In a message dated 11/4/2002 5:10:34 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
It is of no small importance that Pinker ultimately finds backing in
Noam Chomsky's linguistic theories, mediated through anthropologist
Donald Brown who adapted Chomsky's idea of a "universal grammar" to
"social patterns, beliefs and categories" shared by all human societies.
We discover that Pinker (and presumably the feckless reviewer) are so
impressed by Brown that he devotes an entire appendix to such categories
worked out in alphabetical order. The c's include cooking, cooperation,
and copulation (all of my favorite activities, it turns out.)
Forgotten in all this is the insight that Chomsky had into the limitations of Darwinian theory. And Pinker's The Language Instinct shows the point at which this insight got finessed in Pinker mad dash into a more fruitful line of work.
What exactly are Chomsky's views on evolution?
In any case, this useless discussion fails to consider, e.g. that language has never been shown to have arisen via natural selection or that Darwin's theory can account for it.
Website on the eonic effect
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