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

(1929-01-12)12 January 1929
Died 12 August 2015(2015-08-12) (aged 86)
Porvoo, Finland
Nationality Finnish
Education University of Helsinki
(Ph.D., 1953)
  • Library of Living Philosophers (2006)
  • Rolf Schock Prize (2006)
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
  • Barry Loewer
Main interests
Notable ideas
  • Hintikka set
  • Game semantics
  • Epistemic logic
  • Independence-friendly logic

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

Life and career

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. He was a student of Georg Henrik von Wright.

Hintikka was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University (1956-1969), and held several professorial appointments at the University of Helsinki, the Academy of Finland, Stanford University, Florida State University and finally Boston University from 1990 until his death. He was 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.

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. On May 26, 2000 Hintikka received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of History and Philosophy at Uppsala University, Sweden

Philosophical work

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.

Selected books

Jaakko Hintikka
Hintikka in 2006.

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

  • 1962. Knowledge and Belief – An Introduction to the Logic of the Two Notions ISBN: 1-904987-08-7
  • 1969. Models for Modalities: Selected Essays ISBN: 978-90-277-0598-3
  • 1975. The intentions of intentionality and other new models for modalities ISBN: 978-90-277-0634-8
  • 1976. The semantics of questions and the questions of semantics: case studies in the interrelations of logic, semantics, and syntax ISBN: 978-95-1950-535-0
  • 1989. The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic ISBN: 0-7923-0040-8
  • 1996. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half-Truths ISBN: 0-7923-4091-4
  • 1996. Lingua Universalis vs Calculus Ratiocinator ISBN: 0-7923-4246-1
  • 1996. The Principles of Mathematics Revisited ISBN: 0-521-62498-3
  • 1998. Paradigms for Language Theory and Other Essays ISBN: 0-7923-4780-3
  • 1998. Language, Truth and Logic in Mathematics ISBN: 0-7923-4766-8
  • 1999. Inquiry as Inquiry: A Logic of Scientific Discovery ISBN: 0-7923-5477-X
  • 2004. Analyses of Aristotle ISBN: 1-4020-2040-6
  • 2007. Socratic Epistemology: Explorations of Knowledge-Seeking by Questioning ISBN: 978-0-521-61651-5

See also

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