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Saul Kripke – most important philosophers of past 200 years

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

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 Much of his work remains unpublished or exists only as tape-recordings and privately circulated manuscripts.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.

Saul Aaron KripkeAwards and Recognitions

  • 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).

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…

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