more from Saul A. Kripke

Single Idea 16986

[catalogued under 10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / e. Possible Objects]

Full Idea

I think it is not the case that there might have been unicorns. I wouldn't say it is necessary that there are no unicorns, but that we just can't say under what circumstances there would have been unicorns.

Gist of Idea

That there might have been unicorns is false; we don't know the circumstances for unicorns


Saul A. Kripke (Naming and Necessity lectures [1970], Lecture 1)

Book Reference

Kripke,Saul: 'Naming and Necessity' [Blackwell 1980], p.24

A Reaction

His point seems to be that unicorns are insufficiently individuated by the legends, whereas a typical sample of an actual creature contains everything that will individuate the species.