Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky

Overview
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, cognitive scientist
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

, and activist
Activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

. He is an Institute Professor
Institute Professor
Institute Professor is the highest title that can be awarded to a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States...

 and Professor (Emeritus
Emeritus
Emeritus is a post-positive adjective that is used to designate a retired professor, bishop, or other professional or as a title. The female equivalent emerita is also sometimes used.-History:...

) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and a major figure of analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century...

. His work has influenced fields such as computer science, mathematics, and psychology.

Chomsky is credited as the creator or co-creator of the Chomsky hierarchy
Chomsky hierarchy
Within the field of computer science, specifically in the area of formal languages, the Chomsky hierarchy is a containment hierarchy of classes of formal grammars....

, the universal grammar
Universal grammar
Universal grammar is a theory in linguistics that suggests that there are properties that all possible natural human languages have.Usually credited to Noam Chomsky, the theory suggests that some rules of grammar are hard-wired into the brain, and manifest themselves without being taught...

 theory, and the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem
Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem
In formal language theory, the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem is a statement about the number of words of a given length generated by an unambiguous context-free grammar. The theorem provides an unexpected link between the theory of formal languages and abstract algebra...

.

Ideologically identifying with anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 and libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

, Chomsky is known for his critiques of U.S.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Noam Chomsky'
Start a new discussion about 'Noam Chomsky'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, cognitive scientist
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

, and activist
Activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

. He is an Institute Professor
Institute Professor
Institute Professor is the highest title that can be awarded to a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States...

 and Professor (Emeritus
Emeritus
Emeritus is a post-positive adjective that is used to designate a retired professor, bishop, or other professional or as a title. The female equivalent emerita is also sometimes used.-History:...

) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and a major figure of analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy
Analytic philosophy is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century...

. His work has influenced fields such as computer science, mathematics, and psychology.

Chomsky is credited as the creator or co-creator of the Chomsky hierarchy
Chomsky hierarchy
Within the field of computer science, specifically in the area of formal languages, the Chomsky hierarchy is a containment hierarchy of classes of formal grammars....

, the universal grammar
Universal grammar
Universal grammar is a theory in linguistics that suggests that there are properties that all possible natural human languages have.Usually credited to Noam Chomsky, the theory suggests that some rules of grammar are hard-wired into the brain, and manifest themselves without being taught...

 theory, and the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem
Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem
In formal language theory, the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem is a statement about the number of words of a given length generated by an unambiguous context-free grammar. The theorem provides an unexpected link between the theory of formal languages and abstract algebra...

.

Ideologically identifying with anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 and libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

, Chomsky is known for his critiques of U.S. foreign policy and contemporary capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, and he has been described as a prominent cultural figure. His media criticism
Media studies
Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. Media studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but mostly from its core disciplines of mass...

 has included Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), co-written with Edward S. Herman
Edward S. Herman
Edward S. Herman is an American economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. He is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also teaches at Annenberg School for...

, an analysis articulating the propaganda model
Propaganda model
The propaganda model is a conceptual model in political economy advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that states how propaganda, including systemic biases, function in mass media...

 theory for examining the media.

According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index
Arts and Humanities Citation Index
The Arts & Humanities Citation Index , also known as Arts & Humanities Search is a citation index, with abstracting and indexing for more than 1,300 arts and humanities journals, and coverage of disciplines that includes social and natural science journals. Part of this database is derived from...

 in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992, and was the eighth most cited source. Chomsky is the author of over 100 books.

Life and career



Chomsky was born on the morning of December 7, 1928, to Jewish parents in the affluent East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, the son of noted professor of Hebrew at Gratz College
Gratz College
Gratz College is a general college of Jewish studies founded in 1895 offering a broad array of credentials and programs in virtually every area of higher Judaic learning to aspiring Jewish educators, communal professionals, lay people and others seeking to become more knowledgeable of...

 and IWW
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

 (Industrial Workers of the World) member William Chomsky
William Chomsky
William Chomsky was an American scholar of Hebrew, born in Russia , who was a professor at Gratz College. He was made faculty president of Gratz in 1932, a position that he held for thirty seven years. He also taught at Dropsie College, a graduate school of Jewish and Semitic studies from 1955...

 (1896–1977), a native of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. His mother, Elsie Chomsky (née Simonofsky)—a native of what is present-day Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

—grew up in the United States and, unlike her husband, spoke "ordinary New York English". Chomsky's parents' first language was Yiddish
Yiddish language
Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

, but Chomsky said it was "taboo" in his family to speak it. Although Chomsky's mother was part of the radical activism in the 1930s, he was influenced largely by his uncle who, having never passed 4th grade, owned a newsstand that acted as an "intellectual center [where] professors of this and that argu[ed] all night". Chomsky was influenced also by being a part of a Hebrew-based, Zionist organization, as well as by hanging around anarchist bookstores.

He describes his family as living in a sort of "Jewish ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

", split into a "Yiddish side" and "Hebrew side", with his family aligning with the latter and bringing him up "immersed in Hebrew culture and literature", though he means more a "cultural ghetto than a physical one". Chomsky also describes tensions he experienced with Irish Catholics and German Catholics and anti-semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 in the mid-1930s. He recalls "beer parties" celebrating the fall of Paris to the Nazis
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

. In a discussion of the irony of his staying in the 1980s in a Jesuit House in Central America, Chomsky explained that during his childhood, "We were the only Jewish family around. I grew up with a visceral fear of Catholics. They're the people who beat you up on your way to school. So I knew when they came out of that building down the street, which was the Jesuit school, they were raving anti-Semites. So childhood memories took a long time to overcome."

Chomsky remembers the first article he wrote was at age 10 while a student at Oak Lane Country Day School
Oak Lane Day School
Oak Lane Day School, located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, was an independent school serving preschool and elementary-aged children, and operates an eight-week children's camp program in the summer. The school's stated mission is to honor each child's individuality in a setting that fosters...

 about the threat of the spread of fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

, following the fall of Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

. From the age of 12 or 13, he identified more fully with anarchist politics.

A graduate of Central High School of Philadelphia, Chomsky began studying philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and linguistics
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

 in 1945, taking classes with philosophers such as C. West Churchman
C. West Churchman
Charles West Churchman was an American philosopher and systems scientist, who was Professor at the School of Business Administration and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Berkeley...

 and Nelson Goodman
Nelson Goodman
Henry Nelson Goodman was an American philosopher, known for his work on counterfactuals, mereology, the problem of induction, irrealism and aesthetics.-Career:...

 and linguist Zellig Harris
Zellig Harris
Zellig Sabbettai Harris was a renowned American linguist, mathematical syntactician, and methodologist of science. Originally a Semiticist, he is best known for his work in structural linguistics and discourse analysis and for the discovery of transformational structure in language...

. Harris's teaching included his discovery of transformations as a mathematical analysis
Linear transformation
In mathematics, a linear map, linear mapping, linear transformation, or linear operator is a function between two vector spaces that preserves the operations of vector addition and scalar multiplication. As a result, it always maps straight lines to straight lines or 0...

 of language structure (mappings from one subset to another in the set of sentences). Chomsky referred to the morphophonemic rules in his 1951 master's thesis—The Morphophonemics of Modern Hebrew—as transformations in the sense of Carnap's
Rudolf Carnap
Rudolf Carnap was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism....

 1938 notion of rules of transformation (vs. rules of formation), and subsequently reinterpreted the notion of grammatical transformations in a very different way from Harris, as operations on the productions of a context-free grammar
Context-free grammar
In formal language theory, a context-free grammar is a formal grammar in which every production rule is of the formwhere V is a single nonterminal symbol, and w is a string of terminals and/or nonterminals ....

 (derived from Post production systems
Post canonical system
A Post canonical system, as created by Emil Post, is a string-manipulation system that starts with finitely-many strings and repeatedly transforms them by applying a finite set of specified rules of a certain form, thus generating a formal language...

). Harris's political views were instrumental in shaping those of Chomsky. Chomsky earned a BA
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in 1949 and an MA
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 in 1951.

In 1949, he married linguist Carol Schatz
Carol Chomsky
Carol Chomsky was an American linguist and education specialist who studied language acquisition in children....

. They remained married for 59 years until her death from cancer in December 2008. The couple had two daughters, Aviva
Aviva Chomsky
Aviva Chomsky is an American historian, author, and activist. She teaches at Salem State College in Massachusetts, where she is also the coordinator of the Latin American studies program. She previously taught at Bates College in Maine, and was a research associate at Harvard University, where she...

