Wolf, 68-89. Osnabrück:
———. 2004. "On the Future of Logical Instruction." American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy no.
———. 2004. "The Holocaust and Moral Philosophy." In Virtue and Vice in Everyday Life, edited by Hoff Sommers, Christina and Sommers,
Fred, 150-155. Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth.
———. 2005. "Intellectual Autobiography." In The Old New Logic. Essays on the Philosophy of Fred Sommers, edited by Oderberg, David
S., 1-23. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
———. 2005. "Comments and Replies." In The Old New Logic. Essays on the Philosophy of Fred Sommers, edited by Oderberg, David S.,
211-231. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
———. 2005. "Belief De Mundo." American Philosophical Quarterly no. 42:117-124.
"Analyzes the theory of belief based on the account of existence and nonexistence as attributes of the world. Argument about the doxastic
object in de dicto belief as primitive epistemic act; Truthmaking facts of the positive and negative existential characteristics of the domain under
consideration; Approach of the propositionalists towards substitutivity paradoxes."
———. 2005. "Bar-Hillels' Complaint." Philosophia no. 32:55-68.
———. 2008. "Reasoning: How We're Doing It." The Reasoner no. 2:5-7.
———. 2009. "Ratiocination: An Empirical Account." Ratio no. 21:115-133.
"Modern thinkers regard logic as a purely formal discipline like number theory, and not to be confused with any empirical discipline such as
cognitive psychology, which may seek to characterize how people actually reason. Opposed to this is the traditional view that even a formal logic can be
cognitively veridical -- descriptive of procedures people actually follow in arriving at their deductive judgments (logic as Laws of Thought). In a cognitively
veridical logic, any formal proof that a deductive judgment, intuitively arrived at, is valid should ideally conform to the method the reasoning subject has
used to arrive at that judgment. More specifically, it should reveal the actual reckoning process that the reasoning subject more or less consciously carries
out when they make a deductive inference. That the common logical words used in everyday reasoning -- words such as 'and', 'if,''some', 'is''not,' and 'all -'-
have fixed positive and negative charges has escaped the notice of modern logic. The present paper shows how, by unconsciously recognizing 'not' and 'all' as
'minus-words', while recognizing 'and', 'some', and 'is' as 'plus words', a child can intuitively reckon, for example, 'not (-) all (-) dogs are (+) friendly'
as equivalent to 'some (+) dogs aren't (-) friendly': -(-D+F) = +D-F."
———. 2009. "Dissonant Beliefs." Analysis no. 69:269-274.
———. 2013. The Mondial and the Ontological.
"In 2006 I began working on a book that was to consist of two parts: (1) an account of the tree theory, including a historical background and
an appraisal of reactions to the theory, and (2) a summary of Sommers' newer ideas regarding metaphysical issues, with an attempt to integrate the older and
newer ideas. By 2009 I had nearly completed part (1), but then, as so often happens with the best laid plans, things changed. Assuming, no doubt based on my
sketchy account of what I was up to, that my new book would be primarily about the tree theory, Sommers wrote to me that he was hard at work on a new book of
his own, a book in which he was laying out, once and for all, in detail his new metaphysical theory ("mondialism").
Needless to say, that theory and its relation to the tree theory was to be the subject of my part (2). He asked me to help him with his book
and I was both eager and happy to do so. Anything I had to say could wait - not so for Sommers (then well into his ninth decade). Sommers' book, The
Mondial and the Ontological is forthcoming. As it turned out, much of the work of tying together the tree theory, the term logic, the truth theory and
mondialism still needs to be done. So I returned once again to that task."
From: George Englebretsen, Robust Reality. An Essay in Formal Ontology, Frankfurt, Ontos Verlag, 2011, pp. XII-XIII.
Sommers, Fred, and Englebretsen, George. 2000. An Invitation to Formal Reasoning. The Logic of Terms. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Co-author: George Englebretsen.
The book "introduces the discipline of formal logic by means of a powerful new system formulated by Fred Sommers.
This system, term logic, is different in a number of ways from the standard system employed in modern logic; most striking is, its greater
simplicity and naturalness. Based on a radically different theory of logical syntax than the one Frege used when initiating modern mathematical logic in the
19th Century, term logic borrows insights from Aristotle's syllogistic, Scholastic logicians, Leibniz, and the 19th century British algebraists.
Term logic takes its syntax directly from natural language, construing statements as combinations of pairs of terms, where complex terms are
taken to have the same syntax as statements. Whereas standard logic requires extensive 'translation' from natural language to symbolic language, term logic
requires only 'transcription' into the symbolic language. Its naturalness is the result of its ability to stay close to the forms of sentences usually found in
every day discourse. Written by the founders of the term logic approach, An Invitation to Formal Reasoning is a unique introduction and exploration of this new
system, offering numerous exercises and examples throughout the text. Summarising the standard system of mathematical logic to set term logic in context, and
showing how the two systems compare, this book presents an alternative approach to standard modern logic for those studying formal logic, philosophy of
language or computer theory."
Sommers, Fred, and Hoff Sommers, Christina, eds. 1989. Virtue and Vice in Everyday Life: Introductory Readings in Ethics. San Diego:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Sixth edition: Belmont, Thomson Wadsworth, 2004.
Sommers, Fred, and Jarvis, J. 1961. "Review Of: An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus by G. E. M. Anscombe." Philosophy no. 36:374-377.
With J. Jarvis