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Faculty Book: Michael Devitt

Michael Devitt

Ignorance of Language
(Oxford University Press, 2006)

book cover imageIs the Chomskian revolution in linguistics right about the mind? What is linguistics about? What role should linguistic intuitions play in constructing grammars? What is innate about language? Is there "a language faculty"? Ignorance of Language gives some decidedly un-Chomskian answers to such questions: that linguistics is about linguistic reality and not part of psychology; that linguistic rules are not represented in the mind; that speakers are largely ignorant of their language; that speakers' intuitions do not reflect information supplied by the language faculty and are not the main evidence for grammars; that linguistics should be concerned with what idiolects share, not with idiolects; that language processing is a fairly brute-causal associationist matter; that the rules of "Universal Grammar" are largely, if not entirely, innate structure rules of thought; indeed, that there is little or nothing to the language faculty. Michael Devitt is a distinguished professor of philosophy at The Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: JUL 6, 2006

Category: Faculty Books | Philosophy