What Kind of Creatures Are We

What Kind of Creatures Are We

Book - 2016
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Noam Chomsky is widely known and deeply admired for being the founder of modern linguistics, one of the founders of the field of cognitive science, and perhaps the most avidly read political theorist and commentator of our time. In these lectures, he presents a lifetime of philosophical reflection on all three of these areas of research to which he has contributed for over half a century.

In clear, precise, and non-technical language, Chomsky elaborates on fifty years of scientific development in the study of language, sketching how his own work has implications for the origins of language, the close relations that language bears to thought, and its eventual biological basis. He expounds and criticizes many alternative theories, such as those that emphasize the social, the communicative, and the referential aspects of language. Chomsky reviews how new discoveries about language overcome what seemed to be highly problematic assumptions in the past. He also investigates the apparent scope and limits of human cognitive capacities and what the human mind can seriously investigate, in the light of history of science and philosophical reflection and current understanding. Moving from language and mind to society and politics, he concludes with a searching exploration and philosophical defense of a position he describes as "libertarian socialism," tracing its links to anarchism and the ideas of John Dewey, and even briefly to the ideas of Marx and Mill, demonstrating its conceptual growth out of our historical past and urgent relation to matters of the present.
Publisher: New York :, Columbia University Press,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780231175968
0231175965
Characteristics: xxiv, 167 pages.

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PearlyBaker
Dec 25, 2015

The first Chomsky I had to put down. I think this piece is meant for PhD linguists who care about super intellectual, nerd impedimenta. With yawning sentences like, "Suppose X and Y are merged, and neither is part of the other, as in combining read with that book to form the syntactic object corresponding to 'read that book'." I did way too many drugs in the 80's to comprehend this sentence. Or mayhap not enough. I think I'll stick to his rants on anarchy, Manufacturing Consent and true histories with Howard Zinn.

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