 (b. 1957) and Diane (b. 1960), and a son, Harry (b. 1967). With his wife Carol, Chomsky spent time in 1953 living in HaZore'a, a kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

 in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Asked in an interview whether the stay was "a disappointment" Chomsky replied, "No, I loved it"; however, he "couldn't stand the ideological atmosphere" and "fervent nationalism" in the early 1950s at the kibbutz, with Stalin being defended by many of the left-leaning kibbutz members who chose to paint a rosy image of future possibilities and contemporary realities in the USSR. Chomsky notes seeing many positive elements in the commune-like living of the kibbutz, in which parents and children lived together in separate houses, and when asked whether there were "lessons that we have learned from the history of the kibbutz", responded, that in "some respects, the kibbutzim came closer to the anarchist ideal than any other attempt that lasted for more than a very brief moment before destruction, or that was on anything like a similar scale. In these respects, I think they were extremely attractive and successful; apart from personal accident, I probably would have lived there myself – for how long, it's hard to guess."

Chomsky received his PhD
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

 in 1955. He conducted part of his doctoral research during four years at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 as a Harvard Junior Fellow. In his doctoral thesis
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

, he began to develop some of his linguistic ideas, elaborating on them in his 1957 book Syntactic Structures
Syntactic Structures
Syntactic Structures is an seminal book in linguistics by American linguist Noam Chomsky, first published in 1957. It laid the foundation of Chomsky's idea of transformational grammar...

, one of his best-known works in linguistics.

Chomsky joined the staff of MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 in 1955 and in 1961 was appointed full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy). From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics, and in 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor. As of 2010, Chomsky has taught at MIT continuously for 55 years.

In February 1967, Chomsky became one of the leading opponents of the Vietnam War with the publication of his essay, "The Responsibility of Intellectuals
The Responsibility of Intellectuals
"The Responsibility of Intellectuals" is an essay by the US academic Noam Chomsky which was published as a special supplement by The New York Review of Books on the 23 February 1967....

", in The New York Review of Books
The New York Review of Books
The New York Review of Books is a fortnightly magazine with articles on literature, culture and current affairs. Published in New York City, it takes as its point of departure that the discussion of important books is itself an indispensable literary activity...

. This was followed by his 1969 book, American Power and the New Mandarins
American Power and the New Mandarins
American Power and the New Mandarins is a book by the US academic Noam Chomsky, largely written in 1968, published in 1969. It was his first political book and sets out in detail his opposition to the Vietnam War....

,
a collection of essays that established him at the forefront of American dissent. His far-reaching criticisms of U.S. foreign policy and the legitimacy of U.S. power have raised controversy he is frequently sought out for his views by publications and news outlets internationally. In 1977 he delivered the Huizinga Lecture
Huizinga Lecture
The Huizinga Lecture is a prestigious annual lecture in the Netherlands about a subject in the domains of cultural history or philosophy. The lecture is in honour of Johan Huizinga, a distinguished Dutch historian who worked in the first half of the 20th century...

 in Leiden, the Netherlands, under the title: Intellectuals and the State.

Chomsky has received death threats because of his criticisms of U.S. foreign policy. He was also on a list of planned targets created by Theodore Kaczynski
Theodore Kaczynski
Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski , also known as the "Unabomber" , is an American mathematician, social critic, anarcho-primitivist, and Neo-Luddite who engaged in a mail bombing campaign that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others.Kaczynski was born in Chicago, Illinois,...

, better known as the Unabomber; during the period that Kaczynski was at large, Chomsky had all of his mail checked for explosives. He states that he often receives undercover police protection, in particular while on the MIT campus, although he does not agree with the police protection.

Chomsky resides in Lexington, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, and travels often, giving lectures on politics.

Contributions to linguistics


Chomskyan linguistics, beginning with his Syntactic Structures
Syntactic Structures
Syntactic Structures is an seminal book in linguistics by American linguist Noam Chomsky, first published in 1957. It laid the foundation of Chomsky's idea of transformational grammar...

, a distillation of his Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory (1955, 75), challenges structural linguistics
Structural Linguistics
Structural linguistics is an approach to linguistics originating from the work of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. De Saussure's Course in General Linguistics, published posthumously in 1916, stressed examining language as a static system of interconnected units...

 and introduces transformational grammar
Transformational grammar
In linguistics, a transformational grammar or transformational-generative grammar is a generative grammar, especially of a natural language, that has been developed in the Chomskyan tradition of phrase structure grammars...

. This approach takes utterances (sequences of words) to have a syntax characterized by a formal grammar; in particular, a context-free grammar
Context-free grammar
In formal language theory, a context-free grammar is a formal grammar in which every production rule is of the formwhere V is a single nonterminal symbol, and w is a string of terminals and/or nonterminals ....

 extended with transformational rules.

Perhaps his most influential and time-tested contribution to the field, is the claim that modeling knowledge of language using a formal grammar
Formal grammar
A formal grammar is a set of formation rules for strings in a formal language. The rules describe how to form strings from the language's alphabet that are valid according to the language's syntax...

 accounts for the "productivity" or "creativity" of language. In other words, a formal grammar of a language can explain the ability of a hearer-speaker to produce and interpret an infinite number of utterances, including novel ones, with a limited set of grammatical rules and a finite set of terms. He has always acknowledged his debt to Pāṇini for his modern notion of an explicit generative grammar although it is also related to rationalist ideas of a priori knowledge.

It is a popular misconception that Chomsky proved that language is entirely innate and discovered a "universal grammar" (UG). In fact, Chomsky simply observed that while a human baby and a kitten are both capable of inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

, if they are exposed to exactly the same linguistic data, the human child will always acquire the ability to understand and produce language, while the kitten will never acquire either ability. Chomsky labeled whatever the relevant capacity the human has which the cat lacks the "language acquisition device" (LAD) and suggested that one of the tasks for linguistics should be to figure out what the LAD is and what constraints it puts on the range of possible human language
Human language
A human language is a language primarily intended for communication among humans. The two major categories of human languages are natural languages and constructed languages...

s. The universal features that would result from these constraints are often termed "universal grammar" or UG.

The Principles and Parameters approach (P&P)—developed in his Pisa 1979 Lectures, later published as Lectures on Government and Binding
Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures
Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures is a book by American linguist Noam Chomsky, published in 1981. It is based on the lectures Chomsky gave at the GLOW conference and workshop held at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy in 1979. In this book, Chomsky presented his...

(LGB)—makes strong claims regarding universal grammar: that the grammatical principles underlying languages are innate and fixed, and the differences among the world's languages can be characterized in terms of parameter settings in the brain (such as the pro-drop parameter, which indicates whether an explicit subject is always required, as in English, or can be optionally dropped, as in Spanish), which are often likened to switches. (Hence the term principles and parameters, often given to this approach.) In this view, a child learning a language need only acquire the necessary lexical items (words, grammatical morpheme
Morpheme
In linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest semantically meaningful unit in a language. The field of study dedicated to morphemes is called morphology. A morpheme is not identical to a word, and the principal difference between the two is that a morpheme may or may not stand alone, whereas a word,...

s, and idioms), and determine the appropriate parameter settings, which can be done based on a few key examples.

Proponents of this view argue that the pace at which children learn languages is inexplicably rapid, unless children have an innate ability to learn languages. The similar steps followed by children all across the world when learning languages, and the fact that children make certain characteristic errors as they learn their first language, whereas other seemingly logical kinds of errors never occur (and, according to Chomsky, should be attested if a purely general, rather than language-specific, learning mechanism were being employed), are also pointed to as motivation for innateness.

More recently, in his Minimalist Program
Minimalist program
In linguistics, the Minimalist Program is a major line of inquiry that has been developing inside generative grammar since the early nineties. It started with a 1993 paper by Noam Chomsky....

 (1995), while retaining the core concept of "principles and parameters," Chomsky attempts a major overhaul of the linguistic machinery involved in the LGB model, stripping from it all but the barest necessary elements, while advocating a general approach to the architecture of the human language faculty that emphasizes principles of economy and optimal design, reverting to a derivational approach to generation, in contrast with the largely representational approach of classic P&P.

Chomsky's ideas have had a strong influence on researchers of the language acquisition
Language acquisition
Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive, produce and use words to understand and communicate. This capacity involves the picking up of diverse capacities including syntax, phonetics, and an extensive vocabulary. This language might be vocal as with...

 in children, though many researchers in this area such as Elizabeth Bates
Elizabeth Bates
Elizabeth Bates was a Professor of psychology and cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego...

 and Michael Tomasello
Michael Tomasello
Michael Tomasello is an American developmentalpsychologist. He is a co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.-Life:...

 argue very strongly against Chomsky's theories, and instead advocate emergentist
Emergence
In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems....

 or connectionist theories, explaining language with a number of general processing mechanisms in the brain that interact with the extensive and complex social environment in which language is used and learned.

