Somerville, John

Somerville, John

 

Born Mar. 13, 1905. American philosopher and sociologist; president of the Society for the Philosophical Study of Dialectical Materialism.

Originally a supporter of philosophic pragmatism, Somerville joined the school of naturalism after World War II and approached the positions of dialectical and historical materialism on a number of issues. He achieved fame with his works on problems of humanism, freedom, democracy, and the peaceful coexistence of differing social systems. In The Philosophy of Peace (1949) he attacked the policies of the cold war and the arms race. Somerville wrote Soviet Philosophy (1946), the first American book on the development of Soviet philosophic science, after a two-year stay in the USSR from 1935 to 1937; he is the editor of the journal Soviet Studies in Philosophy. Several of his works are devoted to the history, methodology, and logic of science. Somerville has been an active participant at international philosophic congresses.

WORKS

Methodology in Social Science. New York, 1938.
The Way of Science, Its Growth and Method. New York [1953].
The Communist Trials and the American Tradition. New York, 1956.
The Philosophy of Marxism. New York, 1967.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1960.

A. F. GRIAZNOV

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Chris Somerville, John Browse, Jan Jaworski, and John Ohlrogge of Michigan State University.