Famous Creative Thinkers – Peter Singer And Saul Kripke

Peter Singer

Peter Albert David Singer is an Australian moral philosopher who was born on July 6, 1946 in Melbourne, Australia. Singer challenged the traditional ideas on ethics. In so doing, he helped in laying the foundations for revolutionary applied ethical behavior. Singer is considered to be a controversial figure due to his ideals such as claiming that human-animal intercourse is ethical as long as the animal is not harmed during the intercourse. He also claims it is justified for people to kill handicapped infants. His ideals have made him face social stigma. His contributions to applied ethics have earned the prestigious professorship of Princeton University (Oliphant, 2011).

Singer’s work ideals strive to solve various problems in practical ethics. He asserts that people’s right to life is linked with their ability to hold preferences, which is in turn linked with their ability to feel pain and pleasure. Therefore, he argues that abortion is ethical since the fetuses are neither rational nor self-aware of their existence. Therefore, they do not hold preferences. In short, Singer claims that fetus do not have personhood. Singer also supports certain forms of euthanasia. He wholly supports voluntary euthanasia where the individual gives consent. He also supports certain forms of non-voluntary euthanasia including infanticide. However, he opposes involuntary euthanasia (Singer, 2011). Critics of Singers ideals claim that he ignores the notion of the sanctity of life. Singer also claims that it is immoral for today’s generation not to collaborate to help in eradicating poverty.

Many Singer’s relatives including his three grandparents were killed in the Holocaust. This influenced his ideas on life and morality. This may have made him oppose the non-voluntary euthanasia as his relatives were killed in a form that resembled non-voluntary euthanasia. This may also be the reason as to why Singer thinks that it is immoral for the world not to join hands in ending poverty, which causes untold suffering to the poor (Singer, 2011).

Singer strives to think outside the box. He does not conform to various traditional notions such as the sanctity of life. He asserts that self-awareness and the ability to hold preferences is critical in defining ethics. This is one of the major factors that make him support human-animal sexual intercourse as long as the animal is not harmed during the sexual intercourse. Religious people pose the biggest obstacle to Singer’s works. He is shunned due to his controversial beliefs.

Singer has helped in developed the field of applied ethics. His works have portrayed how ethics may be applied in practical decision making. Singer quotes the works of several historical philosophers to back his views. He has helped in advancing the understanding of the field of applied ethics by detaching applied ethics from religion and superstition.

Saul Kripke

Born on November 13, 1940, in Bay Shore, New York, Saul Aaron Kripke is a Harvard-educated American logician and philosopher. Kripke has provided great contributions to mathematical logic, philosophy of mathematics, set theory, metaphysics, and philosophy of language. His most influential contributions are on logic with modal logic being his major area of focus. Despite his contributions, Kripke has only an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Harvard University. Kripke has helped in advancing analytic philosophy particular semantics for modal logic. He developed a system that is currently referred to as Kripke semantics. Kripke also asserts that necessity is a metaphysical notion that should be separated from an epistemic notion of a priori. He also claims that there are necessary truths that are posterior truths (Fitch, 2014).

Kripke’s contributions helped in solving various problems in mathematics and language. He used mathematics to tackle the notion of truth and liar paradox in language. This highlights Kripke’s creativity. He thought outside the box. Despite the fact that he only had a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, he strived to problems in language. In addition, he has provided great contributions to mathematics despite having a bachelor’s only. He strived to ensure that his level of education does not limit his capabilities (Fitch, 2014).

Receiving education from Harvard University, one of the most distinguished universities in the world, helped in improving Kripke’s creativity. He showed an interest in logic even when he was in the university. During his sophomore year, he taught students at MIT a graduate-level logic course (Fitch, 2014).

Failure to attain a postgraduate degree did not inhibit Kripke’s creativity. He could have improved his creative process if he attained a postgraduate degree. The level of education is one of the major differences between Kripke and Singer. Singer has a postgraduate degree whereas Kripke does not.

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