Saul Kripke

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Saul Aaron Kripke (born November 13, 1940) is an American philosopher and logician. He is a professor emeritus at Princeton and teaches as a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center. Since the 1960s Kripke has been a central figure in a number of fields related to mathematical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, epistemology, and set theory. Much of his work remains unpublished or exists only as tape-recordings and privately circulated manuscripts (see "Unpublished Manuscripts and Online Lectures" below). Kripke was the recipient of the 2001 Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy. A recent poll conducted among philosophers ranked Kripke among the top ten most important philosophers of the past 200 years.[1]

Kripke has made important and original contributions to logic, especially modal logic, since he was a teenager. Unusually for a professional philosopher, his only degree is an undergraduate degree from Harvard. His work has profoundly influenced analytic philosophy and his principal contribution is a metaphysical description of modality, involving possible worlds as described in a system now called Kripke semantics.[2] Another of his most important contributions is his insistence that there are necessary a posteriori truths, such as "Water is H2O." He has also contributed an original reading of Wittgenstein, referred to as "Kripkenstein." His most famous work is Naming and Necessity (1980).


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