Noam Chomsky  

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"Two twentieth-century American linguists have been particularly influential in shaping a "linguistics without meaning": Leonard Bloomfield and Noam Chomsky." --Semantics: Primes and Universals, 1996, Anna Wierzbicka


"If you bring up my child in Japan and it'll speak Japanese. From that it simply follows by logic that the basic structure of the languages must be essentially the same. Our task as scientists is to try to determine exactly what those fundamental principles are That cause the knowledge of language to unfold in the manner which it does under particular circumstances, And incidentally I think there is no doubt the same must be true of other aspects Of human intelligence and systems of understanding and interpretation and moral and aesthetic judgment, and so on." --Manufacturing Consent


"Chomsky considers most conspiracy theories fruitless, distracting substitutes for thinking about policy formation in an institutional framework, where individual manipulation is secondary to broader social imperatives. While not dismissing them outright, he considers them unproductive to challenging power in a substantial way. In response to the labeling of his own ideas as a conspiracy theory, Chomsky has said that it is very rational for the media to manipulate information in order to sell it, like any other business. He asks whether General Motors would be accused of conspiracy if it deliberately selected what it used or discarded to sell its product."--Sholem Stein

This page Noam Chomsky is part of the linguistics series. Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)
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This page Noam Chomsky is part of the linguistics series.
Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes described as "the father of modern linguistics," Chomsky is also one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is the author of over 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism.

Contents

Linguistics

Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century. He also helped spark the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior, in which he challenged the behaviorist approach to the study of behavior and language dominant in the 1950s. His naturalistic approach to the study of language has also affected the philosophy of language and mind. He is also credited with the establishment of the Chomsky hierarchy, a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power.

Politics

Chomsky is widely known for his critique of U.S. foreign policy, beginning with his critique of the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Much of the criticism of Chomsky revolves around his political views and he describes himself as a libertarian socialist, a sympathizer of anarcho-syndicalism. His status as a key intellectual figure within the left wing of American politics has resulted in a great deal of criticism from all across the political spectrum and has led to a number of notable controversies.

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Chomsky has written prolifically on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, aiming to raise public awareness of it. He has long endorsed a left binationalist program in Israel and Palestine, seeking to create a democratic state in the Levant that is home to both Jews and Arabs. Nevertheless, given the realpolitik of the situation, he has also considered a two-state solution on the condition that the nation-states exist on equal terms.

Chomsky was denied entry to the West Bank in 2010 because of his criticisms of Israel. He had been invited to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University and was to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman later said that Chomsky was denied entry by mistake.

Selected bibliography

Linguistics

Politics

See also

American philosophy arborescent, Pierre Bourdieu, media theory, American linguistics, The Anti-Chomsky Reader




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