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About the author of Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Saul Kripke

Saul Kripke is a philosopher of international reputation.  He is currently at CUNY as a distinguished professor of philosophy.  In 2007, CUNY opened the Saul Kripke Center, which houses the archives of Kripke’s work.  The Center is at work on digitalizing Kripke’s notes, manuscripts, recordings of lectures and seminars, etc. 

The description of Kripke that I find most apt is that he is the Bobby Fischer of philosophy.  His other main work, Naming and Necessity, was no less controversial and stimulating than WRPL, albeit with more defenders than detractors. However, the following, although written about Naming and Necessity, could just as well be said of WRPL:

"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."
London Review of Books

Despite the volumes that have been written on WRPL, Kripke has remained strangely but perhaps characteristically silent about the whole affair. Maybe, like the early Wittgenstein thought of his first book, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, Kripke believes that the book speaks for itself and nothing more can or needs to be said. For more information about Kripke’s career and current activities, click here.


A new “collected works” book by Kripke is due out soon (November 2011, I believe).  Its title is, Philosophical Troubles:  Collected Papers, Volume 1.  Nicely enough, a conference celebrating the book’s publication is being held at the CUNY Kripke center in September.  For more info on the Kripke Center and the upcoming conference, click here.

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Last modified October 5, 2012
JAH, Professor
Dept. of Philosophy