• Mikie
    Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky has agreed to be our guest speaker on the forum in June.

    Given his busy schedule, the format will be as follows: for those interested, questions will be submitted in this thread for several weeks, and Professor Chomsky will address them over the course of a few days in June which he has set aside specifically for this purpose.

    Chomsky’s name comes up quite frequently here on the forum, so I’m hopeful there will be a range of interesting questions for him!

    [Edit: Questions do not have to be limited to philosophy.]
  • frank
    I'd like to ask Professor Chomsky if he thinks we'll eventually have a global nuclear war, or will we be able to avoid it?
  • Manuel

    Damn Mikie that's a massive catch! Extraordinary.

    If you give him my name, he'll know who it is. By way of reinforcement, could you ask him why he thinks Cudworth is important?

    I know what he'll say, but others would benefit from reading his reply, so at least a few people become aware of his existence.

    You could copy this exact post, or whatever you think is best.
  • Christoffer
    What a perfect guest speaker at a time when AI is experiencing exponential growth!

    Since he has written extensively about language and theories of the mind, one question that comes to mind is his perspective on the emergent properties of large language models. Despite working solely from text, these models are capable of achieving tasks beyond their intended purpose. What are his thoughts on these emergent phenomena in relation to the human mind and language? Particularly intriguing is the fact that these models can function in languages that were not directly fed to them. Could this imply that our minds also operate in a similar manner? For instance, when coma patients or individuals with brain injuries awaken and speak in another language or with a different accent, do these occurrences align with patterns observed in AI language models' emergent abilities in language?

    Furthermore, I would be interested in his insights on the implications for future societies if AI systems manage to automate the majority of work, including physical labor. How would such a society function? What would be the impact on the economy and people's lives?
  • 0 thru 9
    I had to read the thread title 3 times before it sunk in, then I thought it might be a joke. But no. Wonderful guest! Hope I can come up with a real good question. I might need until June to do so lol.
  • bert1
    Blimey! Nice going.
  • invicta
    My question would be in terms of AI

    If current chatbot AI systems are linguistically context driven, does that mean that artificial intelligence will never get past specialisation ? Despite the ability of current AI to output respectable writing exhibiting almost human like creativity in literary forms.
  • Noble Dust
    Very cool. I don't know Chomsky super well, but I've always been sympathetic. I'll see if I have an intelligent and worthwhile question for him.
  • Baden
    We're all extremely grateful to @Mikie for setting this up and honoured to have Professor Chomsky contribute to our community here. :clap:
  • universeness
    Wow! Well done! That's very impressive. Is there an actual date in June, you would have to get a question in by? I also, would need time try to create a good question.
  • javi2541997
    Since Noam Chomsky is an expert on the philosophy of language, my question is related to that topic.

    Professor Chomsky, Does language exclude specific groups of people? 
    There is a big debate in some countries about changing the vocabulary and grammar with the aim of making it more inclusive. 
    For example: In Spanish, we have gender endings like "niña" and "niño", but some want to switch them to "niñe" because the ending in "e" is more inclusive and neutral.

    What is your opinion regarding this issue?
  • invicta
    To the respectable professor Noam Chomsky:

    In what ways do you apply your philosophical ideas as a way to dictate the way you live your life and what role do ethics play when making consumeristic choices?
  • chiknsld
    Does life have any intrinsic value which extends beyond its own experience?
  • Mikie
    Great questions so far guys.

    Just FYI, I will be doing almost no editing beyond maybe correcting some typos or some grammar. If there comes a time when I think the question is really unclear, I'll send you a PM and see if you agree, and we can work on re-wording it, but that'll be the extent of my involvement.

    Damn Mikie that's a massive catch! Extraordinary.Manuel

    I can hardly believe it myself.

    You could copy this exact post, or whatever you think is best.Manuel

    Sounds good. Remind me: did you study under him? Is that why he'll know you?

    One question only please.

    :blush: Glad it worked out! But I'm a little nervous -- he's 94 years old!

    Is there an actual date in June, you would have to get a question in by?universeness

    Good question. That hasn't been determined yet. He's especially busy right now, so we agreed on June without an exact date. I'll send him an e-mail to determine if he's ready, and give everyone here a "last call" for questions as a heads up before sending them along. I imagine that'll be in early June.
  • Moliere
    I'd be interested to know Chomsky's opinion on the IWW's relationship to the future of political activity, if he's willing to share such a broad sentiment.
  • jorndoe
    We're all extremely grateful to @Mikie for setting this up and honoured to have Professor Chomsky contribute to our community here. :clap:Baden

    Seconded :up: :cool:
  • Manuel
    Sounds good. Remind me: did you study under him? Is that why he'll know you?Mikie

    I've emailed him hundreds of times over the years (over 8 years now).

    And I also got to meet him personally in MIT, just before he moved to Arizona, though I don't expect him to remember my face, obviously.

    If it weren't for the exchanges I had with him, I may have not completed my own thesis. :)
  • Baden
    Glad it worked out! But I'm a little nervous -- he's 94 years old!Mikie

    I've seen him online recently. Seems to be working hard and age doesn't seem a barrier. Regardless though there's a limit to what anyone can deal with in a few days. I imagine there might end up being more questions than he can get to.
  • invicta
    If there’s no limit to the questions we can ask I have another one.

    Is semantic inference of meaning proving useful in the application of current AI machine learning tools or are such attempts a misunderstanding of intelligence ? Furthermore from a purely philosophical perspective is our current obsession with linguistics and semantics that was started by Wittgenstein a regression or a progression of the western philosophical tradition?

    My apologies for making this last question so long.


    If I could only ask one question then it would be this one.

    Thank you
  • Tom Storm

    Professor Chomsky - have any recent findings and understandings in neuroscience enhanced or modified your understanding of the innate structures in human brains which allow us to acquire language?
  • Baden

    I think @Mikie already mentioned just one question each as it's already going to end up a lot of questions without that stipulation the way it's going.
  • invicta

    Thank you for clarifying. In that case my last question is the one I’m interested in hearing from the respectable philosopher Noam Chomsky being that linguistics has been his primary focus in the field of philosophy.
  • universeness

    Perhaps it would be useful for some of us to watch this:

    I just watched it, and Noam covers quite a few current issues in this approx 1h offering that was only posted on YouTube two days ago.
    It would be great to discuss it's content with TPF members, as a build up to Noam's appearance here, as a guest speaker. A separate thread would be fine, if you think that would be a better approach.
  • Bret Bernhoft
    This is an amazing opportunity. Thank you for putting this together.

    I would like to ask Prof. Chomsky, "In his opinion, who is the most significant American philosopher alive today?"

    If he's willing to answer a second question, I would also like to ask, "In his opinion, who is the most significant Russian philosopher alive today?"

    I will definitely be here for his answer(s) in June.
  • Pierre-Normand
    Dear Noam,

    Throughout your life, you've demonstrated a passion for linguistics, philosophy, and politics. Now that you're 94, have you decided what you want to be when you grow up?
  • Benkei
    Despite the ability of current AI to output respectable writing exhibiting almost human like creativity in literary forms.invicta

    Really? I think AI puts out derivative crap so far.
  • invicta

    I watched a video of Bard (google chatGPT rival) produce some poetry dealing with grief loss etc and it evoked emotion in the journalist so…
  • creativesoul
    Very nice. The best yet, and he will not have financial motivation to be here as most of the others have had. One need only read through the previous guests' responses to see that they were trying to sell a book. That was quite disappointing to me.

    Kudos... MAJOR kudos to whoever set this up!

    Great job!
  • Outlander
    This is absolutely amazing. Potentially enough to pull me out of my month long depression.

    Cannot wait!! :party:

    I only wish members here do not politicize or economize the wisdom which may be revealed, substantiated, or put into question. Though perhaps such things are unavoidable these days.

    If only there were more people here. @Jamal is this not a reasonably rare and substantial event to consider opening new and self-initiated registrations for new members wishing to participate?

    There's not many socially-enthralled living philosophers these days.
  • Pantagruel
    Really? I think AI puts out derivative crap so far.Benkei

    I agree. AI is quite overrated. I asked ChatGPT to analyze a section of Luhmann's social systems theory as a reading aid and it completely Darwinized the central concept, entirely missing the point of systems autonomy. It subsequently acknowledge it was a 'significant mistake.'

    Best foot forward time for Mr. Chomsky. What a coup. I thought I was dreaming when I read the post.
  • universeness
    Based partly on the vid I posted earlier and Noam's left leaning politics, I would ask him;
    You have lived under the republican/democrat two party nation in the USA.
    I have lived under the tory/labour two party nation in the UK.
    Party politics has failed in my opinion.
    People vote for a party and not a person. If you put a donkey up for election, wearing the correct rosette colour for you, then you will probably vote for it. This has allowed so many 'bad and nefarious' humans to get elected. I live in Scotland, and the people here, became so fed up with voting for a labour government but getting a tory one, that we turned to a nationalist party, as the only way out on offer.
    There are 650 MP's in the UK house of commons. I would prefer them all to be voted in, as independents.
    Do you think we need a new politics? Do you think it would be progressive to remove all political parties from politics and governance? Do you think 'Vote for a person, not a party,' should become the loudest political clarion call?

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