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Saul Aaron Kripke (1940 – ) is an American philosopher of Modal logic, Language, Metaphysics, Set theory, Epistemology, at Princeton. It really is a nice theory. The only defect I think it has is probably common to all philosophical theories. It’s wrong.

Saul Kripke, philosopher, mathematician, at Princeton

Saul Kripke, philosopher

Quotations from Saul Kripke

Any necessary truth, whether a priori or a posteriori, could not have turned out otherwise.

For a sensation to be felt as pain is for it to be pain.

It really is a nice theory. The only defect I think it has is probably common to all philosophical theories. It’s wrong. Naming and Necessity – 1980, p. 64

I regard the mind-body problem as wide open, and extremely confusing.

Possible worlds are little more than the miniworlds of school probability blown large.

One may always, of course, invent new connectives, which are similar in meaning to the old ‘or’ and ‘and’ or anyway similar in the laws they satisfy, but satisfy somewhat different laws because they have a somewhat different interpretation. That should be uncontroversial.

In fact, of course, I hold that propositions that contemporary philosophers would properly count as ’empirical’ can be necessary and be known to be such.

Certainly the philosopher of ‘possible worlds’ must take care that his technical apparatus not push him to ask questions whose meaningfulness is not supported by our original intuitions of possibility that gave the apparatus its point.

Logical investigations can obviously be a useful tool for philosophy. They must, however, be informed by a sensitivity to the philosophical significance of the formalism and by a generous admixture of common sense, as well as a thorough understanding both of the basic concepts and of the technical details of the formal material used. It should not be supposed that the formalism can grind out philosophical results in a manner beyond the capacity of ordinary philosophical reasoning. There is no mathematical substitute for philosophy.

Proper names are rigid designators.

Let’s call something a rigid designator if in every possible world it designates the same object, a non-rigid or accidental designator if that is not the case. Of course we don’t require that the objects exist in all possible worlds…. When we think of a property as essential to an object we usually mean that it is true of that object in any case where it would have existed. A rigid designator of a necessary existent can be called strongly rigid.

I am somewhat uncertain whether there is a definite factual question as to whether natural language handles truth-value gaps … Nor am I even quite sure that there is a definite question of fact as to whether natural language should be evaluated by the minimal fixed point or another, given the choice of a scheme for handling gaps. We are not at the moment searching for the correct scheme.


Sources for Saul Kripke quotes; Stanford eduBrainyQuote, AZQuotes, WikiQuote, PhilosophicalQuotes, WikipediaBooksGoogle


COMMENTS on Saul Kripke

Any necessary truth, whether a priori or a posteriori, could not have turned out otherwise. This statement implies the truth is an absolute one, and therefore what comes before and what comes after is fixed by the absolute character of the truth. However, there may be a limit on what truths could meet this standard of absolute, and opposing that are a near infinity of relative truths, and of these truths any subtlety of a priori or a posteriori conditions will distort the essence of the truth, and may ruin its applicability.

It really is a nice theory. The only defect I think it has is probably common to all philosophical theories. It’s wrong. This statement is a follow-on to the previous idea, in that it assumes there are absolute truths embedded in the theories, and these ruin them for philosophical perfection. However, many theories function quite well in a practical application in the physical world.

Nor am I even quite sure that there is a definite question of fact as to whether natural language should be evaluated by the minimal fixed point or another, given the choice of a scheme for handling gaps. This can be interpreted as the minimal fixed point being one of the absolute truths, and these are always suspect because a single subtle flaw in them ruins the whole proposition. Even the questions of fact, as are seen in testable physical reality, are challengeable by a single example of non-compliance to the supposed fact’s properties. These are the types of challenges that Karl Popper would suggest.

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