HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

What Kind of Creatures Are We? (Columbia…
Loading...

What Kind of Creatures Are We? (Columbia Themes in Philosophy)

by Noam Chomsky

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
603197,694 (4)None
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 3 of 3
Although part of the "Columbia Themes in Philosophy" series, this book originated in the 2013 John Dewey lectures that Noam Chomsky delivered at Columbia University.

Chomsky used these talks more to sum up his thinking than to present new material. Thus, the book is a compact presentation of where Chomsky sits near the end of his life.

The writing is mostly clear, but the ideas are dense on the page. Chomsky and Columbia University Press have provided, thankfully, extensive citations and a good index. The series editor, Akeel Bilgrami, has also written a foreword of almost twenty pages that introduces and summarizes the material.

Another way to approach this book is to read Stanley Fish's article in The New York Times of December 9, 2013, which at one time was, and may still be at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/opinion/fish-scholarship-and-politics-the-case...

This book is very much worth the effort required to read it. ( )
  librorumamans | Jan 13, 2017 |
Chomskyan thought arranged into 4 chapters I would crudely tag as linguistics ("What is language?"), psychology ("What can we understand"), sociology ("What is the common good?"), and philosophy of mind ("The mysteries of nature: how deeply hidden?"). Of these, the 3rd is unusual in that it combines some of Chomsky's linguistic ideas with some of his political ones. The 4th chapter is the most difficult and dubious, mostly concerned with the ideas of long-dead thinkers; e.g., much is made of the once-regarded nonphysicality of Newton's treatment of gravity, but there is no mention of how profoundly the issue was transformed by Einstein's relativity.
  fpagan | Dec 6, 2016 |
Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig

I’m always puzzled when I read statements like Howard Gardner’s “Noam Chomsky is arguably the most influential thinker of our time”, or the Observer’s “[Chomsky is t]he world’s greatest public intellectual”. He may indeed be te “most prominent critic of imperialism”, as the Guardian put it. But if you look at the real world effect Chomsky has, his influence seems meager and pathetic: the Western world is still heavily involved in warfare in the Middle East, and the inequality gap has been widening since the 1980s, and still very much is – both within the Western world, as globally.

(...)

What Kind of Creatures Are We? is marketed by Columbia University Press as a kind of summary of Chomsky’s work, spanning over half a century. (...) This book is divided in 4 parts: What is language?, What can we understand?, What is the common good? and The mysteries of nature: How deeply hidden? It has 127 pages of actual text, and – indicative of Chomsky’s wide-ranging research – 15 pages of reference notes, plus an index of 20 pages. Although the third part deals with politics – there is little new to be found for the reader familiar with the political Chomsky here, with a slight emphasis on John Dewey – this book is mainly an epistemological work, tracing its origins to the advent of modern science. Newton, Hume and Locke are featured a lot. Really, a lot. There are 39 references to Newton in the index. That’s roughly one mention on every third page.

I found the first 3 parts (...) ( )
  bormgans | Mar 4, 2016 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0231175965, Hardcover)

Noam Chomsky is widely known and deeply admired for being the founder of modern linguistics, one of the founders of the field of cognitive science, and perhaps the most avidly read political theorist and commentator of our time. In these lectures, he presents a lifetime of philosophical reflection on all three of these areas of research to which he has contributed for over half a century.

In clear, precise, and non-technical language, Chomsky elaborates on fifty years of scientific development in the study of language, sketching how his own work has implications for the origins of language, the close relations that language bears to thought, and its eventual biological basis. He expounds and criticizes many alternative theories, such as those that emphasize the social, the communicative, and the referential aspects of language. Chomsky reviews how new discoveries about language overcome what seemed to be highly problematic assumptions in the past. He also investigates the apparent scope and limits of human cognitive capacities and what the human mind can seriously investigate, in the light of history of science and philosophical reflection and current understanding. Moving from language and mind to society and politics, he concludes with a searching exploration and philosophical defense of a position he describes as "libertarian socialism," tracing its links to anarchism and the ideas of John Dewey, and even briefly to the ideas of Marx and Mill, demonstrating its conceptual growth out of our historical past and urgent relation to matters of the present.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 07 Dec 2015 19:27:43 -0500)

A collection of lectures by the "founder of modern linguistics" discusses fifty years of scientific development in the study of language as he expounds and criticizes a variety of theories. --Publisher's description. "In clear, precise, and non-technical language, Chomsky elaborates on fifty years of scientific development in the study of language, sketching how his own work has implications for the origins of language, the close relations that language bears to thought, and its eventual biological basis. He expounds and criticizes many alternative theories, such as those that emphasize the social, the communicative, and the referential aspects of language. Chomsky reviews how new discoveries about language overcome what seemed to be highly problematic assumptions in the past. He also investigates the apparent scope and limits of human cognitive capacities and what the human mind can seriously investigate, in the light of history of science and philosophical reflection and current understanding. Moving from language and mind to society and politics, he concludes with a searching exploration and philosophical defense of a position he describes as "libertarian socialism," tracing its links to anarchism and the ideas of John Dewey, and even briefly to the ideas of Marx and Mill, demonstrating its conceptual growth out of our historical past and urgent relation to matters of the present."--Publisher's description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4 6
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,688,297 books! | Top bar: Always visible