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The Science of Language [Format Kindle]

Noam Chomsky

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'This clear and relaxed conversation, illuminating for specialists and newcomers, locates Chomsky's linguistics within his larger conception of human inquiry. McGilvray asks the right questions and offers helpful editorial supplements.' Paul M. Pietroski, University of Maryland

'Noam Chomsky has long been recognized as a founding genius of modern linguistics. These compelling and carefully organized interviews illustrate why … The book is truly exceptional in affording an accessible and readable introduction to Chomsky's broad-based and cutting-edge theorizing. A must-read!' Robert J. Stainton, University of Western Ontario

'An indispensable presentation, in engaging interview form, of Noam Chomsky's evolving ideas about the scientific investigation of language and human nature, with illuminating explication by interviewer James McGilvray.' Howard Lasnik, University of Maryland

'By bringing the two sides of Chomsky's career together in ways that his specialist works have eschewed, the conversations recorded in (this book) remind us that the 'Chomsky problem' is no individual foible, but the deepest ideological contradiction of our age.' The Times Literary Supplement

Présentation de l'éditeur

Noam Chomsky is one of the most influential thinkers of our time, yet his views are often misunderstood. In this previously unpublished series of interviews, Chomsky discusses his iconoclastic and important ideas concerning language, human nature and politics. In dialogue with James McGilvray, Professor of Philosophy at McGill University, Chomsky takes up a wide variety of topics – the nature of language, the philosophies of language and mind, morality and universality, science and common sense, and the evolution of language. McGilvray's extensive commentary helps make this incisive set of interviews accessible to a variety of readers. The volume is essential reading for those involved in the study of language and mind, as well as anyone with an interest in Chomsky's ideas.

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  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1489 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 327 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Jusqu'à 4 appareils simultanés, selon les limites de l'éditeur
  • Editeur : Cambridge University Press (24 février 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007JUKSW4
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°199.683 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  9 commentaires
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 And Noam begat three sons: SEM, UG, & Merge 24 janvier 2013
Par Il'ja Ráko¨ - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Love him, hate him, or fall somewhere in the middle, with Noam Chomsky you know what you're getting: clear, dispassionate analysis, unapologetic empiricism, and a humble spirit.

In the interviews included in "The Science of Language", James McGilvray draws out Chomsky on a host of topics including, but not limited to: pure science and its method, universal grammar, common sense, universality, critiquing (neo, too often social)Darwinistic 'pop biology', euphemistic vocabulary, modern myth-building, the unique human capacity to do math, the (rather extensive) limitations of selective adaptation, Galileo's thought experiments, the good and the bad of story-telling, and for me (a highlight) a simple explanation of his theory of "Merge", the sort of Big Bang in the development of the human faculty for language.

There is also almost nothing - believe it or not - about politics or Chomsky's views on western history. The man, despite his genius, or perhaps as evidence of it, is willing to admit when asked about the connection between his research in linguistics and his political views, "...it's principled, but it's weak...there's no deductive connection. You could take any view on either of these topics, and it wouldn't be inconsistent to hold them." That's humble. And it's as refreshing as it is rare among those of our species blessed with the biggest brain-pans.

For those who've read extensively in Chomsky (smiling the entire time or gritting your teeth) there is probably not much new here for you, except perhaps another extended example of his tremendous ability to take an incredibly complex idea and say it in a way so that a child in school (fine, a bright child) could get it. Researchers, academics, writers the world over can learn from Noam Chomsky. We all can.

If you aren't familiar with the vocabulary of linguistics, you'll have some challenges here, but McGilvray has included a decent glossary and an appendix with some further explanations of Chomsky's remarks, putting them in a more accessible, broader context than the interview format could provide.

As a little treat, I was hugely entertained by his chastising of Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker for some - in Chomsky's view - less-than-honest popular science writing they've engaged in. Fans of Pinker et al. might not be so thrilled. But don't take it too close to heart, that's just Noam being Noam.

Finally, a quote: "If you're teaching, say, physics, there's no point in persuading a student that you're right. You want to encourage them to find out what the truth is, which is probably that you're wrong."

