Jaakko Hintikka

Last updated
Jaakko Hintikka
Hintikka 2.jpg
Jaakko Hintikka in 2003
Jaakko Kaarlo Juhani Hintikka

(1929-01-12)January 12, 1929
DiedAugust 12, 2015(2015-08-12) (aged 86)
Porvoo, Finland
Education University of Helsinki
(Ph.D., 1953)
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Thesis Distributive Normal Forms in the Calculus of Predicates (1953)
Doctoral advisor Georg Henrik von Wright
Doctoral students Terence Parsons
Main interests
Notable ideas

Kaarlo Jaakko Juhani Hintikka (12 January 1929 – 12 August 2015) was a Finnish philosopher and logician.

Philosopher person with an extensive knowledge of philosophy

A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term “philosopher” comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning “lover of wisdom.” The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.



Hintikka was born in Helsingin maalaiskunta (now Vantaa).

In 1953, he received his doctorate from the University of Helsinki for a thesis entitled Distributive Normal Forms in the Calculus of Predicates .

University of Helsinki public university in Helsinki, Finland

The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku in 1640 as the Royal Academy of Åbo, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available. Around 36,500 students are currently enrolled in the degree programs of the university spread across 11 faculties and 11 research institutes.

After teaching for a number of years at Florida State University, Stanford, the University of Helsinki, and the Academy of Finland, he ended his career as a Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. The prolific author or co-author of over 30 books and over 300 scholarly articles, Hintikka contributed to mathematical logic, philosophical logic, the philosophy of mathematics, epistemology, language theory, and the philosophy of science. His works have appeared in over nine languages.

Florida State University university in the United States

Florida State University is a public space-grant and sea-grant research university in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. Founded in 1851, it is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida.

Stanford University private research university located in Stanford, California, United States

Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities.

The Academy of Finland is a governmental funding body for scientific research in Finland. It is based in Helsinki. Yearly, the Academy administers over 260 million euros to Finnish research activities. Over 5000 researchers are working on projects supported by the academy. The Academy functions as a funding body only and is not a school. However, personnel funded by the Academy can use the title referring to it, e.g. professors will be called akatemiaprofessori. Academy Professor funding has a term of 5 years.

Hintikka is regarded as the founder of formal epistemic logic and of game semantics for logic. Early in his career, he devised a semantics of modal logic essentially analogous to Saul Kripke's frame semantics, and discovered the now widely taught semantic tableau, independently of Evert Willem Beth. Later, he worked mainly on game semantics, and on independence-friendly logic, known for its "branching quantifiers", which he believed do better justice to our intuitions about quantifiers than does conventional first-order logic. He did important exegetical work on Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Charles Sanders Peirce. Hintikka's work can be seen as a continuation of the analytic tendency in philosophy founded by Franz Brentano and Peirce, advanced by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell, and continued by Rudolf Carnap, Willard Van Orman Quine, and by Hintikka's teacher Georg Henrik von Wright. For instance, in 1998 he wrote The Principles of Mathematics Revisited, which takes an exploratory stance comparable to that Russell made with his The Principles of Mathematics in 1903.

Game semantics is an approach to formal semantics that grounds the concepts of truth or validity on game-theoretic concepts, such as the existence of a winning strategy for a player, somewhat resembling Socratic dialogues or medieval theory of Obligationes.

Saul Kripke American philosopher

Saul Aaron Kripke is an American philosopher and logician. He is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and emeritus professor at Princeton University. Since the 1960s, Kripke has been a central figure in a number of fields related to mathematical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, epistemology, and set theory. Much of his work remains unpublished or exists only as tape recordings and privately circulated manuscripts. Kripke was the recipient of the 2001 Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy.

Kripke semantics is a formal semantics for non-classical logic systems created in the late 1950s and early 1960s by Saul Kripke and André Joyal. It was first conceived for modal logics, and later adapted to intuitionistic logic and other non-classical systems. The development of Kripke semantics was a breakthrough in the theory of non-classical logics, because the model theory of such logics was almost non-existent before Kripke.

Professor Hintikka was a student of G. H. von Wright, a Junior Fellow at Harvard (1956–9), and held several professorial appointments at the University of Helsinki, the Academy of Finland, Florida State University and finally Boston University from 1990 until his death. [1]

Hintikka edited the academic journal Synthese from 1962 to 2002, and was a consultant editor for more than ten journals. He was the first vice-president of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie, the Vice-President of the Institut International de Philosophie (1993–1996), as well as a member of the American Philosophical Association, the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, Association for Symbolic Logic, and a member of the governing board of the Philosophy of Science Association. In 2005, he won the Rolf Schock Prize in logic and philosophy "for his pioneering contributions to the logical analysis of modal concepts, in particular the concepts of knowledge and belief". In 1985, he was president of the Florida Philosophical Association.

He was a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. [2] On May 26, 2000 Hintikka received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of History and Philosophy at Uppsala University, Sweden [3]

Selected books

Hintikka in 2006. Jaakko Hintikka.jpg
Hintikka in 2006.

For a bibliography, see Auxier and Hahn (2006).

See also


  1. Floyd, Juliet (13 August 2015). "Professor Jaakko Hintikka (1929-2015)". Boston University Philosophy Department. Boston University. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  2. "Gruppe 3: Idéfag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  3. "Honorary doctorates - Uppsala University, Sweden". www.uu.se. Retrieved 10 April 2018.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Willard Van Orman Quine American philosopher and logician

Willard Van Orman Quine was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition, recognized as "one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century." From 1930 until his death 70 years later, Quine was continually affiliated with Harvard University in one way or another, first as a student, then as a professor of philosophy and a teacher of logic and set theory, and finally as a professor emeritus who published or revised several books in retirement. He filled the Edgar Pierce Chair of Philosophy at Harvard from 1956 to 1978. A 2009 poll conducted among analytic philosophers named Quine as the fifth most important philosopher of the past two centuries. He won the first Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy in 1993 for "his systematical and penetrating discussions of how learning of language and communication are based on socially available evidence and of the consequences of this for theories on knowledge and linguistic meaning." In 1996 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for his "outstanding contributions to the progress of philosophy in the 20th century by proposing numerous theories based on keen insights in logic, epistemology, philosophy of science and philosophy of language."

