Widely regarded as both a brilliant mathematical logician and one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, Saul Kripke (November 1940 - September 2022) began a series of papers that transformed modal logic—the logic of necessity and possibility—while still a high school student in Omaha, Nebraska. He lectured on logic to graduate students at MIT when still a Harvard undergraduate, and was elected to the Harvard Society of Fellows upon graduation. In the mid-1960s, Kripke began presenting his revolutionary theories of reference at various institutions, culminating in lectures delivered in January 1970, subsequently transcribed and published as Naming and Necessity. This work, which was canonical almost upon publication, sparked a veritable industry of philosophical commentary and criticism, as did subsequent publications on Wittgenstein, the theory of truth, the semantics of belief reports, and other areas.
In 2001, Kripke was awarded the Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, which is the equivalent in philosophy to the Nobel Prize. Before coming to the Graduate Center in 2002, he taught at Rockefeller University and Princeton University, where he is emeritus professor; he has held visiting posts at Oxford, UCLA, and Cornell, among other institutions. His Philosophical Troubles was published in 2011, followed in 2013 by the publication of Reference and Existence, his legendary John Locke Lectures, delivered at Oxford University in 1973.
SAUL KRIPKE Reference and Existence: The John Locke Lectures
This collection of Kripke's John Locke Lectures for 1973 can be read as a sequel to his classic Naming and Necessity. It confronts important issues left open in that work, such as the semantics of proper names and natural kind terms (terms denoting object groupings that occur in nature) as they appear in fiction and in myth; negative existential statements; and the ontology of fiction and myth (whether it is true that fictional characters like Hamlet or mythical kinds like bandersnatches have an existence). In treating these questions, he makes a number of methodological observations that go beyond the framework of his earlier book-including the striking claim that fiction cannot provide a test for theories of reference and naming. In addition, these lectures provide a glimpse into the transition to the pragmatics of singular reference that dominated his influential paper "Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference"-a paper that helped reorient linguistic and philosophical semantics. Saul Kripke is a distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center.
Published May 2013
Oxford University Press, 2013
Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers
This is the first of a series of volumes collecting the essential articles by the eminent and highly influential philosopher. The topics in this mixture of published and unpublished articles from various stages of Kripke's storied career range over epistemology, linguistics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, history of analytic philosophy, theory of truth, and metaphysics. Included here are seminal and much discussed pieces such as "Identity and Necessity," "Outline of a Theory of Truth," "Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference," and "A Puzzle About Belief." Among more recent published articles are "Russell's Notion of Scope" and "Frege's Theory of Sense and Reference." Several older and newer works are published here for the first time, including "A Puzzle on Time and Thought," written expressly for this volume.
Published December 2011
Oxford University Press, 2011