Kant's Philosophy of Language: Chomskyan Linguistics and its Kantian Roots

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This volume demonstrates the incontestability of the historical, as well as conceptual, linkage between (a) the theory of generative/transformational/universal grammar associated with Noam Chomsky and (b) the philosophical synthesis achieved by Immanual Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason. Specifically, it also traces a clear line of theoretical development regarding that topic from (1) the Essay on Language by J.G. Herder; through (2) the massive contribution of Kant in the Critique to (3) the pioneering terms of W. von Humboldt in On the Structural Difference of Human Language and, hence, to (4) its computer-age culmination at the hands of Chomsky.


"Williams reveals an amazing line of tradition from Herder to Kant, to Wilhelm von Humboldt, to Chomsky. The interpretation of Kant's transcendental realm as realm of the unconscious and of Kant's theory of inner sense as a fundamental philosophy of language makes Kant appear as one of the most up to date thinkers. Williams' book can certainly not be overlooked by students of modern philosophy." -- Jakob Amstutz

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