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Předmět, akademický rok 2017/2018
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Noam Chomsky: Language, Mind, Science - AFSV00106
Anglický název: Noam Chomsky: Language, Mind, Science
Zajišťuje: Ústav filosofie a religionistiky (21-UFAR)
Fakulta: Filozofická fakulta
Platnost: od 2013
Semestr: zimní
Body: 0
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:0/2 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (neurčen)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: student může plnit i v dalších letech
Garant: doc. James Hill, Ph.D.
Třída: Exchange - 08.1 Philosophy
Rozvrh   Nástěnka   
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. James Hill, Ph.D. (01.10.2012)

Noam Chomsky on Language, Mind and Science

Course description:
Noam Chomsky’s work on language and mind has been enormously influential on contemporary
philosophy. Chomsky has revitalised the tradition of innatism with his ‘Cartesian linguistics’, and
he has helped shape cognitive science with his mentalism and modular theory of the mind. In
addition, Chomsky has provided us with an important critique of physicalism; he has offered a
challenge to the neo-Darwinist orthodoxy in evolutionary theory; and he has put forward a highly
original interpretation of the aims of modern science, in which Newton plays a central role. In this
course we will explore all these themes in the philosophy of Noam Chomsky with special
emphasis on his philosophy of mind. We will also examine Chomsky’s influence on the thought of
such philosophers as Jerry Fodor, Steven Pinker, Galen Strawson and Colin McGinn.
1. Introduction
2. Linguistic Creativity
3. Universal and Transformational Grammar
4. Talking Chimps and Other Problems
5. Chomsky on Mind and Biology
6. The Modularity of Mind
7. Epistemic Boundedness (Jerry Fodor)
8. Evolutionary Theory and Natural Selection
9. Chomsky on the Nature of Science after the Newtonian Revolution
10. Chomsky’s Rejection of Physicalism
11. Chomsky and the Problem of Consciousness (Galen Strawson and Colin McGinn)
12. The Implications of the Mind as a Biologically Fixed System (Steven Pinker)

Course Requirements:
Each week there will be a reading available which will then be the subject of our discussion in the
seminar. Our course will be graded according to two criteria: attendance and written work.
Students who have not had more than three absences will be eligible for the grade. The written
work will be a short essay of at least 2,000 words (hardcopy please) on one subject from the
course. This essay should show both knowledge of the philosophical position in question as well
as your own argued standpoint. An essay title and plan should be prepared by 26.11.2012. The
deadline for handing in the essay is 17.12.2012. Erasmus students should ensure that they leave
adequate time between handing in their essay and leaving Prague, so that we can meet, discuss
the essay, and award a grade. Those who meet the two course requirements will receive an
examination (zkouška) in the Czech system, or 6 credits in the case of Erasmus students.
Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. James Hill, Ph.D. (01.10.2012)


Texts by Noam Chomsky:
‘Review of Verbal Behavior by B.F. Skinner’ in Language, 35, pp. 26-58
Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought, Harper and Row, 1966
Language and Mind, MIT Press, 1968/1972
Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures, MIT Press, 1988
‘Language and Nature’, in Mind, Vol. 104, no. 413 (Jan. 1995), pp. 1-61
‘The Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden?’, in The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 106, no. 4,
April 2009, pp. 167-200

Other literature:
Antony, Louise M. and Hornstein, Norbert, (eds). Chomsky and His Critics, Blackwell, 2003
Descartes, René. The Discourse on Method, 1637, part V
Fodor, Jerry A. The Modularity of Mind: An Essay on Faculty Psychology, MIT Press, 1983
Pinker, Steven. The Language Instinct, Harper, 1994
Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo et al. Of Minds and Language: A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky in
the Basque Country, Oxford University Press, 2009
Poland, Jeffrey. ‘Chomsky’s Challenge to Physicalism’, in Antony and Hornstein (ed), pp.
Strawson, Galen. ‘Real Materialism’, In Antony and Hornstein (ed), pp. 49-88

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