Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1
Kripke (Saul)
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Amazon Book Description

  1. This important new book is the first of a series of volumes collecting the essential articles by the highly influential philosopher Saul A. Kripke. It presents a mixture of published and unpublished articles from various stages of Kripke's storied career.
  2. Included here are seminal and much discussed pieces such as
    • "Identity and Necessity,"
    • "Outline of a Theory of Truth," and
    • "A Puzzle About Belief."
  3. More recent published articles include
    • "Russell's Notion of Scope" and
    • "Frege's Theory of Sense and Reference"
    • among others.
  4. Several articles are published here for the first time, including both older works
    • "Two Paradoxes of Knowledge,"
    • "Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities,"
    • "Nozick on Knowledge"
    as well as newer
    • "The First Person" and
    • "Unrestricted Exportation".
  5. "A Puzzle on Time and Thought" was written expressly for this volume.
  6. The publication of this volume – which ranges over epistemology, linguistics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, history of analytic philosophy, theory of truth, and metaphysics – represents a major event in contemporary analytic philosophy.
  7. When completed, this collection will be a testament to one of philosophy's greatest living figures.

Amazon Customer1 Review
  1. Simply put, nearly every paper in this collection either changed the field with which it was concerned (philosophy of language, truth, etc.) in dramatic ways or provides a wildly important contribution to the topic (for those papers that are new). In the book, it is noted that Kripke's papers tend to revolve around puzzles and paradoxes. Namely, two seemingly contradictory truths and how to resolve them. I suppose one could say that all of philosophy is an attempt to straighten out paradoxes. Since this book is merely a collection of various essays, a brief overview of each one will be provided and then some summary thoughts will conclude the review.
  2. "Kripke (Saul) - Identity and Necessity" is a precursor of sorts for Kripke's famous book "Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity". Thus, this article is essentially Naming and Necessity in brief and so it will either re-stimulate one's thinking on the matter or allow one to see how Kripke has changed his views over the years. Both are probably important in pursuing when reading this essay.
  3. The second chapter is "Kripke (Saul) - On Two Paradoxes of Knowledge". Here Kripke discusses the infamous surprise exam (or, surprise execution) paradox and how he thinks it falters. This is one of the more technical essays in the piece, but even an interested layman (as I am) can follow it with a bit of work.
  4. Third, "Kripke (Saul) - Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities" is another essay which acts as a book in brief. Namely, this essay discusses some of the material in Kripke's Reference and Existence. Again, the treatment in this essay is obviously less all-encompassing than his book on the topic, but it is still a stimulating read and worth perusing, if nothing else.
  5. "Kripke (Saul) - Outline of a Theory of Truth" is by far the most difficult essay in this book to my mind. For about three-quarters of the book, even a non-philosopher can follow the discussion quite well. However, at a certain point one hits a wall wherein Kripke starts talking about the matter of a truth on a complex level not because he wants to show off or because he is a poor communicator, but because truth is such a complex matter! However, the parts that one can read and understand are really interesting and very stimulating. A prime interest of Kripke in this essay is the well-known liar paradox.
  6. "Kripke (Saul) - Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference" was hugely important when it was first published and it remains important to this day. To those up to date on reading philosophy of language, undoubtedly this essay has either been read or been influential in something they have read. However, to those who are trying to play catch up or are picking up what they can, this essay remains extremely influential in giving prime examples of where speaker's reference and semantic reference converge and depart.
  7. The sixth chapter ("Kripke (Saul) - A Puzzle About Belief" was thoroughly enjoyable because, while the essay discusses some hugely important topics, I found that it read much like a mystery novel of sorts. There are all of these clues lying around and it seems like the answer is just on the tip of one's tongue, but as more and more is unveiled, the culprit becomes more and more mysterious. However, Kripke is much too intelligent to write a bland run-of-the-mill mystery novel and so he leaves his story without a final chapter in order that the reader might think more deeply about the topic and come to one's own conclusions.
  8. In all honesty, I found "Kripke (Saul) - Nozick on Knowledge" a bit out of place and unnecessarily long. However, anyone with an interest in epistemology and specifically counterfactual conditional warrant will want to soak up everything that Kripke says in this essay. Indeed, Kripke has thrown down the gauntlet that counterfactual conditional warrant proponents must meet. That is not exactly an easy task.
  9. "Kripke (Saul) - Russell's Notion of Scope" was interesting because Kripke actually finds something of merit in Russell's philosophy of language (unlike much of what he has written). As is obvious from the title, this essay is part historical and part reflection in that Kripke tries to discuss Russell's notion of scope while also keeping an eye on whether Russell is correct or not.
  10. Like the previous essay, "Kripke (Saul) - Frege's Theory of Sense and Reference: Some Exegetical Notes" is part historical and part reflection. Although I was not a huge fan of this particular essay, it meshes quite well with the other essays and thus serves a fine place in this volume.
  11. "Kripke (Saul) - The First Person" investigates the use of the pronoun "I". While I would not say Kripke provides any revolutionary discussion on the matter, his views and reasoning behind those views are always worth reading and so one should look forward to this chapter. Personally, I wish Kripke would have written (originally, spoken) more of his own thoughts on the matter and not interacted with the secondary literature as much. However, that is the nature of philosophy sometimes.
  12. "Kripke (Saul) - Unrestricted Exportation and Some Morals for the Philosophy of Language" was extremely delectable because it provided a jumping off point for the convergence of philosophy of language and metaphysics that I had not thought of before. Kripke discusses the infamous de dicto / de re distinction and whether de re beliefs/properties should be kept or are merely baggage from a bygone age. Kripke thus weighs in on a much debated topic and provides useful insight along the way.
  13. "Kripke (Saul) - Presupposition and Anaphora: Remarks on the Formulation of the Projection Problem" was a mere 122 page essay wherein Kripke discusses a much neglected topic. As Kripke summarizes the problem he is to tackle, "if we have a logically complex sentence whose clauses bear certain presuppositions, how do we compute the presuppositions of the whole?" Kripke argues that the usual answers miss out on a vital part that he thinks sheds light on the problem namely, anaphora.
  14. Lastly, Kripke wrote an original essay for this volume entitled "Kripke (Saul) - A Puzzle about Time and Thought". This brief essay again comes back to one of Kripke's preoccupations: puzzles. He presents one of his own for the reader to think about and work through. I find this is a very fitting ending for the book because since Kripke loves philosophy and philosophy is centered around puzzles (see my earlier remark on paradoxes and philosophy) and he solved a number of puzzles in the preceding essays, it is only fitting that he presents a puzzle of his own so that philosophy may go on.
  15. When I read this book, I had no degree in philosophy nor had I even completed a philosophy and/or logic course of any kind. Although I am naturally philosophically inclined, this was, at most, the tenth philosophy book I had read. Nonetheless, these articles were typical Kripke in that they treat complex topics in a very simple manner. It is said that Peter van Inwagen is one of (if not the) clearest writer in philosophy, but I must disagree and give that honor to Kripke. This just shows Kripke's genius all the more because he knows his topic well enough to communicate it in simple terms. As Einstein said, "you do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother." Needless to say, Kripke understands the topics on which he writes like very few (if any) other human beings do.
  16. With the above in mind, then, this book is important reading for people as diverse as the world-renowned philosopher to the merely interested layman. Either of those two, and anyone in between, would benefit immensely from reading this book. However, be ready to think about some complex topics because those are exactly the topics about which Kripke is troubled.