His best-known work in phonology
Phonology
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...

 is The Sound Pattern of English
The Sound Pattern of English
The Sound Pattern of English is a 1968 work on phonology by Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle. It presents a comprehensive view of the phonology of English, and stands as a landmark both in the field of phonology and in the analysis of the English language...

(1968), written with Morris Halle
Morris Halle
Morris Halle , is a Latvian-American Jewish linguist and an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...

 (and often known as simply SPE). This work has had a great significance for the development in the field. While phonological theory has since moved beyond "SPE phonology" in many important respects, the SPE system is considered the precursor of some of the most influential phonological theories today, including autosegmental phonology
Autosegmental phonology
Autosegmental phonology is the name of a framework of phonological analysis proposed by John Goldsmith in his PhD thesis in 1976 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology....

, lexical phonology and optimality theory
Optimality theory
Optimality theory is a linguistic model proposing that the observed forms of language arise from the interaction between conflicting constraints. OT models grammars as systems that provide mappings from inputs to outputs; typically, the inputs are conceived of as underlying representations, and...

. Chomsky no longer publishes on phonology.

Generative grammar


The Chomskyan approach towards syntax
Syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

, often termed generative grammar
Generative grammar
In theoretical linguistics, generative grammar refers to a particular approach to the study of syntax. A generative grammar of a language attempts to give a set of rules that will correctly predict which combinations of words will form grammatical sentences...

, studies grammar as a body of knowledge possessed by language users. Since the 1960s, Chomsky has maintained that much of this knowledge is innate, implying that children need only learn certain parochial features of their native languages. The innate body of linguistic knowledge is often termed universal grammar
Universal grammar
Universal grammar is a theory in linguistics that suggests that there are properties that all possible natural human languages have.Usually credited to Noam Chomsky, the theory suggests that some rules of grammar are hard-wired into the brain, and manifest themselves without being taught...

. From Chomsky's perspective, the strongest evidence for the existence of Universal Grammar is simply the fact that children successfully acquire their native languages in so little time. Furthermore, he argues that there is an enormous gap between the linguistic stimuli to which children are exposed and the rich linguistic knowledge they attain (the "poverty of the stimulus
Poverty of the stimulus
In linguistics, the poverty of the stimulus is the assertion that natural language grammar is unlearnable given the relatively limited data available to children learning a language, and therefore that this knowledge is supplemented with some sort of innate linguistic capacity...

" argument). The knowledge of Universal Grammar would serve to bridge that gap.

Chomsky's theories have been immensely influential within linguistics, but they have also received criticism. One recurring criticism of the Chomskyan variety of generative grammar is that it is Anglocentric and Eurocentric, and that often linguists working in this tradition have a tendency to base claims about Universal Grammar on a very small sample of languages, sometimes just one. Initially, the Eurocentrism was exhibited in an overemphasis on the study of English. However, hundreds of different languages have now received at least some attention within Chomskyan linguistic analyses. In spite of the diversity of languages that have been characterized by UG derivations, critics continue to argue that the formalisms within Chomskyan linguistics are Anglocentric and misrepresent the properties of languages that are different from English. Thus, Chomsky's approach has been criticized as a form of linguistic imperialism. In addition, Chomskyan linguists rely heavily on the intuitions of native speakers regarding which sentences of their languages are well-formed. This practice has been criticized on general methodological grounds. Some psychologists
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 and psycholinguists
Psycholinguistics
Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, comprehend and produce language. Initial forays into psycholinguistics were largely philosophical ventures, due mainly to a lack of cohesive data on how the...

, though sympathetic to Chomsky's overall program, have argued that Chomskyan linguists pay insufficient attention to experimental data from language processing, with the consequence that their theories are not psychologically plausible. Other critics (see language learning) have questioned whether it is necessary to posit Universal Grammar to explain child language acquisition, arguing that domain-general learning mechanisms are sufficient.

Today there are many different branches of generative grammar; one can view grammatical frameworks such as head-driven phrase structure grammar
Head-driven phrase structure grammar
Head-driven phrase structure grammar is a highly lexicalized, non-derivational generative grammar theory developed by Carl Pollard and Ivan Sag. It is the immediate successor to generalized phrase structure grammar. HPSG draws from other fields such as computer science and uses Ferdinand de...

, lexical functional grammar
Lexical functional grammar
Lexical functional grammar is a grammar framework in theoretical linguistics, a variety of generative grammar. It is a type of phrase structure grammar, as opposed to a dependency grammar. The development of the theory was initiated by Joan Bresnan and Ronald Kaplan in the 1970s, in reaction to...

 and combinatory categorial grammar
Combinatory categorial grammar
Combinatory categorial grammar is an efficiently parseable, yet linguistically expressive grammar formalism. It has a transparent interface between surface syntax and underlying semantic representation, including predicate-argument structure, quantification and information structure.CCG relies on...

 as broadly Chomskyan and generative in orientation, but with significant differences in execution.

Chomsky hierarchy



Chomsky is famous for investigating various kinds of formal language
Formal language
A formal language is a set of words—that is, finite strings of letters, symbols, or tokens that are defined in the language. The set from which these letters are taken is the alphabet over which the language is defined. A formal language is often defined by means of a formal grammar...

s and whether or not they might be capable of capturing key properties of human language. His Chomsky hierarchy
Chomsky hierarchy
Within the field of computer science, specifically in the area of formal languages, the Chomsky hierarchy is a containment hierarchy of classes of formal grammars....

 partitions formal grammar
Formal grammar
A formal grammar is a set of formation rules for strings in a formal language. The rules describe how to form strings from the language's alphabet that are valid according to the language's syntax...

s into classes, or groups, with increasing expressive power, i.e., each successive class can generate a broader set of formal languages than the one before. Interestingly, Chomsky argues that modeling some aspects of human language requires a more complex formal grammar (as measured by the Chomsky hierarchy) than modeling others. For example, while a regular language
Regular language
In theoretical computer science and formal language theory, a regular language is a formal language that can be expressed using regular expression....

 is powerful enough to model English morphology
Morphology (linguistics)
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...

, it is not powerful enough to model English syntax
Syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

. In addition to being relevant in linguistics, the Chomsky hierarchy has also become important in computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 (especially in compiler
Compiler
A compiler is a computer program that transforms source code written in a programming language into another computer language...

 construction and automata theory
Automata theory
In theoretical computer science, automata theory is the study of abstract machines and the computational problems that can be solved using these machines. These abstract machines are called automata...

). Indeed, there is an equivalence between the Chomsky language hierarchy and the different kinds of automata. Thus theorems about languages are often dealt with as either languages (grammars) or automata.

An alternate method of dealing with languages is based upon Formal Power series
Formal power series
In mathematics, formal power series are a generalization of polynomials as formal objects, where the number of terms is allowed to be infinite; this implies giving up the possibility to substitute arbitrary values for indeterminates...

. Formal Power series as well as the relationship between languages and semi-groups
Semigroup
In mathematics, a semigroup is an algebraic structure consisting of a set together with an associative binary operation. A semigroup generalizes a monoid in that there might not exist an identity element...

 continued to occupy M. P. Schützenberger at the Sorbonne. Formal Power Series are similar to the Taylor Series one encounters in a course on Calculus, and is especially useful for languages where words (terminal symbols) are commutative.

Contributions to psychology


Chomsky's work in linguistics has had profound implications for modern psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

. For Chomsky, linguistics is a branch of cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology is a subdiscipline of psychology exploring internal mental processes.It is the study of how people perceive, remember, think, speak, and solve problems.Cognitive psychology differs from previous psychological approaches in two key ways....

; genuine insights in linguistics imply concomitant understandings of aspects of mental processing and human nature. His theory of a universal grammar
Universal grammar
Universal grammar is a theory in linguistics that suggests that there are properties that all possible natural human languages have.Usually credited to Noam Chomsky, the theory suggests that some rules of grammar are hard-wired into the brain, and manifest themselves without being taught...

 was seen by many as a direct challenge to the established behaviorist theories of the time and had major consequences for understanding how children learn language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

  and what, exactly, the ability to use language is.

In 1959, Chomsky published an influential critique of B.F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior, a book in which Skinner offered a theoretical account of language in functional, behavioral terms. He defined "Verbal Behavior" as learned behavior that has characteristic consequences delivered through the learned behavior of others. This makes for a view of communicative behaviors much larger than that usually addressed by linguists. Skinner's approach focused on the circumstances in which language was used; for example, asking for water was functionally a different response than labeling something as water, responding to someone asking for water, etc. These functionally different kinds of responses, which required in turn separate explanations, sharply contrasted both with traditional notions of language and Chomsky's psycholinguistic approach. Chomsky thought that a functionalist explanation restricting itself to questions of communicative performance ignored important questions. (Chomsky—Language and Mind, 1968). He focused on questions concerning the operation and development of innate structures for syntax capable of creatively organizing, cohering, adapting and combining words and phrases into intelligible utterances.

