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Book Information


Title: Cartesian Linguistics
Subtitle: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought
Written By: Noam Chomsky
Edited By: James McGilvray

As James McGilvray remarks in his introduction to this new edition of
Cartesian Linguistics, the book was largely ignored and indeed denounced when first published in 1966. One likely reason why the first edition was ignored is that it contained many untranslated quotations from French and
German authors. For this new edition these passages have all been translated into English. Perhaps the main reason why it was denounced is that Cartesian Linguistics contains, implicitly if not explicitly, trenchant criticisms of empiricist theories about linguistics and the mind. Due largely to Chomsky's efforts, these are not so dominant now as they were when the first edition appeared in 1966, although they still command the attention of researchers and the public imagination.

In his introduction Professor McGilvray focuses on the contrast between rationalist and empiricist approaches to language and the mind. He discusses at length the two most distinctive features of what he calls
Chomsky's "rationalist-romantic" approach: its emphasis on linguistic creativity and its insistence that this creativity can be explained only by assuming that humans are endowed with innate concepts and mental faculties. In the course of the discussion he connects Chomsky's early treatment of these themes with his later development of them, and with
Chomsky' s well-known views on politics and education. The editor has also updated the Notes and Bibliography.

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Cybereditions Corporation
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): History of Linguistics
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Format: Electronic
ISBN: 1877275344
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 151
Prices: USD 12.95
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 187727545X
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 152
Prices: USD 17.95