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Ideas of Jerrold J. Katz, by Text

[American, fl. 1978, Professor at the City University, New York.]

2000 Realistic Rationalism
Int.xi p.-24 Traditionally philosophy is an a priori enquiry into general truths about reality
     Full Idea: The traditional conception of philosophy is that it is an a priori enquiry into the most general facts about reality.
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xi)
     A reaction: I think this still defines philosophy, though it also highlights the weakness of the subject, which is over-confidence about asserting necessary truths. How could the most god-like areas of human thought be about anything else?
Int.xx p.-15 We don't have a clear enough sense of meaning to pronounce some sentences meaningless or just analytic
     Full Idea: Linguistic meaning is not rich enough to show either that all metaphysical sentences are meaningless or that all alleged synthetic a priori propositions are just analytic a priori propositions.
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xx)
Int.xxi p.-14 Most of philosophy begins where science leaves off
     Full Idea: Philosophy, or at least one large part of it, is subsequent to science; it begins where science leaves off.
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xxi)
     A reaction: In some sense this has to be true. Without metaphysics there couldn't be any science. Rationalists should not forget, though, the huge impact which Darwin's science has (or should have) on fairly abstract philosophy (e.g. epistemology).
Int.xxiv p.-11 Structuralists see meaning behaviouristically, and Chomsky says nothing about it
     Full Idea: In linguistics there are two schools of thought: Bloomfieldian structuralism (favoured by Quine) conceives of sentences acoustically and meanings behaviouristically; and Chomskian generative grammar (which is silent about semantics).
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xxiv)
     A reaction: They both appear to be wrong, so there is (or was) something rotten in the state of linguistics. Are the only options for meaning either behaviourist or eliminativist?
Int.xxix p.-6 'Real' maths objects have no causal role, no determinate reference, and no abstract/concrete distinction
     Full Idea: Three objections to realism in philosophy of mathematics: mathematical objects have no space/time location, and so no causal role; that such objects are determinate, but reference to numbers aren't; and that there is no abstract/concrete distinction.
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xxix)
Int.xxvi p.-9 It is generally accepted that sense is defined as the determiner of reference
     Full Idea: There is virtually universal acceptance of Frege's definition of sense as the determiner of reference.
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xxvi)
     A reaction: Not any more, since Kripke and Putnam. It is one thing to say sense determines reference, and quite another to say that this is the definition of sense.
Int.xxvi p.-9 Sense determines meaning and synonymy, not referential properties like denotation and truth
     Full Idea: Pace Frege, sense determines sense properties and relations, like meaningfulness and synonymy, rather than determining referential properties, like denotation and truth.
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xxvi)
     A reaction: This leaves room for Fregean 'sense', after Kripke has demolished the idea that sense determines reference.
Int.xxvi p.-9 Sentences are abstract types (like musical scores), not individual tokens
     Full Idea: Sentences are types, not utterance tokens or mental/neural tokens, and hence sentences are abstract objects (like musical scores).
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xxvi)
     A reaction: If sentences are abstract types, then two verbally indistinguishable sentences are the same sentence. But if I say 'I am happy', that isn't the same as you saying it.
Int.xxxi p.-4 Experience cannot teach us why maths and logic are necessary
     Full Idea: The Leibniz-Kant criticism of empiricism is that experience cannot teach us why mathematical and logical facts couldn't be otherwise than they are.
     From: Jerrold J. Katz (Realistic Rationalism [2000], Int.xxxi)