In the review Chomsky emphasized that the scientific application of behavioral principles from animal research is severely lacking in explanatory adequacy and is furthermore particularly superficial as an account of human verbal behavior because a theory restricting itself to external conditions, to "what is learned," cannot adequately account for generative grammar. Chomsky raised the examples of rapid language acquisition of children, including their quickly developing ability to form grammatical sentences, and the universally creative language use of competent native speakers to highlight the ways in which Skinner's view exemplified under-determination of theory by evidence. He argued that to understand human verbal behavior such as the creative aspects of language use and language development, one must first postulate a genetic linguistic endowment. The assumption that important aspects of language are the product of universal innate ability runs counter to Skinner's radical behaviorism.

Chomsky's 1959 review has drawn fire from a number of critics, the most famous criticism being that of Kenneth MacCorquodale's 1970 paper On Chomsky’s Review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior (Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, volume 13, pages 83–99). MacCorquodale's argument was updated and expanded in important respects by Nathan Stemmer in a 1990 paper, Skinner's Verbal Behavior, Chomsky's review, and mentalism (Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, volume 54, pages 307–319). These and similar critiques have raised certain points not generally acknowledged outside of behavioral psychology, such as the claim that Chomsky did not possess an adequate understanding of either behavioral psychology in general, or the differences between Skinner's behaviorism and other varieties. Consequently, it is argued that he made several serious errors. On account of these perceived problems, the critics maintain that the review failed to demonstrate what it has often been cited as doing. As such, it is averred that those most influenced by Chomsky's paper probably either already substantially agreed with Chomsky or never actually read it. The review has been further critiqued for misrepresenting the work of Skinner and others, including by quoting out of context. Chomsky has maintained that the review was directed at the way Skinner's variant of behavioral psychology "was being used in Quinean empiricism and naturalization of philosophy."

It has been claimed that Chomsky's critique of Skinner's methodology and basic assumptions paved the way for the "cognitive revolution
Cognitive revolution
The cognitive revolution is the name for an intellectual movement in the 1950s that began what are known collectively as the cognitive sciences. It began in the modern context of greater interdisciplinary communication and research...

", the shift in American psychology between the 1950s through the 1970s from being primarily behavioral to being primarily cognitive. In his 1966 Cartesian Linguistics and subsequent works, Chomsky laid out an explanation of human language faculties that has become the model for investigation in some areas of psychology. Much of the present conception of how the mind works draws directly from ideas that found their first persuasive author of modern times in Chomsky.

There are three key ideas. First is that the mind is "cognitive", or that the mind actually contains mental states, beliefs, doubts, and so on. Second, he argued that most of the important properties of language and mind are innate. The acquisition and development of a language is a result of the unfolding of innate propensities triggered by the experiential input of the external environment. The link between human innate aptitude to language and heredity has been at the core of the debate opposing Noam Chomsky to Jean Piaget
Jean Piaget
Jean Piaget was a French-speaking Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called "genetic epistemology"....

 at the Abbaye de Royaumont in 1975 (Language and Learning. The Debate between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky, Harvard University Press, 1980). Although links between the genetic setup of humans and aptitude to language have been suggested at that time and in later discussions, we are still far from understanding the genetic bases of human language. Work derived from the model of selective stabilization of synapses set up by Jean-Pierre Changeux
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Jean-Pierre Changeux is a French neuroscientist known for his research in several fields of biology, from the structure and function of proteins , to the early development of the nervous system up to cognitive functions...

, Philippe Courrège and Antoine Danchin
Antoine Danchin
Antoine Danchin PhD DSc is a French geneticist known for his research in several fields of biology, from the structure and function of adenylate cyclase, to modelisation of learning in the nervous system and the early development of genomics and bioinformatics. He is the Chairman of the startup...

, and more recently developed experimentally and theoretically by Jacques Mehler
Jacques Mehler
Born in Barcelona in 1936, Jacques Mehler is an influential cognitive psychologist specializing in language acquisition.Mehler studied in the 1960s at Harvard University, at the time of the cognitive revolution, where he worked with George A. Miller...

 and Stanislas Dehaene
Stanislas Dehaene
Stanislas Dehaene is a professor at the Collège de France, author, and director of INSERM . He has worked on a number of topics, including numerical cognition, the neural basis of reading and the neural correlates of consciousness. Dehaene was one of ten people to be awarded the James S...

 in particular in the domain of numerical cognition
Numerical cognition
Numerical cognition is a subdiscipline of cognitive science that studies the cognitive, developmental and neural bases of numbers and mathematics. As with many cognitive science endeavors, this is a highly interdisciplinary topic, and includes researchers in cognitive psychology, developmental...

 lend support to the Chomskyan "nativism". It does not, however, provide clues about the type of rules that would organize neuronal connections to permit language competence. Subsequent psychologists have extended this general "nativist" thesis beyond language. Lastly, Chomsky made the concept of "modularity
Modularity of mind
Modularity of mind is the notion that a mind may, at least in part, be composed of separate innate structures which have established evolutionarily developed functional purposes...

" a critical feature of the mind's cognitive architecture. The mind is composed of an array of interacting, specialized subsystems with limited flows of inter-communication. This model contrasts sharply with the old idea that any piece of information in the mind could be accessed by any other cognitive process (optical illusions, for example, cannot be "turned off" even when they are known to be illusions).

Approach to science


Chomsky sees science as a straightforward search for explanation
Explanation
An explanation is a set of statements constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context, and consequencesof those facts....

, and rejects the views of it as a catalog of fact
Fact
A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is whether it can be shown to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts...

s or mechanical explanations. In this light, the majority of his contributions to science have been frameworks and hypotheses
Hypothesis
A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. The term derives from the Greek, ὑποτιθέναι – hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose". For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it...

, rather than "discoveries."

As such, he considers certain so-called post-structuralist
Post-structuralism
Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of French intellectuals who came to international prominence in the 1960s and '70s...

 or postmodern critiques of logic and reason to be nonsensical:


I have spent a lot of my life working on questions such as these, using the only methods I know of; those condemned here as "science", "rationality," "logic," and so on. I therefore read the papers with some hope that they would help me "transcend" these limitations, or perhaps suggest an entirely different course. I'm afraid I was disappointed. Admittedly, that may be my own limitation. Quite regularly, "my eyes glaze over" when I read polysyllabic discourse on the themes of poststructuralism and postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

; what I understand is largely truism
Truism
A truism is a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning, except as a reminder or as a rhetorical or literary device and is the opposite of falsism....

 or error, but that is only a fraction of the total word count. True, there are lots of other things I don't understand: the articles in the current issues of math and physics journals, for example. But there is a difference. In the latter case, I know how to get to understand them, and have done so, in cases of particular interest to me; and I also know that people in these fields can explain the contents to me at my level, so that I can gain what (partial) understanding I may want. In contrast, no one seems to be able to explain to me why the latest post-this-and-that is (for the most part) other than truism, error, or gibberish, and I do not know how to proceed.


Although Chomsky believes that a scientific background is important to teach proper reasoning, he holds that science in general is "inadequate" to understand complicated problems like human affairs:

Science talks about very simple things, and asks hard questions about them. As soon as things become too complex, science can’t deal with them... But it’s a complicated matter: Science studies what’s at the edge of understanding, and what’s at the edge of understanding is usually fairly simple. And it rarely reaches human affairs. Human affairs are way too complicated.

Debates


Chomsky has been known to vigorously defend and debate his views and opinions, in philosophy, linguistics, and politics. He has had notable debates with such varied intellectuals as Jean Piaget
Jean Piaget
Jean Piaget was a French-speaking Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called "genetic epistemology"....

, Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, William F. Buckley, Jr.
William F. Buckley, Jr.
William Frank Buckley, Jr. was an American conservative author and commentator. He founded the political magazine National Review in 1955, hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line from 1966 until 1999, and was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. His writing was noted for...

, Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Eric Hitchens is an Anglo-American author and journalist whose books, essays, and journalistic career span more than four decades. He has been a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, The Nation, Free Inquiry, and became a media fellow at the...

, George Lakoff
George Lakoff
George P. Lakoff is an American cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972...

, Richard Perle
Richard Perle
Richard Norman Perle is an American political advisor, consultant, and lobbyist who began his career in government, a senior staff member to Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson on the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 1970’s...

, Hilary Putnam
Hilary Putnam
Hilary Whitehall Putnam is an American philosopher, mathematician and computer scientist, who has been a central figure in analytic philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of science...

, Willard Quine
Willard Van Orman Quine
Willard Van Orman Quine was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition...

, and Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz
Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history...

