Noam Chomsky pp 121-138 | Cite as

Chomsky versus Pinker on Human Nature and Politics

Part of the Critical Explorations in Contemporary Political Thought book series (CEPT)


The political writings of Steven Pinker and Noam Chomsky differ in style, audience, and content. Pinker is a stylist; he wrote a book (2014) advising others how to write. Chomsky’s fact- and irony-rich works demand the reader’s critical participation; they do not try to persuade or charm. Pinker’s work is welcomed by the establishment; Chomsky’s criticism is ignored or rejected. Pinker’s writing expresses few qualms about the social hierarchies, differences in power, capacity to dominate and acquire, and unequal rewards of capitalist economic systems—systems that by their natures and in practice induce considerable disparities in income, power, and wealth. Chomsky is an egalitarian who holds that everyone should have an equal say in economic and political matters that affect them, even suggesting that an ideal system would accord equal reward to all (1981).


Natural Science Human Nature Evolutionary Psychology Political Ideal Political View 
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© James McGilvray 2015

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