Identity and Necessity

Saul A. Kripke

in Philosophical Troubles

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730155
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918430 | DOI:
Identity and Necessity

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A problem which has arisen frequently in contemporary philosophy is: “How are contingent identity statements possible?” This question is phrased by analogy with the way Kant phrased his question “How are synthetic a priori judgments possible?” It has usually been taken for granted in the one case by Kant that synthetic a priori judgments were possible, and in the other case in contemporary philosophical literature that contingent statements of identity are possible. This chapter argues that in both the case of names and the case of the theoretical identifications, the identity statements are necessary and not contingent. That is to say, they are necessary if true; of course, false identity statements are not necessary. This view is defended by first distinguishing between the terms rigid and nonrigid designator, and the notions of a prioricity and necessity.

Keywords: contingent identity statements; rigid designator; nonrigid designator; prioricity; necessity

Chapter.  15782 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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