Saul Kripke, in a series of classic writings of the 1960s and 1970s, changed the face of metaphysics and philosophy of language. Christopher Hughes offers a careful exposition and critical analysis of Kripke's central ideas about names, necessity, and identity. He clears up some common misunderstandings of Kripke's views on rigid designation, causality and reference, the necessary and the contingent, the a posteriori and the a priori. Through his engagement with
Kripke's ideas Hughes makes a significant contribution to ongoing debates on, inter alia, the semantics of natural kind terms, the nature of natural kinds, the essentiality of origin and constitution, the relative merits of 'identitarian' and counterpart-theoretic accounts of modality, and the identity
or otherwise of mental types and tokens with physical types and tokens. No specialist knowledge in either the philosophy of language or metaphysics is presupposed; Hughes's book will be valuable for anyone working on the ideas which Kripke made famous in the philosophy world.
`Hughes provides a very accessible and engaging presentation of Kripkes arguments. While offering a balanced discussion of the issues, Hughes is not afraid to express and develop his own opinions on the topics. The book fills an important need, offering a good overview of some of the more important arguments Kripke has advanced. Anyone seeking an introduction to Kripkes philosophy will be happy to find Hughess book. . . . It provides a very accessible and
informed overview of one of the most important philosophers of the later half of the twentieth-century. It is also extremely nice to read.'
Michael Nelson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
3: Identity, Worlds, and Times
4: The Mental and the Physical