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Chomsky says...

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  • Diarmuid Fogarty
    In light of our recent discussion about whether Chomsky s views on education should be given extra weight because he is Noam Chomsky (when will Microsoft allow
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2006
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      In light of our recent discussion about whether Chomsky's views on education should be given extra weight because he is Noam Chomsky (when will Microsoft allow us to write capital letters in the style of the illustrated Book of Kells?), I thought this might be interesting to some:

      In response to a query about whether or not he was benefiting from being A Name, Chomsky replies:

      You think I was invited here because people know me as a linguist? Okay, if that was the reason, then it was a bad mistake...I assumed that the reason is that these are topics that I've written a lot about, and I've spoken a lot about, and I've demonstrated a lot about...If anybody thinks that you should listen to me because I'm a professor at MIT, that's nonsense. You should decide whether something makes sense by its content, not by the letters after the name of the person who says it. And the idea that you're supposed to have special qualifications to talk about things that are common sense, that's just another scam - it's another way to try and marginalise people and you shouldn't fall for it. (p.138)

      MITCHELL, P.R. and J. Schoeffel [eds.] (2003) Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky. London:Vintage.

      Is there an irony in me quoting Chomsky implying that he shouldn't be quoted just because of who he is? Shades of The Life of Brian...



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