135 Facts About Noam Chomsky


Avram Noam Chomsky was born on December 7,1928 and is an American public intellectual known for his work in linguistics, political activism, and social criticism.


Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky is a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science.


Noam Chomsky is a laureate professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona and an institute professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is the author of more than 150 books on topics such as linguistics, war, and politics.


From 1958 to 1959 Noam Chomsky was a National Science Foundation fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.


An outspoken opponent of US involvement in the Vietnam War, which he saw as an act of American imperialism, in 1967 Noam Chomsky rose to national attention for his anti-war essay "The Responsibility of Intellectuals".


In collaboration with Edward S Herman, Chomsky later articulated the propaganda model of media criticism in Manufacturing Consent, and worked to expose the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.


Noam Chomsky began teaching at the University of Arizona in 2017.


Noam Chomsky is widely recognized as having helped to spark the cognitive revolution in the human sciences, contributing to the development of a new cognitivistic framework for the study of language and the mind.


Avram Noam Chomsky was born on December 7,1928, in the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Noam Chomsky placed great emphasis on educating people so that they would be "well integrated, free and independent in their thinking, concerned about improving and enhancing the world, and eager to participate in making life more meaningful and worthwhile for all", a mission that shaped and was adopted by his son.


The brothers were close, though David was more easygoing while Noam Chomsky could be very competitive.


Noam Chomsky faced antisemitism as a child, particularly from Philadelphia's Irish and German communities.


Noam Chomsky attended the independent, Deweyite Oak Lane Country Day School and Philadelphia's Central High School, where he excelled academically and joined various clubs and societies, but was troubled by the school's hierarchical and domineering teaching methods.


Noam Chomsky attended Hebrew High School at Gratz College, where his father taught.


Noam Chomsky has said that his father's doctoral dissertation on the medieval Hebrew grammarian David Kimhi influenced his later thinking on linguistics.


Noam Chomsky has described his parents as "normal Roosevelt Democrats" with center-left politics, but relatives involved in the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union exposed him to socialism and far-left politics.


Noam Chomsky was substantially influenced by his uncle and the Jewish leftists who frequented his New York City newspaper stand to debate current affairs.


Noam Chomsky became absorbed in the story of the 1939 fall of Barcelona and suppression of the Spanish anarchosyndicalist movement, writing his first article on the topic at the age of 10.


In 1945, at the age of 16, Noam Chomsky began a general program of study at the University of Pennsylvania, where he explored philosophy, logic, and languages and developed a primary interest in learning Arabic.


Noam Chomsky revised this thesis for his MA, which he received from the University of Pennsylvania in 1951; it was published as a book.


Noam Chomsky developed his interest in philosophy while at university, in particular under the tutelage of Nelson Goodman.


From 1951 to 1955 Noam Chomsky was a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, where he undertook research on what became his doctoral dissertation.


In 1952, Noam Chomsky published his first academic article in The Journal of Symbolic Logic.


Noam Chomsky had not been registered as a student at Pennsylvania for four years, but in 1955 he submitted a thesis setting out his ideas on transformational grammar; he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree for it, and it was privately distributed among specialists on microfilm before being published in 1975 as part of The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory.


Noam Chomsky's doctorate exempted him from compulsory military service, which was otherwise due to begin in 1955.


In 1947, Noam Chomsky began a romantic relationship with Carol Doris Schatz, whom he had known since early childhood.


Noam Chomsky enjoyed living in Hashomer Hatzair's HaZore'a kibbutz while in Israel, but was appalled by his interactions with Jewish nationalism, anti-Arab racism and, within the kibbutz's leftist community, Stalinism.


On visits to New York City, Noam Chomsky continued to frequent the office of the Yiddish anarchist journal Fraye Arbeter Shtime and became enamored with the ideas of Rudolf Rocker, a contributor whose work introduced Noam Chomsky to the link between anarchism and classical liberalism.


Noam Chomsky read other political thinkers: the anarchists Mikhail Bakunin and Diego Abad de Santillan, democratic socialists George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, and Dwight Macdonald, and works by Marxists Karl Liebknecht, Karl Korsch, and Rosa Luxemburg.


Noam Chomsky's politics were reaffirmed by Orwell's depiction of Barcelona's functioning anarchist society in Homage to Catalonia.


Noam Chomsky read the leftist journal Politics, which furthered his interest in anarchism, and the council communist periodical Living Marxism, though he rejected the Marxist orthodoxy of its editor, Paul Mattick.


At MIT, Noam Chomsky spent half his time on a mechanical translation project and half teaching a course on linguistics and philosophy.