Classical logic is the intensively studied and most widely used class of logics. Classical logic has had much influence on analytic philosophy, the type of philosophy most often found in the English-speaking world.

Rudolf Carnap was a German-language philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism. He is considered "one of the giants among twentieth-century philosophers."

Arthur Norman Prior, usually cited as A. N. Prior, was a noted logician and philosopher. Prior (1957) founded tense logic, now also known as temporal logic, and made important contributions to intensional logic, particularly in Prior (1971).

Modal logic is a type of formal logic primarily developed in the 1960s that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. A modal—a word that expresses a modality—qualifies a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is usually happy, in which case the term "usually" is functioning as a modal. The traditional alethic modalities, or modalities of truth, include possibility, necessity, and impossibility. Other modalities that have been formalized in modal logic include temporal modalities, or modalities of time, deontic modalities, epistemic modalities, or modalities of knowledge and doxastic modalities, or modalities of belief.

Ruth Barcan Marcus American philosopher

Ruth Barcan Marcus was an American academic philosopher and logician best known for her work in modal and philosophical logic. She developed the first formal systems of quantified modal logic and in so doing introduced the schema or principle known as the Barcan formula.. Marcus, who originally published as Ruth C. Barcan, was, as Don Garrett notes "one of the twentieth century’s most important and influential philosopher-logicians". Timothy Williamson, in a 2008 celebration of Marcus' long career, states that many of her "main ideas are not just original, and clever, and beautiful, and fascinating, and influential, and way ahead of their time, but actually – I believe – true."

Montague grammar is an approach to natural language semantics, named after American logician Richard Montague. The Montague grammar is based on formal logic, especially higher-order predicate logic and lambda calculus, and makes use of the notions of intensional logic, via Kripke models. Montague pioneered this approach in the 1960s and early 1970s.

20th-century philosophy

20th-century philosophy saw the development of a number of new philosophical schools—including logical positivism, analytic philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, and poststructuralism. In terms of the eras of philosophy, it is usually labelled as contemporary philosophy.

In logic, the semantics of logic is the study of the semantics, or interpretations, of formal and natural languages usually trying to capture the pre-theoretic notion of entailment.

David Benjamin Kaplan is the Hans Reichenbach Professor of Scientific Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Philosophy. His philosophical work focuses on the philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of Frege and Russell. He is best known for his work on demonstratives, propositions, and reference in intensional contexts. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1983 and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2007.

Intensional logic is an approach to predicate logic that extends first-order logic, which has quantifiers that range over the individuals of a universe (extensions), by additional quantifiers that range over terms that may have such individuals as their value (intensions). The distinction between intensional and extensional entities is parallel to the distinction between sense and reference.

<i>The Journal of Philosophy</i> journal

The Journal of Philosophy is a monthly peer-reviewed academic journal on philosophy, founded in 1904 at Columbia University. Its stated purpose is "To publish philosophical articles of current interest and encourage the interchange of ideas, especially the exploration of the borderline between philosophy and other disciplines." Subscriptions and online access are managed by the Philosophy Documentation Center.

Burton Dreben American philosopher

Burton Spencer Dreben was an American philosopher specializing in mathematical logic. A Harvard graduate who taught at his alma mater for most of his career, he published little but was a teacher and a critic of the work of his colleagues.

The analytic–synthetic distinction is a semantic distinction, used primarily in philosophy to distinguish propositions into two types: analytic propositions and synthetic propositions. Analytic propositions are true by virtue of their meaning, while synthetic propositions are true by how their meaning relates to the world. However, philosophers have used the terms in very different ways. Furthermore, philosophers have debated whether there is a legitimate distinction.

Daniel Kolak is a Croatian-American philosopher who works primarily in philosophy of mind, personal identity, cognitive science, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of logic, philosophy of religion, and aesthetics. He is professor of philosophy at the William Paterson University of New Jersey and an Affiliate of the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS). Kolak is the founder of the philosophical therapy known as cognitive dynamics.

Meta-ontology is a term of recent origin first used by Peter van Inwagen in analyzing Willard Van Orman Quine's critique of Rudolf Carnap's metaphysics, where Quine introduced a formal technique for determining the ontological commitments in a comparison of ontologies.

Meinong's jungle is the name given to the repository of non-existent entities in the ontology of Alexius Meinong.

<i>Meaning and Necessity</i> book by Rudolf Carnap

Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic is a book about semantics and modal logic by the philosopher Rudolf Carnap. The book, in which Carnap discusses the nature of linguistic expressions, was a continuation of his previous work in semantics in Introduction to Semantics (1942) and Formalization of Logic (1943). Considered an important discussion of semantics, it was influential and provided a basis for further developments in modal logic.

The internal–external distinction is a distinction used in philosophy to divide an ontology into two parts: an internal part consisting of a linguistic framework and observations related to that framework, and an external part concerning practical questions about the utility of that framework. This division was introduced by Rudolf Carnap in his work Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology. It was subsequently criticized at length by Willard Van Orman Quine in a number of works, and was considered for some time to have been discredited. However, recently a number of authors have come to the support of some or another version of Carnap's approach.