In-Page Footnotes ("Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1")

Footnote 1: Not me!

Footnote 2: 22 pages according to the Index!


OUP USA; (22 Dec. 2011)

"Kripke (Saul) - A Puzzle About Belief"

Source: Ludlow - Readings in the Philosophy of Language

  • Kripke's puzzle is still puzzling, despite numerous attempts to solve it. Although it focuses on attributions of attitude (here belief), it ranges over a wide range of issues in the philosophy of language. It may well be considered the fourth lecture for Naming and Necessity.
  • As Kripke notes, in that work he advocated a Millian position for modal2 contexts but appeared to advocate a non-Millian account for epistemic contexts. How to resolve this tension? Unlike Frege and Russell, Kripke generates his puzzle without appealing to principles of substitution.
  • Kripke's forceful, intuitive arguments makes it a regular favorite with students.


In-Page Footnotes ("Kripke (Saul) - A Puzzle About Belief")

Footnote 1: Taken from "Harnish (Robert M.) - Basic Topics in the Philosophy of Language: Introduction".

"Kripke (Saul) - A Puzzle about Time and Thought"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - Frege's Theory of Sense and Reference: Some Exegetical Notes"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - Identity and Necessity"

Source: Loux - Metaphysics - Contemporary Readings

Author’s Footnote
  1. This paper was presented orally, without a written text to the New York University lecture series on identity which makes up the volume "Munitz (Milton) - Identity and Individuation".
  2. The lecture was taped, and the present essay represents a transcription of these tapes, edited only slightly with no attempt to change the style of the original. If the reader imagines the sentences of this essay as being delivered, extemporaneously, with proper pauses and emphases, this may facilitate his comprehension. Nevertheless, there may still be passages which are hard to follow, and the time allotted necessitated a condensed presentation of the argument.
  3. A longer version of some of these views, still rather compressed and still representing a transcript of oral remarks, has appeared in Semantics of Natural Language, ed. By Donald Davidson and Gilbert Harman (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1972).
  4. Occasionally, reservations, amplifications and gratifications of my remarks had to be repressed, especially discussion of theoretical identification and the mind-body problem. The footnotes, which were added to the original, would have become even more unwieldy if this had not been done.