Noam Chomsky described MIT as open to experimentation where he was free to pursue his idiosyncratic interests.


Responses to Noam Chomsky's ideas ranged from indifference to hostility, and his work proved divisive and caused "significant upheaval" in the discipline.


From 1958 to 1959 Noam Chomsky was a National Science Foundation fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.


Noam Chomsky argued that behaviorism underplayed the role of human creativity in learning language and overplayed the role of external conditions in influencing verbal behavior.


Noam Chomsky proceeded to found MIT's graduate program in linguistics with Halle.


In 1961, Noam Chomsky received tenure and became a full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics.


Noam Chomsky was appointed plenary speaker at the Ninth International Congress of Linguists, held in 1962 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which established him as the de facto spokesperson of American linguistics.


Noam Chomsky continued to publish his linguistic ideas throughout the decade, including in Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Topics in the Theory of Generative Grammar, and Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought.


Noam Chomsky joined protests against US involvement in the Vietnam War in 1962, speaking on the subject at small gatherings in churches and homes.


Noam Chomsky remained largely ignored by the mainstream press throughout this period.


Noam Chomsky refused to pay half his taxes, publicly supported students who refused the draft, and was arrested while participating an anti-war teach-in outside the Pentagon.


When student activists campaigned to stop weapons and counterinsurgency research at MIT, Noam Chomsky was sympathetic but felt that the research should remain under MIT's oversight and limited to systems of deterrence and defense.


Noam Chomsky has acknowledged that his MIT lab's funding at this time came from the military.


Noam Chomsky later said he considered resigning from MIT during the Vietnam War.


Noam Chomsky was aware of the potential repercussions of his civil disobedience, and his wife began studying for her own doctorate in linguistics to support the family in the event of Noam Chomsky's imprisonment or joblessness.


Noam Chomsky delivered public lectures at the University of Cambridge, Columbia University, and Stanford University.


Noam Chomsky continued to publish extensively on linguistics, producing Studies on Semantics in Generative Grammar, an enlarged edition of Language and Mind, and Reflections on Language.


In 1974 Noam Chomsky became a corresponding fellow of the British Academy.


Noam Chomsky's response included two testimonials before the United Nations' Special Committee on Decolonization, successful encouragement for American media to cover the occupation, and meetings with refugees in Lisbon.


Marxist academic Steven Lukes most prominently publicly accused Noam Chomsky of betraying his anarchist ideals and acting as an apologist for Cambodian leader Pol Pot.


Herman said that the controversy "imposed a serious personal cost" on Noam Chomsky, who considered the personal criticism less important than the evidence that "mainstream intelligentsia suppressed or justified the crimes of their own states".


Noam Chomsky had long publicly criticized Nazism, and totalitarianism more generally, but his commitment to freedom of speech led him to defend the right of French historian Robert Faurisson to advocate a position widely characterized as Holocaust denial.


Noam Chomsky was widely condemned for defending Faurisson, and France's mainstream press accused Noam Chomsky of being a Holocaust denier himself, refusing to publish his rebuttals to their accusations.


In 1988, Noam Chomsky visited the Palestinian territories to witness the impact of Israeli occupation.


In 1989, Noam Chomsky published Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, in which he suggests that a worthwhile democracy requires that its citizens undertake intellectual self-defense against the media and elite intellectual culture that seeks to control them.


Noam Chomsky was widely interviewed after the September 11 attacks in 2001 as the American public attempted to make sense of the attacks.


Noam Chomsky argued that the ensuing War on Terror was not a new development but a continuation of US foreign policy and concomitant rhetoric since at least the Reagan era.


Noam Chomsky retired from MIT in 2002, but continued to conduct research and seminars on campus as an emeritus.


Noam Chomsky supported the 2011 Occupy movement, speaking at encampments and publishing on the movement, which he called a reaction to a 30-year class war.


Noam Chomsky taught a short-term politics course at the University of Arizona in 2017 and was later hired as a part-time professor in the linguistics department there, his duties including teaching and public seminars.


Noam Chomsky argues that all humans share the same underlying linguistic structure, irrespective of sociocultural differences.


Accordingly, Noam Chomsky argues that language is a unique evolutionary development of the human species and distinguished from modes of communication used by any other animal species.


Since the 1960s, Noam Chomsky has maintained that syntactic knowledge is at least partially inborn, implying that children need only learn certain language-specific features of their native languages.


Noam Chomsky referred to this difference in capacity as the language acquisition device, and suggested that linguists needed to determine both what that device is and what constraints it imposes on the range of possible human languages.


