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Jerrold J. Katz

Jerrold J. Katz is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Titles by This Author

In Realistic Rationalism, Jerrold Katz develops a new philosophical position integrating realism and rationalism. Realism here means that the objects of study in mathematics and other formal sciences are abstract; rationalism means that our knowledge of them is not empirical. Katz uses this position to meet the principal challenges to realism. In exposing the flaws in criticisms of the antirealists, he shows that realists can explain knowledge of abstract objects without supposing we have causal contact with them, that numbers are determinate objects, and that the standard counterexamples to the abstract/concrete distinction have no force. He develops a rationalist and non-naturalist account of philosophical knowledge and argues that it is preferable to contemporary naturalist and empiricist accounts.

Jerrold J. Katz offers a radical reappraisal of the "linguistic turn" in twentieth-century philosophy. He shows that the naturalism that emerged to become the dominant philosophical position was never adequately proved. Katz critiques the major arguments for contemporary naturalism and develops a new conception of the naturalistic fallacy. This conception, inspired by Moore, explains why attempts to naturalize linguistics and logic, and perhaps ethics, will fail. He offers a Platonist view of such disciplines, justifying it as the best explanation of their autonomy, their objectivity, and their normativity.