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Publisher: Polity Press
ISBN10: 074561888X ISBN13: 9780745618883 DDC: 191 LCC: P85 Edition: (pbk. : alk. paper)


"Noam Chomsky is well known as a linguist and as a political thinker. He is less well known as a philosopher. This is unfortunate, because his philosophical work connects his political views and his work as a scientist of language. His rationalist philosophical views tie common-sense understandings of human action and decision (including political thought and action) to that human mental capacity we call language."--Book jacket. "The key to Chomsky's overall intellectual project lies in what he has to say about a biologically based human nature. To explain his view of human nature, McGilvray begins by distinguishing common-sense understanding (which includes the domains of economic, social, political and linguistic behaviour) from scientific knowledge of the mind. He then outlines the picture of the mind that underlies the distinction between common sense and science. This picture of the mind is shown to develop from Chomsky's attempt to address some basic observations concerning how language is acquired and used - the 'poverty of stimulus' and the 'creative aspects of language use'. Like some seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century thinkers, Chomsky seeks to account for these observations by producing a rationalist account of human nature. McGilvray then explores the connection between this account of human nature and Chomsky's linguistic and political work."--Book jacket.


Includes bibliographical references: (p. [264]-267) and index. 1. Common Sense and Science. -- 2. Mapping the Mind. -- 3. Poverty, Creativity, and Making the World. -- 4. Languages and the Science of Language. -- 5. How to Make an Expression. -- 6. Meanings and Their Use. -- 7. Anarchosyndicalism and the Intellectual. -- 8. Human Nature and Ideal Social Organization.


  • LCC: P85
  • Dewey Decimal: 191

Book Details

  • Language: eng
  • Physical Description: xiii, 274 p. ; 24 cm.
  • Edition Info: (pbk. : alk. paper)


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