Jaakko Kaarlo Juhani Hintikka
12 January 1929
Helsingin maalaiskunta, Finland
|12 August 2015 (aged 86)
|University of Helsinki
|Distributive Normal Forms in the Calculus of Predicates (1953)
|Georg Henrik von Wright
Kaarlo Jaakko Juhani Hintikka (12 January 1929 – 12 August 2015) was a Finnish philosopher and logician. Hintikka is regarded as the founder of formal epistemic logic and of game semantics for logic.
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
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.
For a bibliography, see Auxier and Hahn (2006).