25 Aug 2016, 12:33am


Zero Squared #81: Decoding Chomsky

Chris Knight is currently senior research fellow in the department of anthropology at University College, London, focusing his research on the evolutionary emergence of human language and symbolic culture. He lives in London. His book Decoding Chomsky is coming out from Yale University Press in September.

Here’s a description from the back jacket:

Occupying a pivotal position in postwar thought, Noam Chomsky is both the founder of modern linguistics and the world’s most prominent political dissident. Chris Knight adopts an anthropologist’s perspective on the twin output of this intellectual giant, acclaimed as much for his denunciations of US foreign policy as for his theories about language and mind. Knight explores the social and institutional context of Chomsky’s thinking, showing how the tension between military funding and his role as linchpin of the political left pressured him to establish a disconnect between science on the one hand and politics on the other, deepening a split between mind and body characteristic of Western philosophy since the Enlightenment. Provocative, fearless, and engaging, this remarkable study explains the enigma of one of the greatest intellectuals of our time.

If you like this podcast you might leave a review at iTunes and if you don’t like this episode leave a comment on the blog. The membership site is still on course for a September release and, when it is up online, you’ll be hearing lots of calls for you to join. In the meantime you should get your hands on Daniel Coffeen’s Reading the Way of Things, Mike Watson’s Towards a Conceptual Militancy, or Grafton Tanner’s book about Vaporwave entitled Babbling Corpse.

In this episode you’ll hear the voice of Noam Chomsky, an instrumental version of Pokemon, and the theme for Roboboogie.codeclub.org.uk.

25 Aug 2016, 3:39pm
by Justin Wagner


This one looks interesting.

Every time I listen to your podcast I find myself wondering about the theme song: what’s the name of it and who is the artist?

26 Aug 2016, 4:23am
by douglaslain


Justin, I forget the name of it. My friend Nick Walton composed it.

26 Aug 2016, 6:10am
by Anonymous


This was an especially great conversation and episode. It seems worthy of a part II with extended discussion of the book and more on the bifurcated Chomsky.

[…] this remarkable study explains the enigma of one of the greatest intellectuals of our time.” http://douglaslain.net/zero-books-81-decoding-chomsky/  […]

Chomsky is more of a hegelian than a kantian in the mode of Claude E. Shannon

Knight’s article in Radical Anthropology from a few years ago is THE best analysis of the so-called “Chomsky Problem” that I’ve ever read.

I’m primed to read this book.


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