, to name a few. In response to his speaking style being criticized as boring, Chomsky said that "I'm a boring speaker and I like it that way.... I doubt that people are attracted to whatever the persona is.... People are interested in the issues, and they're interested in the issues because they are important." "We don't want to be swayed by superficial eloquence, by emotion and so on."

Political views




Chomsky has stated that his "personal visions are fairly traditional anarchist ones, with origins in The Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 and classical liberalism" and he has praised libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

. Although Chomsky tries to avoid the ambiguity of labels, his political views are often characterized in news accounts as "leftist" or "left-wing," and he has described himself as an anarcho-syndicalist. He is a member of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
The Campaign for Peace and Democracy is a New York-based organization that promotes "a new, progressive and non-militaristic U.S. foreign policy," in contrast to existing foreign policy, which CPD characterizes as "based on domination, militarism, fear of popular struggles, enforcement of an...

 and the Industrial Workers of the World
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

 international union. He published a book on anarchism titled Chomsky on Anarchism, published by the anarchist book collective AK Press
AK Press
AK Press is a worker-managed independent publisher and book distributor that specialises in radical left and anarchist literature. It is collectively owned and operated.-History:...

 in 2006.

Chomsky has engaged in political activism all of his adult life and expressed opinions on politics and world events, which are widely cited, publicized and discussed. Chomsky has in turn argued that his views are those the powerful do not want to hear and for this reason he is considered an American political dissident
Dissident
A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement....

.

Chomsky asserts that authority
Political power
Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

, unless justified, is inherently illegitimate and that the burden of proof is on those in authority. If this burden can't be met, the authority in question should be dismantled. Authority for its own sake is inherently unjustified. An example given by Chomsky of a legitimate authority is that exerted by an adult to prevent a young child from wandering into traffic. He contends that there is little moral difference between chattel slavery and renting one's self to an owner or "wage slavery
Wage slavery
Wage slavery refers to a situation where a person's livelihood depends on wages, especially when the dependence is total and immediate. It is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor, and to highlight similarities between owning and employing a person...

". He feels that it is an attack on personal integrity that undermines individual freedom. He holds that workers should own and control their workplace, a view held (as he notes) by the Lowell Mill Girls
Lowell Mill Girls
"Lowell Mill Girls" was the name used for female textile workers in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 19th century. The Lowell textile mills employed a workforce which was about three quarters female; this characteristic caused two social effects: a close examination of the women's moral behavior, and...

.

Chomsky has strongly criticized the foreign policy of the United States. He claims double standards in a foreign policy preaching democracy and freedom for all while allying itself with non-democratic and repressive organizations and states such as Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 under Augusto Pinochet
Augusto Pinochet
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet , was a Chilean army general and dictator who assumed power in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973...

 and argues that this results in massive human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 violations. He often argues that America's intervention in foreign nations, including the secret aid given to the Contras
Contras
The contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua's FSLN Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle's dictatorship...

 in Nicaragua, an event of which he has been very critical, fits any standard description of terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, including "official definitions in the US Code and Army Manuals in the early 1980s." Before its collapse, Chomsky also condemned Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 imperialism; for example in 1986 during a question/answer following a lecture he gave at Universidad Centroamericana in Nicaragua, when challenged about how he could "talk about North American imperialism and Russian imperialism in the same breath," Chomsky responded: "One of the truths about the world is that there are two superpowers, one a huge power which happens to have its boot on your neck; another, a smaller power which happens to have its boot on other people's necks. I think that anyone in the Third World would be making a grave error if they succumbed to illusions about these matters."

Regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

, Chomsky stated: "We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a 'suspect' but uncontroversially the 'decider' who gave the orders to commit the 'supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole' (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region."

He has argued that the mass media in the United States largely serve as a "bought priesthood
Bought Priesthood
Bought priesthood is a term originating with the United States labor press in the early to mid-20th century and popularized again more recently by intellectuals like Noam Chomsky...

" of the U.S. government and U.S.-based corporations, with the three intertwined through common interests. In a famous reference to Walter Lippmann
Walter Lippmann
Walter Lippmann was an American intellectual, writer, reporter, and political commentator famous for being among the first to introduce the concept of Cold War...

, Chomsky along with his coauthor Edward S. Herman
Edward S. Herman
Edward S. Herman is an American economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. He is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also teaches at Annenberg School for...

 has written that the American media manufactures consent
Manufacturing Consent
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media , by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, is an analysis of the news media as business...

 among the public. Chomsky has condemned the 2010 supreme court ruling revoking the limits on campaign finance
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, , was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment prohibits government from censoring political broadcasts in candidate elections when those broadcasts are funded by corporations or unions...

, calling it "corporate takeover of democracy."

Chomsky opposes the U.S. global "war on drugs
War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade...

", claiming its language is misleading, and refers to it as "the war on certain drugs." He favors drug policy reform
Drug policy reform
Drug policy reform, also known as drug law reform, is a term used to describe proposed changes to the way most governments respond to the socio-cultural influence on perception of psychoactive substance use...

, in education and prevention rather than military or police action as a means of reducing drug use. In an interview in 1999, Chomsky argued that, whereas crops such as tobacco receive no mention in governmental exposition, other non-profitable crops, such as marijuana are attacked because of the effect achieved by persecuting the poor
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

: He has stated:


U.S. domestic drug policy does not carry out its stated goals, and policymakers are well aware of that. If it isn't about reducing substance abuse, what is it about? It is reasonably clear, both from current actions and the historical record, that substances tend to be criminalized when they are associated with the so-called dangerous classes, that the criminalization of certain substances is a technique of social control.


Chomsky is critical of the American "state capitalist
State capitalism
The term State capitalism has various meanings, but is usually described as commercial economic activity undertaken by the state with management of the productive forces in a capitalist manner, even if the state is nominally socialist. State capitalism is usually characterized by the dominance or...

" system and big business, he describes himself as a socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

, specifically an anarcho-syndicalist
Anarcho-syndicalism
Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism which focuses on the labour movement. The word syndicalism comes from the French word syndicat which means trade union , from the Latin word syndicus which in turn comes from the Greek word σύνδικος which means caretaker of an issue...

, and is critical of "authoritarian" communist branches of socialism. He also believes that socialist values exemplify the rational and morally consistent extension of original unreconstructed classical liberal and radical humanist ideas to an industrial context. He believes that society should be highly organized and based on democratic control of communities and work places. He believes that the radical humanist ideas of his two major influences, Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

 and John Dewey
John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...

, were "rooted in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism, and retain their revolutionary character."

Chomsky has stated that he believes the United States remains the "greatest country in the world", a comment that he later clarified by saying, "Evaluating countries is senseless and I would never put things in those terms, but that some of America's advances, particularly in the area of free speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

, that have been achieved by centuries of popular struggle, are to be admired." He has also said "In many respects, the United States is the freest country in the world. I don't just mean in terms of limits on state coercion, though that's true too, but also in terms of individual relations. The United States comes closer to classlessness in terms of interpersonal relations than virtually any society."

Chomsky objects to the criticism that anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 is inconsistent with support for government welfare, stating in part:


One can, of course, take the position that we don't care about the problems people face today, and want to think about a possible tomorrow. OK, but then don't pretend to have any interest in human beings and their fate, and stay in the seminar room and intellectual coffee house with other privileged people. Or one can take a much more humane position: I want to work, today, to build a better society for tomorrow – the classical anarchist position, quite different from the slogans in the question. That's exactly right, and it leads directly to support for the people facing problems today: for enforcement of health and safety regulation, provision of national health insurance, support systems for people who need them, etc. That is not a sufficient condition for organizing for a different and better future, but it is a necessary condition. Anything else will receive the well-merited contempt of people who do not have the luxury to disregard the circumstances in which they live, and try to survive.


Chomsky holds views that can be summarized as anti-war
Anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

 but not strictly pacifist. He prominently opposed the Vietnam War and most other wars in his lifetime. He expressed these views with tax resistance
Tax resistance
Tax resistance is the refusal to pay tax because of opposition to the government that is imposing the tax or to government policy.Tax resistance is a form of civil disobedience and direct action...

 and peace walks. In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. He published a number of articles about the war in Vietnam, including "The Responsibility of Intellectuals". He maintains that U.S. involvement in World War II to defeat the Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 was probably justified, with the caveat that a preferable outcome would have been to end or prevent the war through earlier diplomacy. He believes that the dropping of nuclear bombs
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "among the most unspeakable crimes in history".

