Saul Kripke  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Saul Aaron Kripke (born November 13, 1940) is an American philosopher and logician. He is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and emeritus professor at Princeton University. 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 Much of his work remains unpublished or exists only as tape recordings and privately circulated manuscripts. Kripke was the recipient of the 2001 Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy.

Kripke has made influential and original contributions to logic, especially modal logic. His work has profoundly influenced analytic philosophy, with his principal contribution being a semantics for modal logic, involving possible worlds as described in a system now called Kripke semantics. Another of his most important contributions is his argument that necessity is a 'metaphysical' notion, which should be separated from the epistemic notion of a priori, and that there are necessary truths which are 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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