New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind


New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind

This book is an outstanding contribution to the philosophical study of language and mind, by one of the most influential thinkers of our time. In a series of penetrating essays, Chomsky cuts through the confusion and prejudice that has infected the study of language and mind, bringing new solutions to traditional philosophical puzzles and fresh perspectives on issues of general interest, ranging from the mind-body problem to the unification of science. Using a range of imaginative and deceptively simple linguistic analyses, Chomsky defends the view that knowledge of language is internal to the human mind. He argues that a proper study of language must deal with this mental construct. According to Chomsky, therefore, human language is a "biological object" and should be analyzed using the methodology of the sciences. His examples and analyses come together in this book to give a unique and compelling perspective on language and the mind.


 Reviews:

"What is impressive about Chomsky's writing is not just its awesome breadth and remarkable scope, but that after half a century he still has the power to surprise: from the observation that human beings are not a natural kind to the importance of Japanese for the analysis of English; from the rejection of his celebrated invention 'deep structure' to the conjecture that language, despite its biological nature, may be close to perfection; from the tension between common sense and science to the implications of what we know about a brown house or a cup of tea. Everything combines to give a unique and compelling view of language and mind." From the Foreword

"...this is a very important book; not just because a lot of what it says is true, but also because Chomsky is a very important thinker." Jerry Fodor, The Times Literary Supplement

"Highly recommended for all programs supporting a philosophy major or related work in linguistics and cognitive science." Choice

"The essays are difficult, dense, and tremendously rewarding for the persevering reader." Virginia Quarterly Review

"At a time when various embarrassingly incompetent accounts of language are widespread in university humanities departments under such names as 'literary theory,' 'deconstruction,' and 'postmodernism' it is worth emphasizing that [Chomsky's] work in linguistics is at the highest intellectual level." The New York Review of Books

"Alltogether, the book is a selection of very readable writings, and it certainly holds surprises for the psychologist who thinks that 'we' have abandoned Chomskyian linguistics rightly in the 1950's. The book shows why 'we' should not have - if only because of the quality of the argumentation one always finds in Chomsky's writings." Theory and Psychology

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