more from Saul A. Kripke

Single Idea 4958

[catalogued under 14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory]

Full Idea

I hold that characteristic theoretical identifications like 'heat is the motion of molecules', are not contingent truths but necessary truths, and I don't just mean physically necessary, but necessary in the highest degree.

Gist of Idea

Identities like 'heat is molecule motion' are necessary (in the highest degree), not contingent


Saul A. Kripke (Naming and Necessity lectures [1970], Lecture 2)

Book Reference

Kripke,Saul: 'Naming and Necessity' [Blackwell 1980], p.99

A Reaction

This helps to keep epistemology and ontology separate. The contingency was in the epistemology. That the identity is 'physically necessary' seems obvious; that it is necessary 'in the highest degrees' implies an essentialist view of nature.