Chomsky has made many criticisms of the Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i government, its supporters, the United States' support of the government and its treatment of the Palestinian people
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

, arguing that " 'supporters of Israel' are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration and probable ultimate destruction" and that "Israel's very clear choice of expansion over security may well lead to that consequence." Chomsky disagreed with the founding of Israel as a Jewish state, saying, "I don't think a Jewish or Christian or Islamic state is a proper concept. I would object to the United States as a Christian state." Chomsky hesitated before publishing work critical of Israeli policies while his parents were alive, because he "knew it would hurt them" he says, "mostly because of their friends, who reacted hysterically to views like those expressed in my work." On May 16, 2010, Israeli authorities detained Chomsky and ultimately refused his entry to the West Bank via Jordan. A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister indicated that the refusal of entry was simply due to a border guard who "overstepped his authority" and a second attempt to enter would likely be allowed. Chomsky disagreed, saying that the Interior Ministry official who interviewed him was taking instructions from his superiors. Chomsky maintained that based on the several hours of interviewing, he was denied entry because of the things he says and because he was visiting a university in the West Bank but no Israeli universities.

Chomsky has a broad view of free-speech rights, especially in the mass media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

, and opposes censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

. He has stated that "with regard to freedom of speech there are basically two positions: you defend it vigorously for views you hate, or you reject it and prefer Stalinist/fascist standards". With reference to the United States diplomatic cables leak
United States diplomatic cables leak
The United States diplomatic cables leak, widely known as Cablegate, began in February 2010 when WikiLeaks—a non-profit organization that publishes submissions from anonymous whistleblowers—began releasing classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department by 274 of its consulates,...

, Chomsky suggested that "perhaps the most dramatic revelation ... is the bitter hatred of democracy that is revealed both by the U.S. Government -- Hillary Clinton, others -- and also by the diplomatic service." Chomsky refuses to take legal action against those who may have libeled
Slander and libel
Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander , and libel —is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image...

 him and prefers to counter libels through open letters in newspapers. One notable example of this approach is his response to an article by Emma Brockes in The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

which alleged he denied the existence of the Srebrenica massacre
Srebrenica massacre
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing, during the Bosnian War, of more than 8,000 Bosniaks , mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska under the command of...

. Chomsky's complaint prompted The Guardian to publish an apologetic correction and to withdraw the article from the paper's website.

Chomsky has frequently stated that there is no connection between his work in linguistics and his political views and is generally critical of the idea that competent discussion of political topics requires expert knowledge in academic fields. In a 1969 interview, he said regarding the connection between his politics and his work in linguistics:


I still feel myself that there is a kind of tenuous connection. I would not want to overstate it but I think it means something to me at least. I think that anyone's political ideas or their ideas of social organization must be rooted ultimately in some concept of human nature and human needs.


Some critics have accused Chomsky of hypocrisy when, in spite of his political criticism of American and European military imperialism,
early research at the institution (MIT) where he did his linguistic research had been substantially funded by the American military. Chomsky makes the argument that because he has received funding from the U.S. military, he has an even greater responsibility to criticize and resist its immoral actions.

He is also an outspoken advocate against the use of the death penalty and has spoken against the execution of Steven Woods.

I think the death penalty is a crime no matter what the circumstances, and it is particularly awful in the Steven Woods case. I strongly oppose the execution of Steven Woods on September 13, 2011.

Influence in other fields


Chomskyan models have been used as a theoretical basis in several other fields. The Chomsky hierarchy
Chomsky hierarchy
Within the field of computer science, specifically in the area of formal languages, the Chomsky hierarchy is a containment hierarchy of classes of formal grammars....

 is often taught in fundamental computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 courses as it confers insight into the various types of formal language
Formal language
A formal language is a set of words—that is, finite strings of letters, symbols, or tokens that are defined in the language. The set from which these letters are taken is the alphabet over which the language is defined. A formal language is often defined by means of a formal grammar...

s. This hierarchy can also be discussed in mathematical terms and has generated interest among mathematicians, particularly combinatorialists
Combinatorics
Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics concerning the study of finite or countable discrete structures. Aspects of combinatorics include counting the structures of a given kind and size , deciding when certain criteria can be met, and constructing and analyzing objects meeting the criteria ,...

. Some arguments in evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...

 are derived from his research results.

The 1984 Nobel Prize laureate in Medicine and Physiology, Niels K. Jerne
Niels Kaj Jerne
Niels Kaj Jerne, FRS was a Danish immunologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1984. The citation read "For theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system and the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies"....

, used Chomsky's generative model to explain the human immune system, equating "components of a generative grammar ... with various features of
protein structures". The title of Jerne's Stockholm Nobel lecture was "The Generative Grammar of the Immune System".

Nim Chimpsky
Nim Chimpsky
Nim Chimpsky was a chimpanzee who was the subject of an extended study of animal language acquisition at Columbia University, led by Herbert S. Terrace....

, a chimpanzee who was the subject of a study in animal language acquisition at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, was named after Chomsky in reference to his view of language acquisition as a uniquely human ability.

Famous computer scientist Donald Knuth
Donald Knuth
Donald Ervin Knuth is a computer scientist and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.He is the author of the seminal multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming. Knuth has been called the "father" of the analysis of algorithms...

 admits to reading Syntactic Structures during his honeymoon and being greatly influenced by it. "...I must admit to taking a copy of Noam Chomsky's Syntactic Structures along with me on my honeymoon in 1961 ... Here was a marvelous thing: a mathematical theory of language in which I could use a computer programmer's intuition!".

Another focus of Chomsky's political work has been an analysis of mainstream mass media (especially in the United States), its structures and constraints, and its perceived role in supporting big business and government interests.

Edward S. Herman
Edward S. Herman
Edward S. Herman is an American economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. He is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also teaches at Annenberg School for...

 and Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988) explores this topic in depth, presenting their "propaganda model" of the news media with numerous detailed case studies demonstrating it. According to this propaganda model, more democratic societies like the U.S. use subtle, non-violent means of control, unlike totalitarian systems, where physical force can readily be used to coerce the general population. In an often-quoted remark, Chomsky states that "propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state." (Media Control)

The model attempts to explain this perceived systemic bias
Systemic bias
Systemic bias is the inherent tendency of a process to favor particular outcomes. The term is a neologism that generally refers to human systems; the analogous problem in non-human systems is often called systematic bias, and leads to systematic error in measurements or estimates.-Bias in...

 of the mass media in terms of structural economic causes rather than a conspiracy of people. It argues the bias derives from five "filters" that all published news must "pass through," which combine to systematically distort news coverage.

In explaining the first filter, ownership, he notes that most major media outlets are owned by large corporations. The second, funding, notes that the outlets derive the majority of their funding from advertising, not readers. Thus, since they are profit-oriented businesses selling a product—readers and audiences—to other businesses (advertisers), the model expects them to publish news that reflects the desires and values of those businesses. In addition, the news media are dependent on government institutions and major businesses with strong biases as sources (the third filter) for much of their information. Flak, the fourth filter, refers to the various pressure groups that attack the media for supposed bias. Norms, the fifth filter, refer to the common conceptions shared by those in the profession of journalism. (Note: in the original text, published in 1988, the fifth filter was "anticommunism". However, with the fall of the Soviet Union, it has been broadened to allow for shifts in public opinion.) The model describes how the media form a decentralized and non-conspiratorial but nonetheless very powerful propaganda system, that is able to mobilize an élite consensus, frame public debate within élite perspectives and at the same time give the appearance of democratic consent.

Chomsky and Herman test their model empirically by picking "paired examples"—pairs of events that were objectively similar except for the alignment of domestic élite interests. They use a number of such examples to attempt to show that in cases where an "official enemy" does something (like murder of a religious official), the press investigates thoroughly and devotes a great amount of coverage to the matter, thus victims of "enemy" states are considered "worthy". But when the domestic government or an ally does the same thing (or worse), the press downplays the story, thus victims of US or US client states are considered "unworthy."

They also test their model against the case that is often held up as the best example of a free and aggressively independent press, the media coverage of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. Even in this case, they argue that the press was behaving subserviently to élite interests.

Academic achievements, awards and honors


In early 1969, he delivered the John Locke Lectures
John Locke lectures
The John Locke Lectures are a series of annual lectures in philosophy given at the University of Oxford. They are one of the world's most prestigious academic lecture series, comparable to the Gifford Lectures given in Scottish universities...

 at Oxford University; in January 1970, the Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

 Memorial Lecture at University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

; in 1972, the Nehru Memorial Lecture in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

; in 1977, the Huizinga Lecture in Leiden; in 1988 the Massey Lectures
Massey Lectures
The Massey Lectures are an annual week-long series of lectures on a political, cultural or philosophical topic given in Canada by a noted scholar. They were created in 1961 to honour Vincent Massey, Governor General of Canada...

 at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

, titled "Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies"; in 1997, The Davie Memorial Lecture on Academic Freedom in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, and many others.

Chomsky has received many honorary degree
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

s from universities around the world, including from the following:
  • University of London
    University of London
    -20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

  • University of Chicago
    University of Chicago
    The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

  • Loyola University of Chicago
  • Swarthmore College
    Swarthmore College
    Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia....

