Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and political activist. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chomsky is well known in the academic and scientific community as one of the fathers of modern linguistics. Since the 1960s, he has become known more widely as a dissident and an anarchist.
In the 1950s, Chomsky began developing his theory of generative grammar, which has undergone numerous revisions and has had a profound influence on linguistics. His approach to the study of language emphasizes “an innate set of linguistic principles shared by all humans” known as universal grammar, “the initial state of the language learner,” and discovering an “account for linguistic variation via the most general possible mechanisms.” He elaborated on these ideas in 1957’s Syntactic Structures, which then laid the groundwork for the concept of transformational… read more
"...These were two of the major, if not the two major thinkers, of the twentieth century, whose ideas are about as well known as the real Adam Smith. Which is a sign of how efficient the education system has been, and the propaganda system, in simply destroying even our awareness of our own immediate intellectual background."