Noam Chomsky developed transformational grammar in the mid-1950s, whereupon it became the dominant syntactic theory in linguistics for two decades.


Noam Chomsky's theory posits that language consists of both deep structures and surface structures: Outward-facing surface structures relate phonetic rules into sound, while inward-facing deep structures relate words and conceptual meaning.


Noam Chomsky is commonly credited with inventing transformational-generative grammar, but his original contribution was considered modest when he first published his theory.


The minimalist program, initiated by Noam Chomsky, asks which minimal principles and parameters theory fits most elegantly, naturally, and simply.


Noam Chomsky usually identifies as an anarcho-syndicalist or a libertarian socialist.


Unlike some other socialists, such as Marxists, Noam Chomsky believes that politics lies outside the remit of science, but he still roots his ideas about an ideal society in empirical data and empirically justified theories.


Noam Chomsky's work seeks to reveal such manipulations and the truth they obscure.


Noam Chomsky argues that, as such an intellectual, it is his duty to use his social privilege, resources, and training to aid popular democracy movements in their struggles.


Noam Chomsky is a longtime member of the Industrial Workers of the World international union, as was his father.


Noam Chomsky has been a prominent critic of American imperialism but is not a pacifist, believing World War II was justified as America's last defensive war.


Noam Chomsky believes that US foreign policy's basic principle is the establishment of "open societies" that are economically and politically controlled by the US and where US-based businesses can prosper.


Noam Chomsky argues that the US seeks to suppress any movements within these countries that are not compliant with US interests and to ensure that US-friendly governments are placed in power.


Noam Chomsky believes that official, sanctioned historical accounts of US and British extraterritorial operations have consistently whitewashed these nations' actions in order to present them as having benevolent motives in either spreading democracy or, in older instances, spreading Christianity; by criticizing these accounts, he seeks to correct them.


Noam Chomsky has said he focuses on the US because the country has militarily and economically dominated the world during his lifetime and because its liberal democratic electoral system allows the citizenry to influence government policy.


Noam Chomsky's hope is that, by spreading awareness of the impact US foreign policies have on the populations affected by them, he can sway the populations of the US and other countries into opposing the policies.


Noam Chomsky urges people to criticize their governments' motivations, decisions, and actions, to accept responsibility for their own thoughts and actions, and to apply the same standards to others as to themselves.


Noam Chomsky criticizes the US's close ties with Saudi Arabia and involvement in Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, highlighting that Saudi Arabia has "one of the most grotesque human rights records in the world".


Noam Chomsky argues that Western capitalist countries are not really democratic, because, in his view, a truly democratic society is one in which all persons have a say in public economic policy.


Noam Chomsky has stated his opposition to ruling elites, among them institutions like the IMF, World Bank, and GATT.


Noam Chomsky sees libertarian socialist and anarcho-syndicalist ideas as the descendants of the classical liberal ideas of the Age of Enlightenment, arguing that his ideological position revolves around "nourishing the libertarian and creative character of the human being".


Noam Chomsky envisions an anarcho-syndicalist future with direct worker control of the means of production and government by workers' councils, who would select temporary and revocable representatives to meet together at general assemblies.


Noam Chomsky argues that unpleasant and unpopular jobs could be fully automated, carried out by workers who are specially remunerated, or shared among everyone.


Noam Chomsky has long endorsed a left binationalist program in Israel and Palestine, seeking to create a democratic state in the Levant that is home to both Jews and Arabs.


Noam Chomsky has called the adoption of the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine "a very bad decision".


Noam Chomsky was denied entry to the West Bank in 2010 because of his criticisms of Israel.


Noam Chomsky had been invited to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University and was to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.


An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman later said that Noam Chomsky was denied entry by mistake.


Noam Chomsky asserts that this version of censorship, by government-guided "free market" forces, is subtler and harder to undermine than was the equivalent propaganda system in the Soviet Union.


Noam Chomsky considers most conspiracy theories fruitless, distracting substitutes for thinking about policy formation in an institutional framework, where individual manipulation is secondary to broader social imperatives.


Noam Chomsky describes mass education as a system solely intended to turn farmers from independent producers into unthinking industrial employees.


Noam Chomsky has been accused of treating socialist or communist regimes with credulity and examining capitalist regimes with greater scrutiny or criticism:.


Yet, in seeking to avoid controversy at all costs Noam Chomsky has turned into something of an ideologue.


Noam Chomsky has been active in a number of philosophical fields, including philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science.


Noam Chomsky named one of his key works Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought.


