[OPE-L:3616] Re: "Surface/deep structure" or Marx and Plato

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 08:20:39 -0800 (PST)

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On Thu, 7 Nov 1996, andrew kliman wrote:

> At a dinner in Trinity College, Chomsky remarked that the foundation of his
> theory was "fundamentally unknowable aspects of the mind." Sraffa
> interjected: "Then how can you talk about it?" This is the trap that Kant
> set up, the trap of a fundamentally unknowable thing-in-itself that "lies
> behind" appearances.

Chomsky's substantive work in linguistics is much more
worthy of respect that his philosophical obiter dicta. In
effect, he has shown that the deep structure of natural
language is eminently "knowable".