PhD BCS ’94; Professor of Comparative Psycholinguistics Utrecht University, The Netherlands
I am grateful to Noam Chomsky for his unparalleled contribution to the change in my social cognition paradigm. It is because of thinking about his statements, his position, his argumentation and analyses that I switched—gradually—from routinely assimilating new information about political events to accommodating a new way of thinking, a new way of perceiving reality.
Not only scientific thought but also individual development relies on paradigm change. Not only science drives the progressive development of humanity. Progress begins when injustice and unfairness, double standards and the hypocrisy of those in power can no longer be accepted by the majority as an unavoidable way of life. It begins when the implicitly imposed division of humanity into “people” and “unpeople” can no longer be tolerated by the rigid cognitive structures of individuals.
Noam Chomsky’s impact on the way I think about the world is enormous. And for this I am infinitely grateful to him as my teacher and partner in conversations.