Chomsky amongst the Philosophers

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):423-431 (2005)
Abstract
It is argued that in the exchange that took place between Chomsky and Rey [2003], Chomsky’s answers to Rey might be interpreted more coherently if we interpret Chomsky as an instrumentalist about content. If the instrumentalist position is tenable, then Chomsky is justified in accusing Rey of misreading and applying philosophers’ interpretation on his naturalistic approach to language. Within linguistic theory, for example, syntax does not speak of people as agents who use language: it deals only with the automatically functioning computational systems in people’s heads under the rubric UG, natural language, and I-language.The upshot is that there is no prospect of revealing a conceptual incoherence within linguistic theory by bringing to bear considerations about ordinary or philosophical usage of terms such as ‘knowledge’, ‘tacit’ or ‘innate’, ‘content’ or ‘intentionality’
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