His thoughtfulness enriches us all.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting insight on education 14 avril 2013
Par Willem De Blank - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
In this book the entire education system is being taken apart and analyzed with James McGilvray, who is a Professor of Philosophy,and Noam Chomsky. This book makes you understand that you don't know anything about the science of language and neither does anybody else, in great extent that is, and as a teacher that is a bit frustrating. It gives a clear picture of the unanswered questions in the science of language and it doesn't help you understand how the brain works in processing language because most investigations aren't profound enough, The good thing about this book is it makes you think about how the language of science possibly works, but sometimes it's hard to grasp the ideas that Chomsky is trying to transmit and how McGilvray interprets them.Overall these types of books we need not to understand linguistics, but to question how it works. Obviously as a teacher eye-opening stuff and a must have.
7 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The easiest most accessible Chomsky yet 26 décembre 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Reading this you get an idea of the intellect of Chomsky as he (presumably, off the top of his head) breifly talks about the origins of language; recursion; the connection between language and thought; and a bunch of other things. You do not need to be a linguist to understand this, it's accessible to anyone who is interested.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Science of language should find a junction with parapsychology to solve the enigmatic problem of language. 11 mai 2014
Par Masayoshi Ishida - Publié sur Amazon.com
Science of language should find a junction with parapsychology to solve the enigmatic problem of language.

[1] After reading this book, I have an impression that modern linguists are still groping in the dark for the origin of human languages.
After reading this book again, it let me know the book by Jerry Fodor et al. “What Darwin got Wrong (2010).” Fodor writes “The main thesis of this [Fodor’s] book is that NS [natural selection] is irredeemably flawed (p. 1).”
Daniel C. Dennett wrote in his “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995)”:
Chomsky’s notorious review (1959) slamming B.F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior (1957) was one of the founding documents of cognitive science (p. 386), [the science, I understand, generally supports Darwin’s dangerous idea.]

And according to Fodor, his slamming of Darwin’s idea of NS goes in parallel with Chomsky’s slamming of Skinner’s behaviorism (chap. 1). [Fodor didn’t use “slamming,” it’s Dennett’s. Of course, Dennett has rebutted or just mentioned Fodor in his “Intuition Pumps (2013).”]

Very much interesting developments!

[2] In my view, probably, the mysterious origin of human languages will never be solved as long as linguists seek the answer on the basis of materialistic theory of the origin of human species. One of the reasons I dare to say so is that I have never met any linguist’s book that might suggest an answer to the question of enigmatic acquisition of language in infant and child, (the problem that Chomsky refers to several times in this book, and also one of his points made in his historic review paper “A Review of B.F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior,”) on the basis of “Reincarnation.” The late Ian Stevenson (1918-2007) suggested a possible collaboration between linguists and parapsychologists for the problem of human languages in the last page of his book “Unlearned Language—New Study in Xenoglossy (The University Press of Virginia, 1984)”:

“To parapsychologists I do not need to remark that we have no generally accepted theory of how extrasensory communications occur; and it will not disparage expert on linguists to remark that they have not produced a fully satisfactory explanation of how we speak and understand languages. Cases of responsive xenoglossy should stimulate further collaboration between language scientists and parapsychologists. Parapsychologists certainly need the assistance of linguists in the study of these cases; and I venture to say that linguists may learn something of value from cases of xenoglossy. At the risk of seeming to peer too far into the future, I suggest that the unifying theories that each discipline seeks may eventually show them to have junctions that are not now apparent (p. 166).”

It has been very unfortunate for Stevenson that linguists or any scientists in the mainstream are not bold enough to affirmatively mention parapsychology, risking their official status in their academic fields. However, it is understandable because if the idea of “Reincarnation” is accepted, it means demise of “Materialism” and resurrection of “Dualism” as Stevenson suggested in his book “Children who Remember Previous Lives (1986/2001).” Stevenson’s reincarnation research has been succeeded by the researches at the University of Virginia; there are many officially recorded historical data (in the forms of photographs, videos, etc.) in modern western world, which could verify the memories of previous lives remembered by children.
(By the way, you might say if “dualism” is accepted, it violates the law of conservation of energy, as Dennett, a convinced materialist, writes in his book “Consciousness Explained (1991).” Yes, very probably, the law is violated in every life-to-death transition of human as I concluded in my paper: Ishida, M. (2010). Rebuttal to claimed refutations of Duncan MacDougall’s experiment on human weight change at the moment of death. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 24, No.1, 5–39.)

[3] Based on my intuition pump “Don’t underestimate psychical knowledge,” I also would like to quote some statements from Jane Roberts (1929-1984)’s Seth material.
<The source is:
Roberts, Jane. Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 1. Amber-Allen Publishing, SF: CA. 1997. (Originally published: New York: Prentice-Hall, 1988, c1986.) I highly recommend this book, now a classic, if you would like to read another story of the origin of our Universe and Life on Earth, including Language & Ethics. This book has nothing to do with any religious creationism. As a matter of fact, in the last part of Roberts’ book “Seth Speaks (1972),” a then best-seller, Seth talked about quite a different story of Jesus Christ & Judas Iscariot: In the reality, not in the drama of the Bible, Jesus (a powerful psychic) was not crucified because Judas put a psychotic self-claimed Messiah in his place to save him; hence, Peter denied thrice, “I do not know the man.” You might say it is a hilarious nonsense! However, where are stored the memories of previous lives, which children remember? It might exist in the Great Memory, the subconscious mind of the whole human race; see “The Road to Immortality (1932),” a book purporting to be communicated by the late F.W.H. Myers (1843-1901) (one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research [SPR] in 1882) through Geraldine Cummins.>

Two quotations from Jane Roberts (Seth material obtained through trance-channeling of Roberts):
Then in your terms man began, with the other species, to waken more fully into the physical world, to develop the exterior senses [the outer physical senses], to intersect delicately and precisely with space and time. Yet man still sleeps and dreams, and that state is still a firm connective with his own origins, and with the origins of the universe as he knows it as well.
(Pause in a steady, if usually rather subdued, delivery.)
Man dreamed his languages. He dreamed how to use his tongue to form words. In his dreams he practiced stringing the words together to form their meanings, so that finally he could consciously begin a sentence without actually knowing how it was begun, yet in the faith he could and would complete it.
All languages have as their basis the language that was spoken in dreams. The need for language arose, however, as man became less a dreamer and more immersed in the specifics of space and time, for in the dream state his communications with his fellows and other species was instantaneous. Language arose to take place of that inner communication, then. There is a great underlying unity in all man’s so-called early cultures—cave drawings and religions—because they were all fed by that common source, as man tried to transpose inner knowledge into physical actuality (Session 893/ January 7, 1980, pp. 193-194).

You are aware of such activities now as automatic speaking and automatic writing, and of sleepwalking. These all give signs in modern times of some very important evidence in man’s early relationship with the world and himself.
Sleepwalking was once, in that beginning, a very common experience—far more so than now—in which the inner self [i.e., the source of outer self/ego] actually taught the physical body to walk, and hence presented [sic; correctly, prevented] the newly emerged physically oriented intellect from getting in its own way, asking too many questions that might otherwise impede the body’s smooth spontaneous motion.
In the same fashion man is born with an inbuilt propensity for language, and for the communication of symbols through pictures and writing. He spoke first in an automatic fashion that began in his dreams. In a fashion (underlined), you could almost say that he used language before he consciously understood it (quietly). It is not just that he learned by doing, but that the doing did the teaching. Again, lest there be sharply inquiring intellect, wondering overmuch about how the words were formed or what motions were necessary, his drawing was in the same way automatic. You might almost say—almost—that he used the language (pause) “despite himself.” Therefore, it possessed an almost magical quality, and the “word” was seen as coming directly from God (Session 910/ February 18, 1980, p. 239).

<The last sentence obviously reminds us of the beginning of the Book of John. Seth, an “energy personality essence” as he expressed himself, seems to be extremely ‘brilliant’ [I, a Japanese, don’t know other appropriate English ‘word’ to express Seth], and humorous too.>

Chap.1 of the Book of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Regarding Seth material for languages, see also the following books:
[a] Roberts, Jane. “Early Sessions: Book 1 of The Seth Material.” (Session 34/ March 11, 1964, p. 267). New York: New Awareness Network, 1997.
[b] Roberts, Jane. “Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul.” (Session 527/ March 8, 1971, pp. 263-264). San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, 1994; originally published by Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in 1972.
[c] Roberts, Jane. The “Unknown” Reality: A Seth Book, Vol. 1 & 2. (Session 723/ December 2, 1974, pp. 458-464). San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, 1996. Originally published by Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall in 1977 (Vol.1) & 1979 (Vol.2).
10 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Science of Language 28 mai 2012
Par chrisnot - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Anything written by/dealing with Noam Chomsky is intellectually challanging.., not at all a bad thing. However, there isn't anything he says that can be reduced to a "Dummies" book. Bring your brains, pay attention, be deeply thoughtful, put the damn book down, then walk away with with questions and a degree of frustration.
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