Noam Chomsky's famous 1971 debate on human nature with the French philosopher Michel Foucault was a symbolic clash of the analytic and continental philosophy traditions, represented by Noam Chomsky and Foucault, respectively.


Foucault held that any definition of human nature is connected to our present-day conceptions of ourselves; Noam Chomsky held that human nature contained universals such as a common standard of moral justice as deduced through reason.


Noam Chomsky criticized postmodernism and French philosophy generally, arguing that the obscure language of postmodern, leftist philosophers gives little aid to the working classes.


Noam Chomsky has debated analytic philosophers, including Tyler Burge, Donald Davidson, Michael Dummett, Saul Kripke, Thomas Nagel, Hilary Putnam, Willard Van Orman Quine, and John Searle.


Noam Chomsky has little interest in modern art and music.


McGilvray suggests that Noam Chomsky was never motivated by a desire for fame, but impelled to tell what he perceived as the truth and a desire to aid others in doing so.


Noam Chomsky acknowledges that his income affords him a privileged life compared to the majority of the world's population; nevertheless, he characterizes himself as a "worker", albeit one who uses his intellect as his employable skill.


Noam Chomsky reads four or five newspapers daily; in the US, he subscribes to The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and The Christian Science Monitor.


Noam Chomsky is non-religious, but has expressed approval of forms of religion such as liberation theology.


Noam Chomsky was married to Carol from 1949 until her death in 2008.


Noam Chomsky is known to use charged language when describing established political and academic figures, which can polarize his audience but is in keeping with his belief that much scholarship is self-serving.


Noam Chomsky avoids academic conferences, including left-oriented ones such as the Socialist Scholars Conference, preferring to speak to activist groups or hold university seminars for mass audiences.


In 1989, when Pentagon adviser John Deutch applied to be president of MIT, Noam Chomsky supported his candidacy.


Noam Chomsky has been a defining Western intellectual figure, central to the field of linguistics and definitive in cognitive science, computer science, philosophy, and psychology.


McGilvray observes that Noam Chomsky inaugurated the "cognitive revolution" in linguistics, and that he is largely responsible for establishing the field as a formal, natural science, moving it away from the procedural form of structural linguistics dominant during the mid-20th century.


Noam Chomsky is among the most cited authors living or dead.


Noam Chomsky was cited within the Arts and Humanities Citation Index more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992.


Noam Chomsky was extensively cited in the Social Sciences Citation Index and Science Citation Index during the same period.


Sperlich says that Noam Chomsky has been vilified by corporate interests, particularly in the mainstream press.


Critics have argued that despite publishing widely on social and political issues, Noam Chomsky has no formal expertise in these areas; he has responded that such issues are not as complex as many social scientists claim and that almost everyone is able to comprehend them regardless of whether they have been academically trained to do so.


Noam Chomsky drew criticism for not calling the Bosnian War's Srebrenica massacre a "genocide".


Noam Chomsky's far-reaching criticisms of US foreign policy and the legitimacy of US power have raised controversy.


Noam Chomsky has often received undercover police protection at MIT and when speaking on the Middle East, but has refused uniformed police protection.


In turn, Noam Chomsky has claimed that the ADL is dominated by "Stalinist types" who oppose democracy in Israel.


Noam Chomsky accused Erdogan of hypocrisy, noting that Erdogan supports al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front.


Noam Chomsky was voted the world's leading public intellectual in The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll jointly conducted by American magazine Foreign Policy and British magazine Prospect.


Noam Chomsky received a 1971 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 1984 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology, the 1988 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the 1996 Helmholtz Medal, the 1999 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science, the 2010 Erich Fromm Prize, and the British Academy's 2014 Neil and Saras Smith Medal for Linguistics.


Noam Chomsky is a two-time winner of the NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.


Noam Chomsky has received the Rabindranath Tagore Centenary Award from The Asiatic Society.


Noam Chomsky received the 2004 Carl-von-Ossietzky Prize from the city of Oldenburg, Germany, to acknowledge his body of work as a political analyst and media critic.


Noam Chomsky received an honorary fellowship in 2005 from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin.


Noam Chomsky received the 2008 President's Medal from the Literary and Debating Society of the National University of Ireland, Galway.


Noam Chomsky has received honorary doctorates from institutions including the University of London and the University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago and Swarthmore College, Bard College, Delhi University, the University of Massachusetts, and the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste among others.


Various tributes to Noam Chomsky have been dedicated over the years.


Noam Chomsky is the eponym for a bee species, a frog species, and a building complex at the Indian university Jamia Millia Islamia.