Author’s Introduction
  1. A problem which has arisen frequently in contemporary philosophy is; “How are contingent identity1 statements possible?" This question is phrased by analogy with the way Kant phrased his question "How are synthetic a priori judgements possible?" In both cases, it has usually been taken for granted in the one case by Kant that synthetic a priori judgements were possible, and in the other case in contemporary philosophical literature that contingent statements of identity are possible.
  2. I do not intend to deal with the Kantian question except to mention this analogy: after a rather thick book was written trying to answer the question how synthetic a priori judgements were possible, others came along later who claimed that the solution to the problem was that synthetic a priori judgements were, of course, impossible and that a book trying to show otherwise was written in vain.
  3. I will not discuss who was right on the possibility of synthetic a priori judgements. But in the case of contingent statements of identity, most philosophers have felt that the notion of a contingent identity2 statement ran into something like the following paradox. An argument like the following can be given against the possibility of contingent identity3 statements


"Kripke (Saul) - Nozick on Knowledge"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - On Two Paradoxes of Knowledge"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - Outline of a Theory of Truth"

Source: Journal of Philosophy 72.19, Nov. 1975, pp. 690-716

Philosophers Index Abstract
    A formal theory of truth, alternative to tarski's 'orthodox' theory, based on truth-value gaps, is presented. The theory is proposed as a fairly plausible model for natural language and as one which allows rigorous definitions to be given for various intuitive concepts, such as those of 'grounded' and 'paradoxical' sentences.

COMMENT: Also in "Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1".

"Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1 - Introduction"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - Presupposition and Anaphora: Remarks on the Formulation of the Projection Problem"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference"

Source: Ludlow - Readings in the Philosophy of Language

Philosophers Index Abstract
    Keith Donnellan has argued that certain "referential" uses of definite descriptions are counterexamples to a Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. The present paper argues that a distinction between 'speaker's reference' and 'semantic reference' shows that the existence of such phenomena is compatible with Russell's theory, or another unitary theory of descriptions. The problem is used to illustrate various methodological and other issues in the philosophy of language.

COMMENT: Also in "Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1".

"Kripke (Saul) - The First Person"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - Unrestricted Exportation and Some Morals for the Philosophy of Language"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

"Kripke (Saul) - Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities"

Source: Kripke (Saul) - Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

Author’s Introduction1
  1. One of the main concerns of my previous work ("Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity", 1980) is the semantics of proper names and natural kind terms. A classical view which Putnam mentioned, advocated by Mill, states that proper names have as their function simply to refer; they have denotation but not connotation. The alternative view, which until fairly recently has dominated the field, has been that of Frege and Russell. They hold that ordinary names have connotation in a very strong sense: a proper name such as ‘Napoleon’ simply means the man having most of the properties we commonly attribute to Napoleon, such as being Emperor of the French, losing at Waterloo, and the like. Of course, intermediate views might be suggested, and perhaps have been suggested.
  2. For various general terms, such as ‘cow’ and ‘tiger’ or ‘elm’ and ‘beech’, not only Frege and Russell, but Mill as well (probably more explicitly than the other two), held that they have connotation in the sense that we learn what it is to be a tiger by being given some list of properties which form necessary and sufficient conditions for being a tiger. In both these cases, both where Mill and Frege–Russell disagree and where Mill and Frege–Russell agree, I have advocated the view that the consensus is largely wrong; that it is reference which is much more important here than any supposed sense.
  3. I want to discuss one aspect of this problem today, since no consideration in favor of the Frege–Russell view of proper names has seemed more conclusive than the fact that names can sometimes be empty — that, for example, they can occur in fiction. Also, even if they do in fact refer, it is intelligible to raise the question of whether the alleged referent really exists. For instance, we ask whether Moses as a historical character really existed and the like. What can we mean by this? If the function of naming were simply reference, then empty names would seem to have no semantic function at all, but plainly they do not fail to have a semantic function, as anyone who enjoys a good work of fiction can attest. And even if they do have referents, we can ask whether, say, Moses or Napoleon really existed. When we do so we are not asking whether that person really existed. We are not questioning of him whether he really existed, because if we were asking such a question, the answer should be evident. Since everyone really exists, that person does also. It is unintelligible, as Russell and Frege have emphasized, to ask of a person whether he really exists.

COMMENT: For the paper, see Kripke - Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities

In-Page Footnotes ("Kripke (Saul) - Vacuous Names and Fictional Entities")

Footnote 1:
  • Truncated arbitrarily, with footnotes omitted, except …
  • The present paper (essentially a precursor of my John Locke Lectures at Oxford) was delivered at the conference ‘Language, Intentionality, and Translation Theory’, held at the University of Connecticut in March of 1973 and organized by Sam Wheeler and John Troyer. The other papers in the conference, together with the discussions afterward, were published in Synthese 27, 1974. The version here is based on a transcription made by the conference organizers. A general discussion of my own paper was printed in the Synthese volume mentioned (509–21), even though the paper itself was not. Papers were presented by many distinguished philosophers of language, who also participated in the discussion.

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