The Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka

The Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka

The Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka

The Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka


One of the world's most influential logicians, Jaakko Hintikka is a leading figure on the international philosophical scene. Here, he responds to his critics. The 27 critical and descriptive essays in this book, written by important scholars from a variety of fields, challenge Hintikka's innovations in philosophy, logic, and linguistics. His replies, and the essays themselves, all previously unpublished, form a lively, provocative exchange of ideas. Also included is an intellectual autobiography and a complete bibliography of Hintikka's writings.


Since its founding in 1938 by Paul Arthur Schilpp, the Library of Living Philosophers has been devoted to critical analysis and discussion of some of the world’s greatest living philosophers. The format for the series provides for creating in each volume a dialogue between the critics and the great philosopher. The aim is not refutation or confrontation but rather fruitful joining of issues and improved understanding of the positions and issues involved. That is, the goal is not overcoming those who differ from us philosophically but interacting creatively with them.

The basic idea for the series, according to Professor Schilpp’s general introduction to the earlier volumes, came from the late F.C.S. Schiller’s essay “Must Philosophers Disagree?” While Schiller may have been overly optimistic about ending “interminable controversies” in this way, it seems clear that directing searching questions to great philosophers about what they really mean or how they might resolve or address difficulties in their philosophies can produce far greater clarity of understanding and more fruitful philosophizing than would otherwise exist.

To Paul Arthur Schilpp’s undying credit, he acted on this basic thought in launching the Library of Living Philosophers. The general plan for the volumes has sometimes been altered to fit circumstances, but in ways that have well served the mission of the series. The intellectual autobiographies, or, in a few cases, the biographies, shed a great deal of light on both how the philosophies of the great thinkers developed and the major philosophical movements and issues of their time; and many of our great philosophers seek to orient their outlook not merely to their contemporaries but also to what they find most important in earlier philosophers. The critical perspectives of our distinguished contributors have often stood on their own as landmark studies, widely cited and familiar not only to subsequent specialists, but frequently discussed in their own right as pieces of great philosophy. The bibliography helps to provide ready access to the featured scholar’s writings and thought.

There is no reason to alter our historical format or mission for the present century. We are pleased that the success of the Library of Living . . .

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