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Printed at: 31/07/2014  –  20:34:07


Chomsky: Language, Mind and Politics, 2nd Edition

By: James McGilvray (McGill University, Canada)


Description

Noam Chomsky has made major contributions to three fields: political history and analysis, linguistics, and the philosophies of mind, language, and human nature. In this thoroughly revised and updated volume, James McGilvray provides a critical introduction to Chomsky's work in these three key areas and assesses their continuing importance and relevance for today.

In an incisive and comprehensive analysis, McGilvray argues that Chomsky’s work can be seen as a unified intellectual project. He shows how Chomsky adapts the tools of natural science to the study of mind and of language in particular and explains why Chomsky's "rationalist" approach to the mind continues to be opposed by the majority of contemporary cognitive scientists. The book also discusses some of Chomsky’s central political themes in depth, examining how Chomsky's view of the good life and the ideal form of social organization is related to and in part dependent on his biologically based account of human nature and the place of language within it. As in the first edition, McGilvray emphasizes the distinction between common sense and science and the difference between rationalist and empiricist approaches to the mind, making clear the importance of these themes for understanding Chomsky's work and showing that they are based on elementary observations that are accessible to everyone. This edition has been extensively re-written to emphasize Chomsky's recent work, which increasingly 'biologizes' the study of language and mind and - by implication - the study of human nature.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, linguistics, and politics, as well as to all those keen to develop a critical understanding of one of the most controversial and important thinkers writing today.

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Hardcover
Status
Available
Edition
Second Edition
ISBN
9780745649894
ISBN10
0745649890
Publication Dates ROW:
Oct 2013
Publication Dates US:
Nov 2013
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Oct 2013


Format
237 x 160 mm
9.30 x 6.30 in
Pages
288 pages
Paperback
Status
Available
Edition
Second Edition
ISBN
9780745649900
ISBN10
0745649904
Publication Dates ROW:
Oct 2013
Publication Dates US:
Nov 2013
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Oct 2013



Format
229 x 153 mm
9.00 x 6.00 in
Pages
288 pages
E-book
Status
Available
Edition
Second Edition
ISBN
9780745656458
ISBN10
0745656455
Publication Dates ROW:
Dec 2013
Publication Dates US:
Dec 2013
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
Dec 2013


Format
229 x 152 mm
9.02 x 5.98 in
Pages
288 pages

* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
Please note: Sales representation and distribution for Polity titles is provided by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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Reviews

"This is a remarkably comprehensive yet accessible introduction to Chomsky's views about human nature, how to study it, and its various manifestations in language and politics. McGilvray's obvious enthusiasm for the subject is displayed in a text that is stunningly well researched, historically rich, empirically informed, and philosophically engaged throughout."
Paul Pietroski, University of Maryland

"McGilvray has achieved something extraordinary with this compact, accessible and penetrating text. Not only does he insightfully connect Chomsky’s voluminous contributions to current affairs with his equally voluminous work in generative grammar and philosophy of mind and language, he also gets the complex synthesis exactly right. The result is a tour de force. From now on, his is the book on Chomsky that I will direct my students to."
Robert Stainton, University of Western Ontario

"This text highlights Chomsky’s exceptional contribution to the science of language as a biological organ, to the naturalistic theory of mind, and to the view of political systems as means to meet the fundamental needs of humans. McGilvray cleverly evidences Chomsky’s unification of the science of language, human nature and politics."
Anna Maria Di Sciullo, University of Québec at Montréal

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Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1: Chomsky’s Contributions
  • 2: The Mind and Its Sciences
  • 3. Partitioning the Mind: Bad and Good Cognitive Science
  • 4 Human Problem-Solving Capacities
  • 5 The Science of Language
  • 6. Linguistic Meanings and Their Uses
  • 7. Chomsky on Politics: Some Basic Themes
  • 8. Language and politics: Justification
  • Glossary
  • Notes
  • Bibliography

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