1880–1947, American philosopher, b. Minsk, Russia, grad. College of the City of New York, 1900, Ph.D. Harvard, 1906. He emigrated to the United States in 1892. At first an instructor in mathematics at the College of the City of New York, Cohen transferred to the department of philosophy, where he taught from 1912 until 1938, becoming famous for his use of Socratic irony. He then taught at the Univ. of Chicago until 1942. His influence, through his students and his books, has been far-reaching, and he is considered one of the most important American philosophers since William James. Cohen's most important books are Reason and Nature (1931, rev. ed. 1953) and Law and the Social Order (1933). Other works include A Preface to Logic (1944), The Faith of a Liberal (1945), and American Thought: A Critical Sketch (1954).
- See his autobiography, A Dreamer's Journey (1949).