Decoding Chomsky

Decoding Chomsky: Science and Revolutionary Politics
by Chris Knight

Decoding Chomsky, by Chris Knight

Occupying a pivotal position in postwar thought, Noam Chomsky is both the founder of modern linguistics and the world’s most prominent political dissident. Chris Knight adopts an anthropologist’s perspective on the twin output of this intellectual giant, acclaimed as much for his denunciations of US foreign policy as for his theories about language and mind. Knight explores the social and institutional context of Chomsky’s thinking, showing how the tension between military funding and his role as linchpin of the political left pressured him to establish a disconnect between science on the one hand and politics on the other, deepening a split between mind and body characteristic of Western philosophy since the Enlightenment. Provocative, fearless, and engaging, this remarkable study explains the enigma of one of the greatest intellectuals of our time.

“This is Chomsky from a new perspective, the perspective of a social anthropologist. It connects his science with his politics in a novel and convincing way. Knight has dug deeper and made more interconnections than anyone has done before. The result is truly revelatory.”

Michael Tomasello, author of A Natural History of Human Thinking

“Chris Knight has done the intellectual world a favour by exploring, with a critical and comprehending eye, the twists and turns of the thought of Noam Chomsky. Anyone who wants to understand the political and intellectual development of ideas that have dramatically altered modern science and political activism should read this book.”

Daniel L. Everett, author of Language: The Cultural Tool

“Few disagree that language has been a game-changer for the human species. But just how we came by language remains hotly contested. In Decoding Chomsky, Chris Knight strides into this minefield to bravely replace miraculous leaps and teleology with a proposal that actually makes evolutionary sense.”

Sarah Hrdy, author of Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding

“This is one of the most exciting scholarly books I have read in years. Decoding Chomsky will be required reading for anyone at all interested in the history of intellectual and political thought since the 1950s.”

David Golumbia, author of The Cultural Logic of Computation

For more on the book, and on Chomsky, see:
the Science and Revolution website

.

Section:

Permalink Print Comment

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.