College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Professor Noam Chomsky: Illegal but Legitimate: A Dubious Doctrine for the Times

Professor Noam Chomsky gave a Gifford lecture entitled 'Illegal but Legitimate: A Dubious Doctrine for the Times'.

Professor Noam Chomsky

Event details

Lecture title: Illegal but Legitimate: A Dubious Doctrine for the Times

Date: 22 March 2005, 5.30pm

Venue: McEwan Hall, Edinburgh


A double graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Chomsky received his PhD in linguistics in 1955, while also serving as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows.

He joined the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and was later appointed full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the department of Linguistics and Philosophy.) From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor.

A scholar of international renown, Professor Chomsky has delivered lecture series in many leading centres including Oxford, Cambridge, New Delhi and Leiden. He has received honorary degrees from a host of institutions and in several continents.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science, he has also been a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the Helmholtz Medal, the Dorothy Elridge Peacemaker Award, the Ben Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science, and others.

Noam Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs and American foreign policy. He has been described as “America's premier dissident”.

His many works include Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965), Cartesian Linguistics (1966), Language and Mind (1968), Towards a New Cold War (1982), The Culture of Terrorism (1988), Rogue States: the Role of Force in World Affairs (2000), 9-11 (2001) and Understanding Power (2003).