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Naming and Necessity

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  3,015 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
If there is such a thing as essential reading in metaphysics or in philosophy of language, this is it.

Ever since the publication of its original version, "Naming and Necessity" has had great and increasing influence. It redirected philosophical attention to neglected questions of natural and metaphysical necessity and to the connections between these and theories of refere
Paperback, 172 pages
Published April 15th 1982 by Harvard University Press (first published 1980)
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Jun 24, 2009 Manny rated it liked it
As you can see if you read the other reviews, there are a lot of ways to approach Naming and Necessity, and some of them get into very technical philosophical territory. Those ways of reading it are interesting, but I think that what Kripke is saying is, in the end, quite simple, which is why the book has enjoyed such lasting popularity. He just had to express much of the argument in terms of the language of "possible worlds", which was fashionable at the time.

Kripke's basic point, to me, is rat
Roy Lotz
Apr 30, 2014 Roy Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me state then what the cluster concept theory of names is. (It really is a nice theory. The only defect I think it has is probably common to all philosophical theories. It’s wrong. You may suspect me of proposing another theory in its place; but I hope not, because I’m sure it’s wrong too if it is a theory.)

Like many other works of philosophy (and those of other subjects, for that matter), Naming and Necessity will likely be perplexing if you don’t know what the author is arguing against.
Jon Stout
Jun 07, 2010 Jon Stout rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mathematicians and linguists
Recommended to Jon by: Ambi Mani & Hugh Hagius
Shelves: philosophy
I remember in graduate school, when Kripke visited as a young genius, I didn’t know quite what to make of him. I remember A. J. Ayer, the logical positivist and a bastion of British philosophy, expostulating from the podium, “So there, Kripke!” in the middle of a presentation, as though Kripke were the only one in the audience worthy of his vitriol. It wasn’t until now that, under the influence of philosophical friends, I got around to reading Kripke’s best known book.

It’s still hard to grasp th
Aug 12, 2007 L S rated it it was amazing
It has to be said, although it's too much said, that Naming and Necessity revolutionized philosophy of language and is probably the most influential book in analytic philosophy in the past half-century.

I've read Naming and Necessity four times now and am still surprised by it. Kripke's style is, particularly in relation to his peers, strikingly clear. In fact, if I have one criticism to mention offhand, it's that Kripke's style is too seductive. Often he makes claims that sound eminently reason
Jan 14, 2016 باحث rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فلسفة

سول كيربكي فيلسوف تحليلي يُعتبر أحد أفضل الفلاسفة المعاصرين
وكتابه هذا يعد من أهم الكتب في أخر قرنين
ويعد من منعشين الميتافيزيقا بعد الضربات التي تلقتها

الكتاب عبارة عن ثلاث محاضرات مفرغة
وأهتم "كيربكي" بالكتاب بإضافة مقدمة وخاتمة وهوامش من أجل توضيح بعض المسائل التي تتطرق إليها
الكتاب ككل في 170 صفحة تقريباً

ويعتبر رده "في إثبات وجود قضايا تحليلية بعدية" من أقوى الردود على "كانط" الفيلسوف الألماني

بالإضافة مناقشة مسائل عرضها بعض الفلاسفة كفريجه وراسل وكواين وميل وغيرهم

والمضحك المبكي أن هذا الكتاب لم
Erik C
Feb 27, 2009 Erik C rated it liked it
Shelves: owned

Saul Kripke’s Naming and Necessity addresses how words come to point to the things in the world that they refer to. Kripke successfully paints a more accurate picture of how this happens than the accepted view. Further, Kripke shows how we can have empirical knowledge of necessities by showing that certain identity statements are necessarily true if they are true at all. However, Kripke tries but fails to use this corrected view to launch an attack against materialism.

The theory Kripke hopes to
Jon Gauthier
Apr 15, 2017 Jon Gauthier rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: linguists, cognitive scientists, philosophy students
An extremely important book for the philosophy of language, and also very relevant in philosophy of mind. The book consists of 3 transcribed+edited lectures which Kripke apparently gave extemporaneously. This lecture format means that the book is rather quick and easy to read, and almost entirely free of (symbolic) logic (!).

But beware: this is probably not a good place to dive into analytic philosophy without any background. Plenty of the existing reviews of this book on Goodreads will give you
Heath Allen
Sep 23, 2012 Heath Allen rated it did not like it
For a "revolutionary" or "landmark" book, it contains surprisingly nothing of substance. I suppose it's interesting for people who already accept notions like necessity and the a priori, and for those who think that the notion of "meaning" is clear enough to lean on for any substantive philosophical work. But as far as I can tell, philosophers who accept such notions don't do so on the basis of any argument (for all their arguments depend on such notions). So it's a good book for philosophers wh ...more
Jacob Aitken
Kripke’s thesis is that rigid designators are true, we have an intuition of them, and that they are the same in every possible world (Kripke 48). A designator is a common term that covers names and definitions (24). Specifically, names are rigid designators (48). Kripke also has a lucid discussion on what a “possible world” is (and isn’t). We imagine a situation that could have been otherwise. What properties of x would remain in that world and which would be different?

