[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Chomsky, Vygotsky, and phenomenology



I think Chomsky's work added credibility to the efforts at the end of the 1950s to change the character of psychology. Computers were just becoming available, and they seemed to offer a model, or a metaphor, for psychology: a machine, made of transistors and wires, could be programmed to process information, using an internal language that followed formal rules for manipulating abstract elements that represented (at least for the programmer and user!) some aspect of the world.

Chomsky's approach to language was to formalize it: he viewed language as a collection of grammatical rules that operated (with no attention to semantics) on abstract elements (Sentence, Noun, Verb...), to generate strings of sentences that a linguist would consider grammatical. 

Chomskian linguistics was considered a kind of test case of the feasibility of a cognitive psychology, one that could challenge the claim by behaviorists that science must study only what is observable, so a scientific psychology must study behavior. Chomsky's work seemed to show that science could also reconstruct an underlying competence that was not directly observable. That is what cognitive psychology has been doing ever since.

Martin

On Dec 17, 2014, at 9:36 AM, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com> wrote:

> Do you think Chomsky knows he is? Howard Gardner is a very generous fellow.
> 
> On 17 December 2014 at 16:28, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> wrote:
>> 
>> oh, I just read your second paragraph...
>> 
>> Howard Gardner lists Noam Chomsky as one of the "founders of cognitive
>> science," along with Jerome Bruner, John McCarthy, George Miller, and Allen
>> Newell (1985, p. 23).
>> 
>> Gardner, H. (1985). The mind's new science: A history of the cognitive
>> revolution. New York: Basic Books.
>> 
>> Martin
>> 
>> On Dec 17, 2014, at 8:54 AM, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> Well yes, and as linguistic and psychology student I was very proud of
>> him
>>> for his review, it made me laugh and laugh.  But Chomsky never read
>> Piaget
>>> or Vygotsky.  He would have been interested in Vygotsky's interpretation
>> of
>>> Behaviousrism.
>>> 
>>> As to cognitive psychology - well I suppose we should be pleased, but
>>> Chomsky had no direct hand in that.
>>> 
>>> Carol.
>>> 
>>> On 17 December 2014 at 14:49, Martin John Packer <
>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Chomsky knew enough about psychology to write a devastating review of B.
>>>> F. Skinner's book 'Verbal behavior,' which still makes very interesting
>>>> reading. And Chomsky's own book 'Syntactic Structures' was one of the
>> key
>>>> components in the emergence of cognitive psychology in the late 1950s,
>> as
>>>> Howard Gardner's book makes clear.
>>>> 
>>>> Martin
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
>>> Developmental psycholinguist
>>> Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
>>> Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> -- 
> Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
> Developmental psycholinguist
> Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
> Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa