Patrick Suppes

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Patrick Suppes (born March 17, 1922 in Tulsa , Oklahoma , USA , † November 17, 2014 in Stanford , California ) was an American theorist of science . The thinker has u. a. the classic post-Tarski representation of the definition of formal definitions worked out.


After studying mathematics and philosophy at the University of Oklahoma , Tulsa and Chicago , Suppes became professor of philosophy of science at Stanford University after several positions . He was a representative of the model-theoretical point of view in the theory of science and published on the philosophy of mathematics.


In 1957, the philosopher published Introduction to Logic as the first volume of an introductory series for undergraduate mathematics students edited by John L. Kelley and Paul R. Halmos . In the first part of the work, Suppes developed a widely used definition and, based on it, an explanatory descriptive theory of formal definitions. The theory of formal definitions of Nuel Belnap is based on soupes in its historical understanding.

In terms of the history of science, Suppes is assigned to the Stanford School in philosophy of science together with Nancy Cartwright , Ian Hacking and John Dupré . These are united by the critical handling of the reductionist ideal of unified science .

In 1962 he gave a lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Stockholm (The learning of mathematical concepts) and gave the Tarski Lectures in 1999 . He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1968), the National Academy of Sciences (since 1978), the American Philosophical Society (since 1991) and a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences .


  • Introduction to Logic (1957/1999).
  • Logic and Probability in Quantum Mechanics Synthesis Library, No 78. (Edited by P. Suppes, 1975)
  • Axiomatic Set Theory . Dover 1972 (1960)
  • Probabilistic Metaphysics , Blackwell Pub, reprint (October 1986)
  • Patrick Suppes: Scientific Philosopher , P. Humphreys, ed., Synthesis Library (Springer-Verlag) 1994.
    • Vol. 1: Probability and Probabilistic Causality .
    • Vol. 2: Philosophy of Physics, Theory Structure and Measurement, and Action Theory .
  • Representation and Invariance of Scientific Structures , CSLI / University of Chicago Press 2001.
  • A First Course in Mathematical Logic (with Shirley Hill), Dover 1964/2002.
  • Foundations of Measurement (with R. Duncan Luce , David Krantz , and Amos Tversky ), Vols. 1-3. Dover 1972/2007.



  • Radu J. Bogdan (Ed.): Patrick Suppes , Vol. I of the Profiles series, an International Series on Contemporary Philosophers and Logicians, D. Reidel Publishing, Dordrecht / Boston / London 1979, ISBN 90-277-0951-3 (paperback ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. In Memoriam: Patrick Suppes
  2. Dr. Patrick Colonel Suppes: Obituary (, accessed November 19, 2014)
  3. ^ Douglas Patterson: New Essays on Tarski and Philosophy . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008/10. P. 5.
  4. ^ Nuel Belnap: On Rigorous Definitions . In: Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition, Vol. 72 No. 2/3, Definitions (December 1993), pp. 115-146; P. 117.