  • University of Delhi
    University of Delhi
    The University of Delhi is a central university situated in Delhi, India and is funded by Government of India. Established in 1922, it offers courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level. Vice-President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the Chancellor of the university...

  • Bard College
    Bard College
    Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

  • University of Massachusetts
    University of Massachusetts
    This article relates to the statewide university system. For the flagship campus often referred to as "UMass", see University of Massachusetts Amherst...

  • University of Pennsylvania
    University of Pennsylvania
    The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

  • Georgetown University
    Georgetown University
    Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

  • Amherst College
    Amherst College
    Amherst College is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States. Amherst is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution and enrolled 1,744 students in the fall of 2009...

  • University of Cambridge
    University of Cambridge
    The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

  • University of Colorado
    University of Colorado
    The University of Colorado system is a system of public universities in Colorado consisting of three universities in four campuses: University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and University of Colorado Denver in downtown Denver and at the Anschutz Medical Campus in...

  • University of Buenos Aires
    University of Buenos Aires
    The University of Buenos Aires is the largest university in Argentina and the largest university by enrollment in Latin America. Founded on August 12, 1821 in the city of Buenos Aires, it consists of 13 faculties, 6 hospitals, 10 museums and is linked to 4 high schools: Colegio Nacional de Buenos...

  • McGill University
    McGill University
    Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

  • Rovira i Virgili University
  • Columbia University
    Columbia University
    Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

  • Villanova University
    Villanova University
    Villanova University is a private university located in Radnor Township, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States...

  • University of Connecticut
    University of Connecticut
    The admission rate to the University of Connecticut is about 50% and has been steadily decreasing, with about 28,000 prospective students applying for admission to the freshman class in recent years. Approximately 40,000 prospective students tour the main campus in Storrs annually...

  • University of Maine
    University of Maine
    The University of Maine is a public research university located in Orono, Maine, United States. The university was established in 1865 as a land grant college and is referred to as the flagship university of the University of Maine System...

  • Scuola Normale Superiore
  • University of Western Ontario
    University of Western Ontario
    The University of Western Ontario is a public research university located in London, Ontario, Canada. The university's main campus covers of land, with the Thames River cutting through the eastern portion of the main campus. Western administers its programs through 12 different faculties and...

  • University of Toronto
    University of Toronto
    The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

  • Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

  • Universidad de Chile
  • University of Bologna
    University of Bologna
    The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...

  • Universidad de La Frontera
    Universidad de La Frontera
    University of the Frontier or UFRO is a university in Temuco Chile. It is a derivative university and part of the Chilean Traditional Universities. UFRO boasts a student body with a variety of abilities and from a variety of backgrounds, many of Mapuche descent....

  • University of Calcutta
    University of Calcutta
    The University of Calcutta is a public university located in the city of Kolkata , India, founded on 24 January 1857...

  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a Flemish university located in Brussels, Belgium. It has two campuses referred to as Etterbeek and Jette.The university's name is sometimes abbreviated by "VUB" or translated to "Free University of Brussels"...

  • Santo Domingo Institute of Technology
  • Uppsala University
    Uppsala University
    Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477. It consistently ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe in international rankings and is generally considered one of the most prestigious institutions of...

  • University of Athens
  • University of Cyprus
    University of Cyprus
    The University of Cyprus is a public coeducational university established by the Republic of Cyprus in 1989. It admitted its first students in 1992 and has currently approximately 6000 students .-History:...

  • Central Connecticut State University
    Commencement at CCSU
    Central Connecticut State University's annual Commencement Exercises are held each May at the XL Center in Hartford. In most years, a separate graduation ceremony for recipients of advanced degrees is held on campus at Herbert D. Welte Hall....

  • National Autonomous University of Mexico
    National Autonomous University of Mexico
    The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is a university in Mexico. UNAM was founded on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra as a liberal alternative to the Roman Catholic-sponsored Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (National Autonomous...

     (UNAM)
  • Peking University
    Peking University
    Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

  • National Tsing Hua University
    National Tsing Hua University
    National Tsing Hua University is one of the most prestigious universities in Taiwan. The university has a strong reputation in the studies of science and engineering. Times Higher Education - World University Rankings is107in the world. Engineering and Science are the best in Taiwan...



He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

, the National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

, and the American Philosophical Society
American Philosophical Society
The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743, and located in Philadelphia, Pa., is an eminent scholarly organization of international reputation, that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications,...

. In addition, he is a member of other professional and learned societies in the United States and abroad, and is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

, the Kyoto Prize
Kyoto Prize
The has been awarded annually since 1985 by the Inamori Foundation, founded by Kazuo Inamori. The prize is a Japanese award similar in intent to the Nobel Prize, as it recognizes outstanding works in the fields of philosophy, arts, science and technology...

 in Basic Sciences, the Helmholtz Medal, the Dorothy Eldridge Peacemaker Award, the 1999 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science, and others. He is twice winner of The Orwell Award
Orwell Award
The NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language , established in 1975 and given by the National Council of Teachers of English Public Language Awards Committee, recognizes writers who have made outstanding contributions to the critical analysis...

, granted by The National Council of Teachers of English for "Distinguished Contributions to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language" (in 1987 and 1989).

He is a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the most prominent academic institution in Serbia today...

 in Department of Social Sciences.

In 2005, Chomsky received an honorary fellowship from the Literary and Historical Society. In 2007, Chomsky received The Uppsala University
Uppsala University
Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477. It consistently ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe in international rankings and is generally considered one of the most prestigious institutions of...

 (Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

) Honorary Doctor's degree in commemoration of Carolus Linnaeus
Carolus Linnaeus
Carl Linnaeus , also known after his ennoblement as , was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology...

. In February 2008, he received the President's Medal from the Literary and Debating Society of the National University of Ireland, Galway
National University of Ireland, Galway
The National University of Ireland, Galway is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland...

. Since 2009 he is honorary member of IAPTI
IAPTI
The International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters , an NPO, is a translators and interpreters association.-Organization:Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, it was established on 30 September, 2009, Saint Jerome's day...

.

In 2010, Chomsky received the Erich Fromm
Erich Fromm
Erich Seligmann Fromm was a Jewish German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory.-Life:Erich Fromm was born on March 23, 1900, at Frankfurt am...

 Prize in Stuttgart, Germany. In April 2010, Chomsky became the third scholar to receive the University of Wisconsin's A.E. Havens Center's Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship.

Chomsky has an Erdős number
Erdos number
The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers.The same principle has been proposed for other eminent persons in other fields.- Overview :...

 of four.

Chomsky was voted the leading living public intellectual in The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll
The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll
The Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll was conducted in November 2005 and June 2008 by Prospect Magazine and Foreign Policy on the basis of responding readers' ballot...

 conducted by the British magazine Prospect
Prospect (magazine)
Prospect is a monthly British general interest magazine, specialising in politics and current affairs. Frequent topics include British, European, and US politics, social issues, art, literature, cinema, science, the media, history, philosophy, and psychology...

. He reacted, saying "I don't pay a lot of attention to polls". In a list compiled by the magazine New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

in 2006, he was voted seventh in the list of "Heroes of our time".

Actor Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. is a Danish-American actor, poet, musician, photographer and painter. He made his film debut in Peter Weir's 1985 thriller Witness, and subsequently appeared in many notable films of the 1990s, including The Indian Runner , Carlito's Way , Crimson Tide , Daylight , The...

 with avant-garde guitarist Buckethead
Buckethead
Brian Carroll , better known by his stage name Buckethead, is a guitarist and multi instrumentalist who has worked within several genres of music. He has released 34 studio albums, four special releases and one EP. He has performed on over 50 more albums by other artists...

 dedicated their 2006 album, called Pandemoniumfromamerica
Pandemoniumfromamerica
-By Song:* "Den gang jeg drog afsted" - Buckethead , Viggo Mortensen , and Travis Dickerson * "Back to Babylon" - Henry Mortensen , Viggo Mortensen...

, to Chomsky.

On January 22, 2010, a special honorary concert for Chomsky was given at Kresge Auditorium
Kresge Auditorium
Kresge Auditorium is an auditorium building for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located at 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was designed by the noted architect Eero Saarinen, with ground-breaking in 1953 and dedication in 1955...

 at MIT. The concert, attended by Chomsky and dozens of his family and friends, featured music composed by Edward Manukyan
Edward Manukyan
Edward Manukyan is an Armenian-born composer residing in Southern California, United States...

 and speeches by Chomsky's colleagues, including David Pesetsky
David Pesetsky
David Michael Pesetsky is Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics at MIT. He has published numerous articles and books within the framework of transformational grammar.-External links:*...

 of MIT and Gennaro Chierchia
Gennaro Chierchia
Gennaro Chierchia is Haas Foundation's professor of linguistics at Harvard University, and "one of the world's leading formal semanticists" according to the Harvard Gazette. Prior to appointment to Harvard's faculty, Chierchia was linguistics professor in the psychology department of the University...

