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Kai Frederick Wehmeier
University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA 92617-3066)
A Critique of Philosopher Saul Kripke's Work on Identity and Necessity

A book-length study on the logician Saul Kripke and his concepts of identity and necessity.

I propose to re-examine currently orthodox philosophical views concerning the logic, metaphysics and semantics of identity and necessity. The resulting alternative theory dispenses with the notion of a two-place relation that every object bears to itself, and to itself only, and proposes a more sophisticated conception of logical form for necessity statements that accounts, by way of explicit notation, for the distinction between indicative and non-indicative verb moods. It will be shown that a number of prominent philosophical theses, many of which were first articulated by Saul Kripke in the 1970s, require substantial revision or become outright untenable when the background logical framework is modified in the manner proposed. These include the necessity of identity, the existence of contingent a priori truths, and the principled non-synonymy of proper names with definite descriptions. The results will be of interest to philosophers, logicians and linguists.

Project fields:
Logic; Metaphysics; Philosophy of Language

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 7/31/2018