Cover image for Chomsky and his critics
Chomsky and his critics
Antony, Louise M.
Publication Information:
Oxford : Blackwell, [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 342 pages ; 23 cm.
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P85.C47 A6 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In this compelling volume, ten distinguished thinkers -- William G. Lycan, Galen Strawson, Jeffrey Poland, Georges Rey, Frances Egan, Paul Horwich, Peter Ludlow, Paul Pietroski, Alison Gopnik, and Ruth Millikan -- address a variety of conceptual issues raised in Noam Chomsky's work.

Distinguished list of critics: William G. Lycan, Galen Strawson, Jeffrey Poland, Georges Rey, Frances Egan, Paul Horwich, Peter Ludlow, Paul Pietroski, Alison Gopnik, and Ruth Millikan.
Includes Chomsky's substantial new replies and responses to each essay.
The best critical introduction to Chomsky's thought as a whole.

Author Notes

Louise M. Antony is Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at The Ohio State University. She is editor, with Charlotte Witt, of A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity , 2nd edn. (2002).

Norbert Hornstein is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Move! A Minimalist Theory of Construal (Blackwell, 2000), Logical Form: From GB to Minimalism (Blackwell, 1995),and As Time Goes By: Tense and Universal Grammar (1994).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Antony (philosophy and women's studies, Ohio State Univ.) and Hornstein (linguistics, Univ. of Maryland, College Park) have delivered another outstanding volume in the series Philosophers and Their Critics. Drawing on ten well-known critics, the volume first discusses Chomsky's ontological commitments in the mind-body problem (William Lycan), his attack on physicalism (Jeffrey Poland; Galen Strawson), his purely syntactic concept of representation (Frances Egan), and his use of intentional idioms (Georges Rey). Next, Ruth Millikan challenges Chomsky's distinction between I-languages and E-languages, arguing that the latter are real kinds of biological things (teleofunctions) amenable to scientific study and not just the accidental product of coinciding I-languages. Then, Peter Ludlow, Paul Horwich, and Paul Pietroski discuss Chomsky's skeptical position on the possibility of a referential semantics. Finally, Alison Gopnik challenges Chomsky's claim that there is a specialized native structure dedicated to language, proposing instead a more general "theory-building" faculty common to empirical theorizing generally, to science, and to how one learns one's native language. To round things off, Chomsky himself replies to each critic individually with great precision and insight. This is a first-rate volume for advanced students and scholars in philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science that will advance understanding of Chomsky's work for years to come. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through faculty. R. M. Stewart Austin College

Table of Contents

Norbert Hornstein and Louise AntonyWilliam G. LycanJeffrey PolandGalen StrawsonFrances EganGeorges ReyPeter LudlowPaul HorwichPaul M. PietroskiRuth Garrett MillikanAlison Gopnik
Notes on Contributorsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
1 Chomsky on the Mind-Body Problemp. 11
2 Chomsky's Challenge to Physicalismp. 29
3 Real Materialismp. 49
4 Naturalistic Inquiry: Where does Mental Representation Fit in?p. 89
5 Chomsky, Intentionality, and a CRTTp. 105
6 Referential Semantics for I-languages?p. 140
7 Meaning and its Place in the Language Facultyp. 162
8 Small Verbs, Complex Events: Analyticity without Synonymyp. 179
9 In Defense of Public Languagep. 215
10 The Theory Theory as an Alternative to the Innateness Hypothesisp. 238
11 RepliesNoam Chomsky
Reply to Lycanp. 255
Reply to Polandp. 263
Reply to Strawsonp. 266
Reply to Eganp. 268
Reply to Reyp. 274
Reply to Ludlowp. 287
Reply to Horwichp. 295
Reply to Pietroskip. 304
Reply to Millikanp. 308
Reply to Gopnikp. 316
Major Works by Noam Chomskyp. 329
Indexp. 333