Volume 6, Issue 2, 2006
Analytic Truths and Kripke’s Semantic Turn
In his influential Naming and Necessity lectures, Saul Kripke made new sense of modal statements: “Kant might have been a bachelor”, “Königsberg is necessarily identical with Kaliningrad”. Many took the notions he introduced-metaphysical necessity and rigid designation -- to herald new metaphysical issues and have important consequences. In fact, the Kripkean insight is at bottom semantic, rather than metaphysical: it is part of how proper names work that they purport to refer to individuals to whom modal properties can be ascribed. We can see this by reflecting on analytic truths that ground modal claims like the two examples above.