Example: “The man who inve
Apr 05, 2011 Frank rated it liked it
Fast read for a philosophy book and interesting ideas, particularly as regards how names work, the necessity of certain traits, and the existence of a posteriori analytic knowledge. Gets bogged down at the end with the mind body problem, but that might have just been me.

Glad I read it, but probably missed a lot by not reading it for class and discussing it.
Jul 15, 2007 Erica rated it it was ok
May 03, 2015 padellino rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2016 Dmk rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of reading primary sources so I resisted many recommendations to read this book. But after I heard Prof. Kotatko's lecture about problems of theory of Descriptions in which he praised this book I gave up my resistance.

It's quie amusing, very interesting and suprisingly easy to understand (but not as easy as people tend to tell you). Although being transcription of lectures it looks like carefully written book. There's so many interesting ideas delivered with well-chosed, sometimes
Read this for my 'Topics in the Philosophy of Language' class. Although I won't go into how Kripke formulated his overarching idea about how we are construe proper names, I will say what I think about it. I think that Kripke's main idea in these lectures is that we are to refer to proper names by means of a loose history, one person refers to it one way, another person another, yet we have an understanding of what is being referred to. I think this vague understanding, depending on some contexts ...more
Nov 22, 2010 Tyler rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Philosophy Fans
Shelves: philosophy
What exactly do the names of things refer to? Ever since the concepts of sense and reference displaced the the use of genus and differentia, how do we determine reference, especially in the case of counterfactuals?

The standard answer had been to approach reference descriptively -- if you use a word of a certain sense, its reference would be the description it fits. But in Naming and Necessity, Kripke begs to differ. And if he’s right, the notion of reference has become a lot easier to manage.

Dec 10, 2014 Renato rated it it was amazing
Este livro consiste na transcrição de três palestras de Saul Kripke, filósofo americano responsável pela retomada das discussões metafísicas na filosofia contemporânea. O livro é de leitura fácil pois trata-se da transcrição de palestras proferidas nas John Locke Lectures em 1972. O tema do livro é a discussão que envolve modalidades e metafísica. Dentre as três palestras apresentadas, eu destaco a primeira em que Kripke apresenta e defende a tese da designação rígida. Esta é uma tese acerca do ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Leonardo marked it as to-read-in-part
Shelves: semiotica, maesfilo
Según Kripke, las palabras no se refieren a las cosas a través de compartir con ellas rasgos descriptivos, sino a través de un "bautismo original" que elimina completamente la descripción. En este sentido, los nombres serían designadores rígidos. Supongamos que Bush nunca hubiera tenido actividad política: el nombre "Bush" aún se le aplicaría incluso en la ausencia de todos los rasgos descriptivos que actualmente asociamos con él y, a la inversa, si surge un nuevo individuo que de hecho posee la ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Kevin rated it liked it
To tell you the truth, i'm not sure what all the bustle is about. It's a strong text, no doubt. I particularly relish his criticism of Russel and Frege, and their 'definite description' account of naming, where Aristotle= the man who taught Alexander, or the student of Plato. (I'm not sure what to make of his criticism of Searle's 'cluster concept' of definite description). Moreover, Kripke's recognition that there are such things as contingent a-priori and necessary a-posteriori modalities, is, ...more
Si Barron
Nov 22, 2014 Si Barron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Hmm- just re-reading this classic and savouring it's utter greatness.

Why do I (and so many others) like it so much? Well, the style is informal for starters- the guy was young and giving a talk (this 'book' is a transcript) NOTE- this has it's own set of drawbacks- some of the points are not clearly made- most are though; also some digressions are unnecessary and some phrasing unfelicitous or downright irritating.

Mainly though because it instills a sense of wonder into previously dry fields of l
Feb 04, 2009 laura added it
Shelves: philosophy
one of the things i love about philosophy is that, just like in real life, you can't have everything you want. we have enough beliefs that are in contradiction with one another, that holding on to any one usually entails giving up some others. this is even true of our most cherished beliefs-- or, at least, it's been this way for me. another thing i love about philosophy is the way it exercised my imagination. when you have to give up some of the very beliefs that allowed you to make sense your o ...more
Dec 06, 2011 Rachael rated it it was amazing
This book, one of the most important in philosophy in the last century, consists of a series of 3 lectures, and as a result is very accessible. Kripke's main argument is that there are some matters which are a posteriori and necessary when we fix a reference. For example, once we identify something as water, and then discover that it consists of H20, then it is necessarily composed of H20, that is, must be H20 in every possible world. That is because the reference has been fixed to an actual obj ...more
Aug 17, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing
Sept. 2, 2008: Fantastic book. Very lucid and insightful on a whole range of topics. Of course, I am particularly fond of his discussion of the mind/body problem, but there is something for everything in these published lectures.

