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Saul A. Kripke (Saul Aaron Kripke) Biography

(1940– ), (Saul Aaron Kripke), Naming and Necessity, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Languages

philosophy logic professor necessity

American logician and philosopher, born in Bayshore, New York State, educated at Harvard, where he was subsequently an associate professor. In 1972 he became Professor of Logic and Philosophy at Rockefeller University, New York, and in 1977 he was appointed McCosh Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His numerous visiting posts include his appointment as Locke Lecturer at Cambridge in 1973. Kripke's early work established him as a valued contributor to developments in mathematical logic; ‘Semantic Considerations on Modal Logic’ (1963) suggested possibilities for mediating between different interpretations of necessity. In Naming and Necessity (1973) his thinking on modal logic extended to a critique of existing theories of reference. He introduced the term ‘rigid designation’ in arguing for the integrity of relationship between proper names and the entities to which they refer; the proposition's implications for concepts of identity were linked to his work on linguistic philosophy in ‘Outline of a Theory of Truth’ (1975). Kripke's most valued publication is Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Languages (1982), in which the paradoxes proposed by scepticism in considering meaning are resolved by a persuasive appeal to the nature of language as phenomenon verified by practice within a linguistic community; the book contains a ‘Postscript’ examining thought on the sceptical problem of meaning from the eighteenth century onward.

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