Max Cresswell

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Maxwell John Cresswell (born 19 November 1939, Wellington) is a New Zealand philosopher and logician, known for his work in modal logic.[1][2]

Education and career[edit]

Cresswell received his B.A. in 1960 and M.A. in 1961 from the University of New Zealand and then with the support of a Commonwealth Scholarship attended the University of Manchester, where he received in 1964 his PhD with supervisor Arthur Norman Prior. After returning to New Zealand, Cresswell was at the Victoria University of Wellington in 1963–1967 lecturer, in 1968–1972 senior lecturer (also receiving in 1972 Lit.D. from the Victoria University), in 1973 reader, and in 1974–2000 professor, interrupted by several visiting professorships. In 2001 he became professor emeritus and a member of the Centre for Logic, Language and Computation, Victoria University of Wellington and has been a visiting or fixed-term professor at several universities.[3]

Cresswell's research deals with the philosophy of logic, modal logic and formal semantics. He has also published on ancient Greek philosophy, on the logic of the nineteenth century, and on the philosophy of John Locke.[3] Cresswell was the co-author with his colleague and former teacher G. E. Hughes, of An Introduction to Modal Logic, London, Methuen, 1968); this was the first modern textbook on modal logic and introduced many students to Kripke semantics.[1] As a standard introduction to the subject it was replaced by A New Introduction to Modal Logic (London, Routledge, 1996); again with G. E. Hughes, who died prior to publication.


Monographs and collections[edit]

  • with G.E. Hughes, An Introduction to Modal Logic, London, Methuen, 1968, German trans.: Einführung in die Modallogik. Berlin, New York : de Gruyter, 1978
  • Logics and Languages, London, Methuen, 1973, German trans.: Die Sprachen der Logik und die Logik der Sprache, Berlin, New York : de Gruyter, 1979
  • with G.E. Hughes, A Companion to Modal Logic, London, Methuen, 1984
  • Structured Meanings: The Semantics of Propositional Attitudes, Bradford Books/MIT Press, 1985
  • Adverbial Modification, Dordrecht, Reidel, 1985
  • Semantical Essays: Possible Worlds and Their Rivals, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988
  • Entities and Indices, Dordrecht, Kluwer, 1990
  • Language in the World, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994
  • Semantic Indexicality, Dordrecht, Kluwer, 1996
  • with G.E. Hughes, A New Introduction to Modal Logic, London, Routledge, 1996

Selected articles[edit]


  • The interpretation of some Lewis systems of modal logic. Australasian Journal of Philosophy
  • Vol 45, 1967, pp. 198–206.
  • with G.E. Hughes, Omnitemporal logic and converging time. Theoria Vol 61, 1975, pp. 11–34.
  • Necessity and contingency. Studia Logica Vol 47, 1988, pp. 145–149.
  • Incompleteness and the Barcan Formula. Journal of Philosophical Logic Vol 24, 1995, pp. 379–403.
  • Some incompletable modal predicate logics. Logique et Analyse No 160, 1997, pp. 321–334.
  • How to complete some modal predicate logics. Advances in Modal Logic, Vol 2, (ed M. Zakharyaschev, K. Segerberg, M. de Rijke and H. Wansing.), CSLI Publications, 2001, pp. 155–178.
  • Possibility semantics for intuitionist logic. Australasian Journal of Logic. Vol 2, 2004, pp. 11–29.
  • Temporal reference in linear tense logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic. 2010, doi:10.1007/s10992-009-9122-x

Metaphysics and philosophy of logic[edit]

  • The semantics of degree. Montague Grammar (B.H. Partee ed.), Academic Press, New York, 1976, pp. 261–292.
  • Categorial languages. Studia Logica Vol 36, 1977, pp. 257–269.
  • Semantic competence. Meaning and Translation (F. Guenthner and M. Guenthner-Reutter, eds), Duckworth, 1978, pp. 9–27.
  • Prepositions and points of view. Linguistics and Philosophy. Vol 2, 1978, pp. 1–41.
  • Modality and Mellor's McTaggart. Studia Logica. Vol 49, 1990, pp. 163–170.
  • In defence of the Barcan Formula, Logique et Analyse. no 135-136, 1991, pp. 271–282.
  • Why propositions have no structure. Nous. Vol 36, 2002, pp. 643–662.
  • Static semantics for dynamic discourse. Linguistics and Philosophy. Vol 25, 2002, pp. 545–571.
  • Adequacy conditions for counterpart theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Vol 82, 2004, pp. 28–41.
  • Formal semantics. The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Language, ed. M. Devitt and R. Hanley. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 2006, pp. 131–146.
  • The Prior future, Logique et Analyse, No 199, 2007, (ed. M.J. Cresswell with A .A. Rini) Time and Modality: 50 Years on, pp. 289–302.
  • Does every proposition have a unique contradictory? Analysis, Vol 68, 2008, pp. 112–114.

History of philosophy[edit]

  • Is there one or are there many one and many problems in Plato? The Philosophical Quarterly Vol 22, 1972, pp. 149–154
  • What is Aristotle’s theory of universals? Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol 53, 1975, pp. 238–247
  • Reality as experience in F.H. Bradley. Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol 55, 1977, pp. 169–188
  • Aristotle’s Phaedo. Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol 65, 1987, pp. 131–155
  • All things being particulars. Locke Studies Vol 2, 2002, pp. 19–51
  • Non-contradiction and substantial predication. Theoria, 69 (2004), 166–183.
  • Legitimizing force: A Lockean account. Armed Forces and Society, 30 (2004), 629–648.


  1. ^ a b Festschrift for Max Cresswell on the occasion of his 65th birthday. In: Logique et Analyse. Number 181, March 2003 (published November 2004). See the introduction by Thomas Forster.
  2. ^ Max Cresswell, School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Victoria U. of Wellington
  3. ^ a b "M. J. Cresswell: Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Centre for Logic, Language and Computation,Victoria University of Wellington, NZ.