Ever Since Chomsky

BEYOND explanatory adequacy in biolinguistics

language, cognition, politics & artificial intelligence...


"An 'extended baboon' can indeed speak...

Noam Chomsky (1966:42)

"Everyone engaged in research must have had the experience of working with feverish and prolonged intensity to write a paper which no one else will read or to solve a problem which no one else thinks important and which will bring no conceivable reward--which may only confirm a general opinion that the researcher is wasting his time on irrelevancies. The fact that rats and monkeys do likewise is interesting and important to show in careful experiment."

                   Noam Chomsky, (A Review of B.F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior) 

"For the first time in many years, it seems to me, there is some real opportunity for substantial progress in the study of the contribution of the mind to perception and the innate basis for acquisition of knowledge. Still, in many respects, we have not made the first approach to a real answer to the classical problems. For example, the central problems relating to the creative aspect of language use remain as inaccessible as they have always been. And the study of universal semantics, surely crucial to the full investigation of language structure, has barely advanced since the medieval period. Many other critical areas might be mentioned where progress has been slow or nonexistent. Real progress has been made in the study of the mechanisms of language, the formal principles that make possible the creative aspect of language use and that determine the phonetic form and semantic content of utterances. Our understanding of these mechanisms, though only fragmentary, does seem to me to have real implications for the study of human psychology. By pursuing the kinds of research that now seem feasible and by focusing attention on certain problems that are now accessible to study, we may be able to spell out in some detail the elaborate and abstract computations that determine, in part, the nature of percepts and the character of the knowledge that we can acquire the highly specific ways of interpreting phenomena that are, in large measure, beyond our consciousness and control and that may be unique to man."

                                                                     Noam Chomsky (Language and Mind)

"I don't want to be involved in this discussion at all. There is nothing to discuss. Pornography is degrading to women. Look at the pictures online. Do they seem normal to you? It is violent, it dehumanizes women into male property, and it undoes years of women's movement. The fact that it is some people's erotica is their problem. If you get excited from watching other people suffer and undergo humiliation then you have a serious problem."

Noam Chomsky (C-Span, 2003)

"Civil disobedience is - it's no fun."

Noam Chomsky (Book TV, 1993)

“Changes and progress are rarely gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below."

Noam Chomsky (Democracy Now! @democracynow.org)

"Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle."

Noam Chomsky (Occupy, Penguin U.K.)



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