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 reference, in particular of naming, and of identity. From a critique of the dominant tendency to assimilate names to descriptions and more generally to treat their reference as a function of their Fregean sense, surprisingly deep and widespread consequences may be drawn. The largely discredited distinction between accidental and essential properties, both of individual things (including people) and of kinds of things, is revived. So is a consequent view of science as what seeks out the essences of natural kinds. Traditional objections to such views are dealt with by sharpening distinctions between epistemic and metaphysical necessity; in particular by the startling admission of necessary a posteriori truths. From these, in particular from identity statements using rigid designators whether of things or of kinds, further remarkable consequences are drawn for the natures of things, of people, and of kinds; strong objections follow, for example to identity versions of materialism as a theory of the mind.
This seminal work, to which today's thriving essentialist metaphysics largely owes its impetus, is here published with a substantial new Preface by the author....Continua
With three powerful arguments Kripke knocks Russell's Description Theory of Meaning down, and the failure of Russell's theory weakens the power of the Descriptivists' explanation on reference.
However this is not the end of the story. The modal argument against theory of description reveals its absurd implication on possible world, the descriptivists' idea turns the non-trival statements into necessary truth, and more seriously, it made accidental properties becoming essential properties, and giving a very bad solution to the problem of trans-world identity.
Kripke proposed that proper names are rigid designators and refering the same thing in all possible worlds. This simple and natural proposal, however, has denied the Kantian conception on "a prior"/ "a posterior" and "necessary"/"contingent", as Kant presupposed that "a prior" is equivalent to "necessary", and "a posterior" is equivalent to "contingent", and the denial implies that most of the scientific identity statements, such as "water is H2O", are indeed necessary truths.
That's why this book turns the whole analytic philosophy up side down....Continua
This book revolutionized logic studies by opposing Frege and Russell's descriptivist views on naming and reference. If you are interested in the philosophy of logic as it relates to natural language or the philosophy of language, then your education will be incomplete without this book, which, incidentally, is transcribed from four lectures given entirely without notes....Continua