Analytic Philosophy

Noam Chomsky

Why has Noam Chomsky’s theory of language been so influential?

Chomsky’s principle of a Universal Grammar is compatible with materialism. It entails that the mind can be scientifically studied like a natural phenomenon. Moreover, the output of speakers can be used as data from which to infer deeper linguistic structures than those evident in spoken language. Insofar as language is an important, if not primary, mental activity, the idea of innate physical structures determining language production has implications for understanding other mental functions. Chomsky’s work in linguistics has had a strong influence on the philosopher of mind Jerry Fodor (1935–), for example.

Noam Chomsky is a brilliant linguist who developed a Universal Grammar that limited possible languages and showed that the human mind can be studied like a natural phenomenon (AP).

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