When these lectures were first published eight years ago, they stood analytic philosophy on its ear. Everybody was either furious, or exhilarated, or thoroughly perplexed. No one was indifferent. This welcome republication in a separate volume (with a helpful new preface, but no substantive changes) provides a chance to look back at a modern classic, and to say something about why it was found so shocking and liberating. Naming and Necessity
lays out a way of thinking about the relation between language and the world which permits just as formal and rigorous a treatment of notions like "meaning," "truth" and "reference" as had Russell's and Frege's. Nobody would have believed that the neatness--what Kripke calls "the marvellous internal coherence"--of Frege-Russell semantics could be duplicated after everything was turned upside down. But Kripke showed how to do it, and now philosophers are busily rewriting all of semantics (and a good deal of epistemology) in Kripkean terms. (London Review of Books
Kripke's lectures constitute something of a landmark in the recent development of philosophy... Kripke's penetrating good sense... and his brilliance in the devising of suggestive examples to test a theory's plausibility, have ensured that the topics he deals with can never took quite the same again. (Times Literary Supplement
An impressive and enduring work of philosophy, outstanding in its sweep, clarity, and penetration. (Times Higher Education Supplement
From the Back Cover
Naming and Necessity
has had a 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 naming, and of identity. This seminal work, to which today's thriving essentialist metaphysics largely owes its impetus, is here reissued in a newly corrected form with a new preface by the author. If there is such a thing as essential reading in metaphysics, or in philosophy of language, this is it.
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