Realistic RationalismeBook - 1998
In Realistic Rationalism, Jerrold J. Katz develops a newphilosophical position integrating realism and rationalism. Realism here means that the objects ofstudy in mathematics and other formal sciences are abstract; rationalism means that our knowledge ofthem is not empirical. Katz uses this position to meet the principal challenges to realism. Inexposing the flaws in criticisms of the antirealists, he shows that realists can explain knowledgeof abstract objects without supposing we have causal contact with them, that numbers are determinateobjects, and that the standard counterexamples to the abstract/concrete distinction have no force.Generalizing the account of knowledge used to meet the challenges to realism, he develops arationalist and non-naturalist account of philosophical knowledge and argues that it is preferableto contemporary naturalist and empiricist accounts.
The book illuminates a widerange of philosophical issues, including the nature of necessity, the distinction between the formaland natural sciences, empiricist holism, the structure of ontology, and philosophical skepticism.Philosophers will use this fresh treatment of realism and rationalism as a starting point for newdirections in their own research.
Jerrold Katz develops a new philosophical position integrating realism andrationalism.