Kripke's modal argument against materialism is forceful. He begins this argument by pointing out that 'pain' and 'C-fiber firing' are both rigid designators (they are the same in all possible worlds). Because they are rigid designators, for pain and C-fiber firing to be
Mar 30, 2016 K rated it liked it
Since this book is based on Kripke's lectures, its style is relaxed and informal. Make no mistake, however, for appearances can be misleading. This is a serious and dense discussion on foundational philosophical concepts, like modality, aprioricity, and reference. Moreover, this is the book that almost single-handedly revived metaphysics and as such, is considered a monumental work of 20th century philosophy. Nevertheless, having read it I remain unimpressed. There are two reasons for this:

Jun 26, 2008 Charlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Like nearly every philosophy book ever written this book peaks about a third of the way in at the point when the belief/semantic/logic system has been assembledaccording to the idea of the author, the rest of the book is sorting through all the fiddly details that are necessary but by no means fun.

The book is transcribed from three lectures that Kripke gave in 1970, and as such are very readible and at times even humourous or fun, there is a great deal of examples provided in the book, and for t
Josh Sinclair
Sep 06, 2013 Josh Sinclair rated it it was amazing
If you have ever wondered about language and how words pick out objects in the world this book is for you. It is sort of a tough read, but if you can rough it through reading a segment a couple of times then it is well worth it. This is one of the most influential books in modern analytic philosophy. if you are looking for an exciting topic within philosophy this is a good place to go. Kripke is a juggernaut in the analytic philosophy world, especially within mathematics, logic and language. Thi ...more
Jun 12, 2016 Tatiana rated it really liked it
I had to read this book for Uni, but I was surprisingly impressed of how entertaining it could be (sadly, that doesn't mean I got a particularly good grade in metaphysics ahah). I won't lie, it is complicated and sometimes I had to re-read the same page a couple (or more) of times, but it's totally worth it! Kripke keeps it interesting and it even made me laugh at times, but I would recommend it only to someone who has a genuine interest in the subject and actively wants to understand the issue, ...more
Nov 23, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing
So many people have adopted the terminology and general worldview of this book over the 45ish years since Kripke's lectures. It's been on my list since probably high school when I came across it in some wikipedia rabbit hole, and I wish it hadn't taken me so long to get to it. Every page brought new flashes of recognition, as countless conversations and articles were thrown into stark relief. I've just been relying on reverse inference, figuring out what people meant by "rigid designators" and " ...more
Lector Libros
Jun 01, 2013 Lector Libros rated it really liked it
This book contains compelling, lucid arguments elucidating a pre-ontology that is very common in academia and very rarely discussed or challenged, and is therefore very interesting as pure psychology or sociology. It's also very enjoyable to read it as a programmer and to try to map Kripke's statements to programming language design features and it was an extremely useful irritant (goad to understanding) for me as a scientist interested in recognizing and tracking hazily-defined phenomena in phy ...more
Yan Kai
Feb 09, 2015 Yan Kai rated it liked it
A transcript of three lectures Kripke gave in the winter of 1970 at the age of 30. Extremely influential in reviving talk of the concept of necessity. The casual tone makes it seductively, even deceptively easy to read on the first go. Subsequent re-reads confuse but ultimately, undeniable ingenuity is present. It is a shame Kripke never took the time to flesh out his something-of-a-theory here more formally. Nevertheless, it is definitely one of the most important philosophical works in the 20t ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Ethan rated it really liked it
This book helped popularize the constant appeal to intuitions and possible worlds characteristic of so much analytic philosophy today. I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing, since I find the constant appeal to intuitions methodologically problematic (why are intuitions trustworthy?) and too much emphasis on possible worlds can lead to modal realism, which - true though it may be - is kind of nuts. Nonetheless, I'm impressed that this book manages to be at the same time accessible and deeply ...more
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Saul Aaron Kripke is an American philosopher and logician, now emeritus from Princeton. He teaches as distinguished professor of philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center. Since the 1960s Kripke has been a central figure in a number of fields related to logic, philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, and set theory. Much of his work remains unpublished or exists only as tape-recordings and priv ...more
More about Saul A. Kripke...

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