Contributions of Avram Noam Chomsky to PsychologyJune 26, 2021
Chomsky’s linguistic works also influenced developments in psychology in the 20th century. His theory of universal grammar has been accepted as a challenge to the behaviorist theories of his time, and as a theory for understanding the language ability of children to learn language, language versus language.
In 1959, B.F. He wrote a book in response to Skinner’s book, Verbal Behaviour, and presented his views. Leading behavioral scientists and linguistic behavior are mentioned in this book.
Chomsky’s critique of Skinner’s work marked a cognitive turning point in psychology. In his book ‘Cartesianische Linguistik’ (Cartesian Linguistik) and in his later works, Chomsky worked to understand and develop people’s language ability, and these studies were used and developed as a model in other fields of psychology. Most of the concepts used today are derived from Chomsky’s pioneering.
First of all, there are three core considerations here:
In the first, Chomsky argues that the mind is cognitive. This means that mental states include emotions such as blood and doubt. In the theories put forward before Chomsky’s opinion, such ideas were rejected with controversy. It has been stated that such considerations in the context of cause, effect and relationship are futile. For example, he embodied this by saying, “If you ask me if I want X, I will tell you Y”. Here, Chomsky drew attention to the importance of understanding the mind rather than doing the actions with faith and unconsciousness.
In the second, Chomsky argues that most of the mind that develops over time is equipped with an innate ability. No baby is born knowing a language, but is born with an innate ability to learn languages, and over time this ability rises to the level of learning several languages. In linguistics, these theses of Chomsky are also defined as linguistic intelligence. Psychologists have subsequently applied and developed these theses in different areas of language.
Marc Hauser, a psychologist at Harvard University, claimed that, on the basis of Chomsky’s views, human beings acquire the spirit instinct similarly with the language instinct. The mind of a newborn is today nothing more than an indefinable leaf.
Chomsky and the scientists who followed and adopted his views for a long time rejected the views put forward through empirical theses. The theses, which claim that “what does not have a meaning before, is not in the mind” suggests that humans have an unprocessed brain after birth.
Finally, Chomsky developed some precise schemas on the cognitive architecture of the mind from the concept of unity. He argued that the mind came together from the heaps of special error systems. With this definition, Chomsky showed his difference from the old views, which argue that every information in the brain comes back with different cognitive processes.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook