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Noam Chomsky: Reconciling the linguist and the activist

Noam Chomsky's groundbreaking linguistic work characterized human beings as possessing an 'innate grammar' - yielding 'torrential output' in spite of 'poverty of stimulus'. In the other pole of his life, Chomsky has been struggling to enliven this 'innate person' to repudiate authoritarian processes and 'manufactured consent'.

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Two thousand years before the notion of an innate grammar emerged, innate ideas were staples of philosophical discourse. The Socratic teaching method was designed to assist students to uncover knowledge they possessed as a birthright. (This was originally regarded as truncated knowledge carried over from the individual's pre-incarnated existence in the Realm of the Forms.)

Empiricists such as John Locke vigorously criticized the notion of innate knowledge implanted in the mind by nature. In the18th-century, Immanuel Kant argued vigorously for the replacement of innate ideas with a priori concepts (time, space, causality) that seemed necessary preconditions of human experience. In the 20th ...

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The solutions provides an analysis of the complexity of the persona of groundbreaking linguist Noam Chomsky particularly the friction in his roles as linguist and activist. The complexity of his belief systems and conviction struggled to come to terms with each other as he worked to find his 'innate person' in the midst of what he saw as manufactured consent in society despite the fact that he reiterated the belief of innate grammar and torrential output as a linguistic concept.

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