Jerrold Katz

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Jerrold J. Katz (14 July 1932, Washington, D.C. – 7 February 2002, New York) was an American philosopher and linguist.

After receiving a PhD in philosophy from Princeton University in 1960, Katz became a Research Associate in Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Philosophy there in 1963, and became Professor in 1969. From 1975 until his death, he was Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics at the City University of New York.

Within linguistics, Katz is best known for his theory of semantics in generative grammar. Prof. Katz was a staunch defender of Rationalism (although not in a Cartesian/Fregean sense) and the metaphysical import of "essences". He argued extensively against the dominance of empiricism. Katz also argued, against W.V.O. Quine, that the analytic–synthetic distinction could be founded on syntactical features of sentences.[1][2][3]



  1. Linksy, J. Analytical/Synthetic and Semantic Theory
  2. Quine, W. v. O.: On a Suggestion of Katz
  3. Katz, J: Where Things Stand Now with the Analytical/Synthetic Distinction


  • Obituary (New York Times)
  • D. Terence Langendoen (2005). "Katz, Jerrold J. (1932–2002)." In: Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition. Elsevier.