Today is Noam Chomsky’s eightieth birthday.
Noam Chomsky will need no introduction to our readers. In fact, Chomsky and Prospect magazine are probably destined to be linked together forever, at least in newspaper articles, after he ran away with our first global public intellectuals poll in 2005. (The result prompted the Guardian to interview him and the subsequent Noam-gate affair.) He was also on course to win our 2008 poll until the Gülenites intervened.
Robin Blackburn and Oliver Kamm offered contrasting perspectives on Chomsky’s victory. Chomsky himself replied to Kamm in our January 2006 issue. More recently, Philip Oltermann wrote about Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar and the Pirahã tribe who appear to challenge it.