Jaakko Hintikka

Jaakko Hintikka

Jaakko Hintikka in 2003
Born Jaakko Kaarlo Juhani Hintikka
(1929-01-12)January 12, 1929
Helsingin maalaiskunta, Finland
Died August 12, 2015(2015-08-12) (aged 86)
Porvoo, Finland
Nationality Finnish
Alma mater University of Helsinki
(PhD, 1953)
Thesis Distributive Normal Forms in the Calculus of Predicates (1953)
Doctoral advisor Georg Henrik von Wright
Known for
Notable awards
Hintikka in 2006.

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


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.

After teaching for a number of years at Florida State University, Stanford, the University of Helsinki, and the Academy of Finland, he ended his career as a Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. 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 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.

Professor Hintikka was a student of G. H. von Wright, a Junior Fellow at Harvard (1956–9), and held several professorial appointments at the University of Helsinki, the Academy of Finland, Florida State University and finally Boston University from 1990 until his death.[1]

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.[2] On May 26, 2000 Hintikka received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of History and Philosophy at Uppsala University, Sweden [3]

Selected books

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

See also


  1. Floyd, Juliet. Boston University Philosophy Department. Boston University http://www.bu.edu/philo/2015/08/13/professor-jaakko-hintikka-1929-2015/. Retrieved 2 September 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. "Gruppe 3: Idéfag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  3. http://www.uu.se/en/about-uu/traditions/prizes/honorary-doctorates/


Further reading

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