Noam Chomsky

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Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Chomsky in 2017
Birthday/Birthplace Avram Noam Chomsky
(1928-12-07) December 7, 1928
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
School(s) University of Pennsylvania (BA, MA, PhD)
  • Carol Doris Schatz (1949–2008; her death)
  • Valeria Wasserman (2014–present)
Awards Won


Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Thesis Transformational Analysis (1955)
Doctoral students


Main interests Linguistics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, cognitive science, political criticism
Notable ideas





Avram Noam Chomsky (Philadelphia, December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political scientist and activist. He is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and one of the most outstanding figures of linguistics of the twentieth century, thanks to his work in linguistic theory and cognitive science. He is also recognized for his political activism, characterized by a strong critique of contemporary capitalism and the foreign policy of the United States. He has defined himself politically as an anarchist or libertarian socialist, and the New York Times has called him “the most important of contemporary thinkers.”

He proposed generative grammar, a discipline that placed syntax at the center of linguistic research. With this, the perspective, programs and research methods in the study of language changed. His linguistics is a theory of individual language acquisition and attempts to explain the deepest structures and principles of language. He postulated a well-defined aspect of innatism in the acquisition of language and the autonomy of grammar (over other cognitive systems), as well as the existence of a “language organ” and a universal grammar. He strongly opposed philosophical and scientific empiricism and functionalism, in favor of Cartesian rationalism. All these ideas clashed frontally with the traditional ones of the human sciences, which attracted multiple adhesions, criticisms and controversies that have ended up becoming one of the most cited authors.

He highlights his contribution to the establishment of cognitive sciences from his critique of Skinner’s behaviorism and finite-state grammars, which questioned the method based on the behavior of the study of the mind and language that He dominated in the fifties. His naturalistic approach to the study of language has influenced the philosophy of language and the mind (see Harman and Fodor). He is the discoverer of the hierarchy of Chomsky, a classification of formal languages ​​of great importance in computer theory.

He is also known for his political activism and criticism of the foreign policy of the United States and other countries, such as Israel. Chomsky, who completely disassociates his scientific activity from his political activism, describes himself as sympathetic to anarcho-syndicalism (he is a member of the IWW union). Chomsky is considered an influential figure in his country of origin and in the world.

Noam Chomsky’s Biography

Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928 in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), the son of Dr. William (Zev) Chomsky (a scholar of the Hebrew language and one of its most distinguished grammarians) and Elsie Simonofsky, a teacher of Hebrew. Both were Judeo-Ukrainian immigrants. Since 1945, he studied philosophy, linguistics and mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. There he was under the tutelage of Professor Zellig Harris (also a Judeo-Ukrainian immigrant, founder of the first department specialized in linguistics in North America). Harris and Elsie influenced Zev more than the formation of their political ideology. Also under the influence of Zellig Harris, Chomsky began taking classes in mathematics and philosophy. One of its teachers was the philosopher Nelson Goodman, who later would present them in the Society of Fellows of Harvard. He received his doctorate in 1955, after carrying out most of his research at Harvard University during the previous four years. In 1998, he received an honorary doctorate (linguistics) from the RoviraVirgili University, and received the same distinction from the National University of Colombia in 2002, from the University of Chile and the Universidad de la Frontera in 2006 and the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2010.

In his doctoral thesis he began to develop some of his ideas in linguistics, elaborating them later in his book Syntactic Structures, possibly his best known work in this field. His linguistic approaches have revolutionized many key points of the study of human language, which have been embodied in the theory of transformational generative grammar.

He has been a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 1961, where he held the Ferrari P. Ward Chair of Modern Language and Linguistics from 1966 to 1976.

His spouse was Carol Schatz, who died on December 20, 2008. He has two daughters and a son.

Noam Chomsky Net Worth – $5 Million

More Facts about Noam Chomsky

The Noam Chomsky’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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