The Science of Language: Interviews with James McGilvray

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 15, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 321 pages
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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 In this previously unpublished series of interviews, Chomsky discusses his iconoclastic and important ideas concerning language, human nature and politics.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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Contents

Introduction
1
The science of language and mind
9
Part II Human nature and its study
93
Iconcepts Ibeliefs and Ilanguage
153
The several uses of function
157
On what is distinctive about human nature and how to deal with the distinction
176
Chomsky on natural science
183
Of concepts and misguided theories of them and why human concepts are unique
186
Variation parameters and canalization
239
Simplicity
243
Hume on the missing shade of blue and related matters
247
Syntax semantics pragmatics nonChomskyan and Chomskyan
250
An internalist picture of how concepts work
255
Commentaries
262
Glossary
291
Bibliography
303

Semantics and how to do it
206
Hierarchy structure domination ccommand etc
232

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About the author (2012)

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (retired) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

James McGilvray is Professor of Philosophy at McGill University, Montréal. He has written a general introduction to Chomsky's work (Chomsky, 1999) and edited and contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Chomsky (2005) and the second (2002) and third (2009) editions of Chomsky's seminal Cartesian Linguistics (Cambridge University Press). He has also published several articles on the philosophies of language and mind that defend in various ways the methods for the study of language and mind developed and endorsed by Chomsky and other internalist 'biolinguists'.

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