Business NLP Blog


Noam Chomsky

American Linguist, Philosopher and Political Commentator


Noam Avram Chomsky, who was born Dec. 7, 1928, in Philadelphia, Penn., is considered to be an American linguist and philosopher and is credited with developing the theory of transformational grammar, which is a study on how a person learns to understand forms of grammar and how that learning process and resulting language is taken into and processed in their brain. This is what John Grinder studied and is in part what forms the back bone of NLP.
alt text here

Chomsky has a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania that he earned in 1955 and he also was an institute professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than 50 years. Chomsky has received many honorary degrees from universities worldwide.

Famous for his work and views in several areas
Chomsky has gotten many accolades for his work worldwide in the fields of linguistics, philosophy, and social/political theory. He is also a well-known author, who has worked not only in transformational grammar, but also in epistemology, which is heavily taught within NLP and it studies the makeup of knowledge, including its presuppositions and backgrounds, and how valid it is.
Chomsky is well-known for his social and political writing examples in which he is often extremely critical of the foreign and domestic policies in the U.S. This was in part what got him the title of being an activist, as well as his beliefs and identification with socialism and anarchism.

For example, he is famous for opposing the Vietnam war, which is shown in the 1967 publishing of an essay he wrote, "The Responsibility of Intellectuals" in The New York Review of Books. He has also made it clear in many other publications of his opposition to the Iraqi war, as well as his beliefs that the actions of 9/11 were due to part to some of the U.S. government’s previous action, which he brought out in a book called “9-11” in 2002.

Many Chomsky Writings Are Well Known
One such writing example that features this is, “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,” which was written in 1988 along with Edward S. Herman. Another example, Chomsky on Anarchism,” published in 2006, is just one of his writings that shows his anarchist views. These views often put him on hate lists and he has even gotten death threats due to his critic of U.S. foreign policy. One such death threat came from the famous Unabomber, Theodore Kacyznski, as he was supposedly one of his targets.
alt text here

Chomsky is credited with the distinction of being cited as a source in papers, books or other writings more than any other scholar still alive, and is the 8th most cited source ever. He has, in fact, wrote more than 100 books of his own.

Contributions to linguistics
Chomsky has brought much to the field of linguistics. His book, Syntactic Structures that was written in 1955 was the first to challenge what was then the very structure of linguists and instead suggested what he called transformational grammar. He is noted for his thoughts that the “modeling knowledge of language using a formal grammar accounts for the "productivity" or "creativity" of language.”
Some of Chomsky’s studies have had major influences on how fellow researchers viewed the way children learn languages. Chomsky also implied that children only had to learn certain features of whatever their native languages were and called this universal grammar. This has something to do with the speed in which children seem to grasp language and he believed there was a gap between this, the stimuli the children were exposed to and how they could pick language up so well despite that gap.

These theories are still being debated in some linguistic and grammar circles, by his fellow researchers and by many branches of grammatical and linguistic studies which have been developed due to his beginning research.

Contributions to psychology
Chomsky has also done much work that applies to the field psychology since the form of linguistics he works in has links to cognitive psychology and NLP. This goes along with his views on universal grammar since it was seen as a challenge to how the established theories of language thought children learned it. One example of his views on this was printed in 1959, entitled, “B.F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior,” which sparked many future controversies on the subject.
Influence in other fields
alt text here

It is believed that much of Chomsky’s writings have influenced other fields such as computer science since it can be linked to formal languages, or the fields of mathematics and evolutionary psychology for some of his other beliefs and writings.

Personal Information
Chomsky is the son of William Chomsky, a noted professor of Hebrew at Gratz College and IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) member and Elsie Chomsky. He married fellow linguist Carol Schatz in 1949 and they were married for 59 years until she died of cancer in 2008. The couple have two daughters, Aviva (born in 1957) and Diane (born in 1960), as well as one son, Harry (born in 1967). Currently Chomsky lives in Lexington, Mass. He still travels and gives political and other lectures.


Bookmark and Share
 
 


Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Comments



  • “What a fantastic course! Super learning experience led by an inspirational trainer”
    Fast-forward Research
  • “Very informative and challenging”
    Adrian Dawson
  • “An increase in awareness of others”
    Martin Goldsmith
  • “As a result of our time with the Academy, our team has been able to translate the learning very quickly into real, commercially focused applications with tangible ROI”
    ATS Euromaster
  • “An amazing learning experience ”
    Robert Meola
  • “Fascinating stuff. Useful for both my professional and personal life”
    William Hunt
  • “The training standard was remarkable. Great style from all the tutors. Very, very impressed overall.”
    Stefano Serpagli
  • “The best sales training”
    Rebecca Jordan
  • “Would certainly recommend”
    Richard Turnbull
  • “The Business NLP Academy provided us with an exceptional learning experience”
    ATS Euromaster
  • “Phenomenal”
    Andy Smith
  • “The best sales training I have had, I will use and practice ”
    Andrew Overton, Alexander-Rose
  • “The Business NLP Academy understood us, our business needs and was able to context theories and techniques in a way that made real sense to our business”
    ATS Euromaster
  • “Exceeded my expectations”
    Peter Mueller
  • “Excellent course with genius trainers. Simply Superb!”
    Roberto Buhain
  • “Excellent. Very motivating, inspirational”
    Pradeep Joshi
  • “Excellent - am interested in doing future NLP courses”
    Richard Clague, 02
  • “Both John Thompson and Helen Doyle worked well with those who attended, meeting our individual levels of expertise, with a variety of real life metaphors, practical exercises and differentiation in delivery styles.”
    Bradford College
  • “Great - made me realise what works for me”
    Gina Blythe
  • “The Business NLP Academy provided an excellent in-house Master Practitioner Course at Bradford College. ”
    Bradford College
  • “A very positive experience, and from this I would like to build. ”
    Patricia King, Gulf Air
  • “Excellent course. Interesting, useful and enjoyable. Looking forward to more. ”
    Thomson Reuters
  • “The Business NLP Academy demonstrated real commercial savvy”
    ATS Euromaster
  • “Very, very useful”
    James Hamilton
  • “Michael was engaging, humerus and professional. Thank you so much for a fabulous learning experience ”
    Jane White
  • “The Business NLP Academy has provided Bradford College with the skills and abilities that its’ staff can now use across our varied departments including Staff Development, Marketing, Teaching and Well-Being ”
    Bradford College
  • “Phenomenal sales course. I would recommend to anyone. ”
    Joe Powell
  • “Great, enjoyed the interactive sessions. Trainers were enthusiastic and passionate. ”
    Sue Tatlow, 02
  • “Showed me a way to communicate more effectively”
    Anita Anand