CHOMSKY in ASIA
In response to years of invitations and anticipation, Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT has decided to pay a 12-day visit to the mainland of China and Taiwan, giving public lectures and receiving honorary doctorates from two prominent universities.
This will be Chomsky.s first visit to the mainland of China and Taiwan. He will be the most important western intellectual to visit these parts of the world ever since the visits by Bertrand Russell and John Dewey to Beijing some 90 years ago. Thus it is not only an important event for linguists, but one for the entire academic, scholarly, and intellectual communities in these parts of the world.
As a scientist, Chomsky is known for his revolutionary work in establishing a .biolinguistic. approach to language study.taking language as the external manifestation of a genetically endowed structure (termed Universal Grammar), thus a product of nature and nurture, similarly to any other biological .organ.. The sweeping success of this approach since the late 1950s, known as the field of generative linguistics, opened up refreshingly new directions of research for scholars not only in linguistics, but also in psychology, philosophy, semantics, education, computer science and neuroscience. The rapid developments in these fields led to what has been termed .the 2nd cognitive revolution., with him being commonly regarded as the father of the modern cognitive science. Aside from this and related research, Chomsky is also widely (in fact more widely) known to the world for his unrelenting criticism of American foreign policy and mainstream media of the West, his passion for seeking concealed truth, and speaking out for the voiceless in world affairs. He is rated number 1 of the top 100 most influential public intellectuals of the world, and his works were among the top-10 most cited in the humanities and social sciences that include Shakespeare and Marx, with him being the only living one in that list. A most influential scholar of the past 50 years, he is sometimes referred to as Heir of the Enlightenment.
On this trip to Taiwan and the mainland of China, Chomsky will be giving four talks, and receive honorary doctorates from two prominent institutes. These events include, chronologically:
- August 9, 2010, visit Academia Sinica (Taipei), and give public lecture titled: .Contours of world order: continuities and changes..
- August 10, 2010, visit National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, receive honorary doctorate, and give public lecture titled: .Poverty of stimulus: unfinished business..
- August 12, 2010, visit Beijing Language and Culture University and give his keynote speech, titled .Poverty of stimulus: unfinished business., to the 8th Conference of Generative Linguistics in the Old World (Asia).
- August 13, visit Peking University, receive honorary doctorate, and give public lecture titled: .Contours of world order: continuities and changes..
To commemorate these events and as an aid to the public, a cross-campus organizing committee formed by scholars from the mainland of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan is publishing a special booklet in Chinese to distribute to the audiences of Chomsky.s talks. Selected articles in the booklet are posted on this website, which we hope you will find informative and enjoyable.