fallibilist

"I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth." (Karl Popper)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Chomsky in detail

Noam Chomsky is, ahem, a controversial figure. Last year he was voted (in an online poll) the world's leading intellectual. In some political spheres he is revered. Others, while not publicly embracing his message, appear to view him as a genuine scholar, and courageous in his choice of rhetorical targets - usually the United States and its allies. Allegations have surrounded him for years that he has been at times less than completely honest with regard to interpretations and source material. Those who make such allegations conclude he must either be misinformed or disingenuous when he comes to comment on international relations and the history thereof. He has made numerous infammatory statements, to say the least.

However, clearcut facts and (comprehensive) direct quotations derived from sources are sometimes in short supply in debates about the man conduct in the world of blogs, the blogosphere. Here, on the other hand, is a document provocatively entitled "The Top 100 Chomsky Lies". It contains 100 statements made by Chomsky, and 100 rebuttals, attributed to source material of one form or another. I haven't read it all and so don't comment on the veracity of all the various claims and counter-claims, but, for example, his well-known statements about Afghanistan are to be found on page 17. Likewise the early pages disclose some very bizarre statements about Cambodia.

I should acknowledge where I spotted this document, namely on Oliver Kamm's blog.

2 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

his background is linguistics. Which seemingly he is one of the leaders in that field. So he is a genuine scholar. Just not in what people think he is.

Sat Jun 24, 03:32:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Karole said...

A professor of linguistics at MIT isn't he? His fame (and popularity) come from his commentary on international relations though.

Tue Jun 27, 12:15:00 PM GMT+1  

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