Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Chomsky is like Freud

John Hawks writes:
Chomsky is quite a lot like Freud -- he has written an immense corpus, developed an idiosyncratic model of the mind, and is surrounded by a coterie of true believers. He has been the most prominent objector to the idea that language evolved as an adaptation in ancient humans. Understanding this view helps to focus attention on how we use adaptive models in biology and how they can apply to behavior.
That is harsh. Chomsky did some excellent work in linguistics, even if some of his conclusions are dubious. Freud never did any worthwhile work.

1 comment:

A K Haart said...

I never got into Chomsky. Rightly or wrongly, I decided at an early stage that he'd made things up about language and how we acquire it, then spent his life trying to justify what he'd done.