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Critical Essay | Critical Review by Bernard Williams

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Critical Review by Bernard Williams

SOURCE: “Where Chomsky Stands,” in New York Review of Books, November 11, 1976, pp. 43-5.

In the following review of Chomsky's Reflections on Language and Gilbert Harman's On Noam Chomsky, William provides discussion of Chomsky's linguistic studies, critical reaction to his theses, and some political implications of his ideas.

Since the publication of Syntactic Structures nineteen years ago the general shape of Chomsky's position in linguistic theory has become familiar. The subject, as he conceives it, is a branch of cognitive psychology; its basic problem is posed by the human capacity to acquire a natural language, something which Chomsky has insisted we should see as remarkable, with regard both to what the child experiences and to what he acquires. What he acquires is an indefinitely extensive creative capacity to produce and to understand...

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This section contains 3,155 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Critical Review by Bernard Williams - Critical Review by Bernard Williams
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