Saul Aaron Kripke (born November 13, 1940) in New York is an American philosopher and logician and grew up in Omaha in 1940.
Saul Kripke – Interesting Life Facts
- Invited to apply for a teaching post at Harvard while still in high school.
- He is a professor emeritus at Princeton and teaches as a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the 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 Much of his work remains unpublished or exists only as tape-recordings and privately circulated manuscripts.
- Kripke was the recipient of the 2001 Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy equivalent of the Nobel.
- Nowadays, he is thought to be the worlds greatest living philosopher.
- A recent poll conducted among philosophers ranked Kripke among the top ten most important philosophers of the past 200 years.
By all accounts he was a true prodigy. In the fourth grade he discovered algebra, and by the end of grammar school he had mastered geometry and calculus and taken up philosophy. While still a teenager he wrote a series of papers that eventually transformed the study of modal logic. One of them earned a letter from the math department at Harvard , which hoped he would apply for a job until he wrote back and declined, explaining, My mother said that I should finish high school and go to college first. After finishing high school, the college he eventually chose was Harvard.
Kripke’s contributions (work)
- 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 (published in 1972 and 1980), that significantly restructured philosophy of language.
- Fulbright Scholar (1962-1963)
- Society of Fellows, Harvard University (1963-1966).
- Doctor of Humane Letters, honorary degree, University of Nebraska, 1977.
- Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1978).
- Corresponding Fellow, British Academy (1985).
- Howard Behrman Award, Princeton University, 1988.
- Fellow, Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea (1993).
- Doctor of Humane Letters, honorary degree, Johns Hopkins University, 1997.
- Doctor of Humane Letters, honorary degree, University of Haifa, Israel, 1998.
- Fellow, Norwegian Academy of Sciences (2000).
- Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy, Swedish Academy of Sciences, 2001.
- Doctor of Humane Letters, honorary degree, University of Pennsylvania, 2005.
- Fellow, American Philosophical Society (2005).