Friday, November 01, 2013

Diverse Influences

I was just reading the Wikipedia entry for Steven Pinker earlier today and see that among the "influences" listed in the article it names Noam Chomsky and Thomas Sowell.

There can't be many public intellectuals who are familiar with the work of two such diametrically opposed thinkers as Chomsky and Sowell.


London Girl said...

My understanding is that Pinker's views on linguistics have been heavily influenced by Chomsky's work in that field (his day job!)

I've never seen any evidence that Pinker has been influenced by Chomsky's political writing.

Ross said...

I think you're right.

Although in the Blank Slate he does use Chomsky as someone who generally supports free discussion of scientific ideas- in contrast to Marxist scientists like Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin.