Part of marxist anthropologist Chris Knight's long-running examination of Noam Chomsky. "Language is peculiar. No other species has anything remotely like it. If language is part of nature – a kind of organ or instinct, like stereoscopic vision – it’s puzzling. It’s unusual for a complex biological adaptation to be wholly confined to just one species."
Chomsky treats language as cognition, not communication. He says it enables us to think in unusually clear and powerful ways, planning ahead, comparing and evaluating our ideas and so on. But if so, wouldn’t we have expected other large-brained animals – elephants, whales, dolphins, chimpanzees – to have benefited from some such feature? Why just humans?
A 2003 interview with marxist and evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin on the politics of science.
Lewontin is a legend. His critiques of biological determinism, lazy reductionism, and reactionary uses of science are key readings for anyone interested in the intersection of politics and biology.
I've not yet purchased his new book yet, though I'm sure I'll grab a copy sometime, but already all the interviews with him and reviews I've read are fairly infuriating.
His new book The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes looks mammoth, much bigger than any of his previous books, about 800 pages. Previous stuff of his like Stuff of Thought and Language Instinct are decent readings in psycholinguistics, while his treading into moral philosophy inThe Blank Slate is nauseating.
Biologist Lee Dugatkin discusses his latest book, which is about Kropotkin, 'The Prince of Evolution' on Skeptically Speaking podcast.
Lee Dugatkin has written numerous books on the evolution of co-operation and in his latest book, The Prince of Evolution, surveys the life and work of [url=http://libcom.org/library/peter-kropotkin]Pyotr Alexeyevich
Noam Chomsky interviewed in 1977 by David Cohen on the topic of psychology
QUESTION: Do your views about Man hint at some kind of sympathy with a man like [R. D.] Laing who sees many mystical elements in Man, that are maybe too random to be encompassed by a finite science?
Robert Rieber interviews Noam Chomsky Noam Chomsky on the Psychology of Language & Thought
QUESTION: What role does cognition play in the acquisition and development of language? Do linguistic factors influence general cognitive development?
Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Krauss and Sean Carroll (physicist, not his biologist namesake) comment on the role intellectuals, science and religion.
Science & Theology News asked three leading scientists – Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Krauss and Sean M. Carroll -- to comment on topics in science-and-religion as well as in popular culture. What follows are their answers. (Source: now-defunct Science & Theology News, March 1, 2006. and Chomsky.info)
ON WESTERN INTELLECTUALS
A discussion between linguist Noam Chomsky and biologist and former Black Panther member, Robert Trivers.
[i]In the 1970s, a Harvard class taught by evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers ignited a controversy that would escalate into the "sociobiology wars." His papers provided a Darwinian basis for understanding complex human activities and relationships. Across town at MIT, revolutionary linguist Noam Chomsky had earned a reputation as a leading opponent of the Vietnam War.