, head of the linguistics department at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

.

In June 2011, Chomsky was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize
Sydney Peace Prize
The Sydney Peace Prize is awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation associated with the University of Sydney. The Sydney Peace Prize is the only International Peace Prize awarded in Australia....

, which cited his "unfailing courage, critical analysis of power and promotion of human rights".

In 2011, Chomsky was inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems
IEEE Intelligent Systems
IEEE Intelligent Systems, a bimonthly publication of the IEEE Computer Society. It is an AAAI-sponsored journal. Cosponsors are the British Computer Society and the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence....

' AI's Hall of Fame for the "significant contributions to the field of AI and intelligent systems".

Filmography


  • Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
    Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
    Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media is a documentary film that explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, a linguist, intellectual, and political activist...

    , Director: Mark Achbar
    Mark Achbar
    Mark Achbar is a Canadian filmmaker, best known for directing The Corporation and Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.- Biography :Achbar is a graduate of Syracuse University's Fine Arts Film Program...

     and Peter Wintonick
    Peter Wintonick
    Peter Wintonick is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Montreal. A winner of the 2006 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts, former Thinker in Residence for the Premier of South Australia, prolific award winning filmmaker, he is one of Canada's best known international...

     (1992)
  • Last Party 2000, Director: Rebecca Chaiklin and Donovan Leitch (2001)
  • Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times, Director: John Junkerman (2002)
  • Distorted Morality—America's War On Terror?, Director: John Junkerman (2003)
  • Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause (TV), Director: Will Pascoe (2003)
  • The Corporation, Directors: Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott
    Jennifer Abbott
    Jennifer Abbott is a Canadian director, cinematographer and editor, best known as a documentary maker. Her first feature documentary, A Cow at My Table , explores contemporary Western attitudes to livestock and meat production...

    ; Writer: Joel Bakan
    Joel Bakan
    Joel Conrad Bakan is a Canadian writer and Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law.Born in Lansing, Michigan and raised for most of his childhood in East Lansing, Michigan where his parents, Paul and Rita Bakan, were both long-time professors in psychology at...

     (2003)
  • Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land
    Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land
    Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land is a 2004 documentary by Sut Jhally and Bathsheba Ratzkoff which—according to the film's official website—"provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S...

    , Directors: Sut Jhally
    Sut Jhally
    Satvinder "Sut" Jhally , is a professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is one of the world’s leading experts on cultural studies, advertising, media, and consumption. He is the producer of 40+ documentaries on media literacy topics and the founder and executive...

     and Bathsheba Ratzkoff
    Bathsheba Ratzkoff
    Bathsheba Ratzkoff is a film director, producer, and editor. She is the co-director of the 2004 documentary Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land...

     (2004)
  • On Power, Dissent and Racism: A discussion with Noam Chomsky, Journalist: Nicolas Rossier; Producers: Eli Choukri, Baraka Productions (2004)
  • Lake of Fire
    Lake of Fire (film)
    Lake of Fire is a 2006 documentary film that graphically depicts abortion in the United States. It features Noam Chomsky, Peter Singer, Alan Dershowitz, Nat Hentoff and Randall Terry....

    , Director: Tony Kaye
    Tony Kaye (director)
    Tony Kaye is a director of films, music videos, advertisements and documentaries.Kaye has made several well-known music videos, including the video for "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum, which won a Grammy Award; "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers; "What God Wants" by Roger Waters; and "Help...

     (2006)
  • American Feud: A History of Conservatives and Liberals
    American Feud: A History of Conservatives and Liberals
    American Feud: A History of Conservatives and Liberals is a 2008 documentary DVD by Richard Hall and Simone Fary. The documentary takes a non partisan look at the history of liberalism and conservatism in the United States since the 1890s progressive era....

    , Director: Richard Hall
    Richard Hall
    Richard Hall was a Jamaican saxophonist who worked with many reggae artists including Peter Tosh and Burning Spear. Nicknamed "Dirty Harry," he also starred in the film Rockers alongside Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace.-Biography:...

     (2008)
  • Chomsky & Cie Director: Olivier Azam
    Olivier Azam
    Olivier Azam is a retired French rugby union footballer and current forwards coach at Top 14 club Toulon. A hooker who could also cover prop, Azam spent most of his professional playing career in the English Premiership at Gloucester Rugby. Azam also had 10 caps for France.Azam made his Gloucester...

     (out in 2008)
  • An Inconvenient Tax
    An Inconvenient Tax
    An Inconvenient Tax is a 2009 documentary film produced by Life Is My Movie EntertainmentAn Inconvenient Tax explores the history of the income tax in the United States and the causes of its many complexities. The film follows...

    , Director: Christopher P. Marshall (out in 2009)
  • The Money Fix, Director: Alan Rosenblith (2009)
  • Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space
    Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space
    Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space is a documentary film by Denis Delestrac with a music score by Amon Tobin. The film deals with the issue of space weapons and their politics, featuring interviews with several key United States military personal, academics such as Noam Chomsky and...

    , Director: Denis Delestrac
    Denis Delestrac
    Denis Delestrac is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.-Biography:A law and journalism graduate, Delestrac made his debut in non-fiction filmmaking in 2001 and signed a number of hits including IMAX blockbuster "Mystery of the Nile" and “Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space”, his first...

     (2010)
  • Article 12: Waking up in a surveillance society, Director: Juan Manuel Biaiñ (2010)


See also


  • American philosophy
    American philosophy
    American philosophy is the philosophical activity or output of Americans, both within the United States and abroad. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes that while American philosophy lacks a "core of defining features, American Philosophy can nevertheless be seen as both reflecting and...

  • Axiom of categoricity
    Axiom of categoricity
    The Axiom of Categoricity is a tenet of linguistic theory that remained practically undisputed before the inception of modern sociolinguistics in the mid-twentieth century. The term was coined by J.K...

  • Chomskybot
    Chomskybot
    The Chomskybot is a program that generates paragraphs which appear similar to those in the corpus of Noam Chomsky's linguistic works, but are humorously devoid of any meaning, by combining at random phrases taken from Chomsky's actual works...

  • "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
    "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in his 1957 Syntactic Structures as an example of a sentence that is grammatically correct but semantically nonsensical. The term was originally used in his 1955 thesis "Logical Structures of Linguistic Theory"...

    "
  • English studies
    English studies
    English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language , English linguistics English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language (including literatures from the U.K., U.S.,...

  • Important publications in computability
  • Knowledge worker
    Knowledge worker
    Knowledge workers in today's workforce are individuals who are valued for their ability to act and communicate with knowledge within a specific subject area. They will often advance the overall understanding of that subject through focused analysis, design and/or development. They use research...

  • List of American philosophers
  • The Anti-Chomsky Reader
    The Anti-Chomsky Reader
    The Anti-Chomsky Reader is a 2004 critique of the political and linguistic writings of Noam Chomsky. Several authors contributed to it under the editorship of Peter Collier and David Horowitz.-Contents:...



External links


  • chomsky.info official website
  • Noam Chomsky at MIT
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

  • Noam Chomsky articles on libcom.org
  • Noam Chomsky at Democracy Now!
    Democracy Now!
    Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of...

  • Column archive at The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

  • Articles and videos featuring Noam Chomsky at AnarchismToday.org

Interviews and articles
  • Talks by Noam Chomsky at A-Infos Radio Project
    Radio4all.net
    The A-Infos Radio Project was formed in October 1996 by Lyn Gerry and other grassroots broadcasters, free radio journalists and cyber-activists to provide the means to share radio programs via the Internet. Programs are typically submitted from "Independent or Alternative media", which refers to a...

  • Interview about Human Rights by scholars (English with French subtitles) – 2009
  • Chomsky media files at the Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

  • Noam Chomsky interviewed by Alyssa McDonald on New Statesman
    New Statesman
    New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

    , September 2010.
  • Noam Chomsky Interviews on The Real News (TRNN)
  • Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance – discussion on the "Bush doctrine" and its implications, C-SPAN
    C-SPAN
    C-SPAN , an acronym for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, is an American cable television network that offers coverage of federal government proceedings and other public affairs programming via its three television channels , one radio station and a group of websites that provide streaming...

    , Feb 2004
  • Philosophies of Language & Politics – talk at The Commonwealth Club
    The Commonwealth Club
    This article concerns the historic Virginia building. For other places called "Commonwealth Club", see Commonwealth Club.The Commonwealth Club, is a private gentlemen's club in Richmond, Virginia, USA. Its present clubhouse was completed in 1891. The defining structure of the Commonwealth Club...

    , October 2009