SMC219Y1 Lecture 10: Theory - Noam Chomsky

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St. Michael's College Courses
Steve Hoselton

Noam Chomsky - Communication and Language Theorist – believes linguistics is the foundation of human goodness - He is an anarchist: (popular meaning) blow everything up/no government, everything reduced to disorder. (Actual meaning) without a leader, we are better off without a structure or institution of government. o Government and authority are fundamentally a bad thing  corrupts people to their own ends o More power people have the more likely to disadvantage people - Thomas Hobbes – nature of mankind/humanity (are they good/bad?) Hobbes says humanity is bad/ looks at humanity in a state of nature. Without government people are nasty, brutish and short. Government (state, police) and Religion are essential - John Locke – in a state of natural, humanity is fundamentally good. We are smart enough to have common interest. When working together people take advantage and the weak suffer at the hands of the strong (people who created religion, government). We kill each other because the government told us to, we actually don’t have anything against each other - Chomsky follows Locke – better off without government. Institutions have made our lives increasingly unequal because we have a false consciousness (we believe they keep us safe) o It comes from our ability to cooperate which comes from language – to make bonds stronger - Language Acquisition Device: we have this built into us, but Chomsky doesn’t define it. By nature we will develop complex language skills and we learn to get along with others - Universal grammar: (don’t have to know this) underlying principles about how humans construct speech - We have everything we need to be comfortable with everything; we don’t need law. - Chomsky still believes in parental authority for children, and even for adults who are not responsible and people who cannot help themselves  the poor, old. He is looking after the social aspects (social services) - Media is controlled for the purpose of propaganda, all powerful people will use wealth and power to protect their own wealth and power at the expense of those who do not have it  broadcast thi
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