Noam Chomsky
#40 Overall Influence

Noam Chomsky

American linguist, philosopher and activist


Why is this person notable and influential?

Noam Chomsky currently holds joint appointments at MIT as Institute Professor Emeritus, and the University of Arizona as Laureate Professor. Chomsky completed his university studies between the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

The influence of Chomksy in both linguistics and political discourse cannot be overstated; regardless of what aspect of his work you are discussing, his name always perks a few ears. Depending on who is describing him, Chomsky is either one of the most important linguists in modern times, one of the most important political thinkers, or (most often) both. Chomsky began his career squarely in academia as a professor of linguistics at MIT. Most of Chomsky’s earliest books focus on biolinguistics (language as a biologically rooted phenomenon in humans), with titles such as Syntactic Structures (1957), Current Issues in Linguistic Theory (1964), and Language and Mind (1968). In these texts, Chomksy advanced his notion of “universal grammar.”

Chomsky’s role in modern linguistic philosophy is enough to make him well known and influential in academia. However, Chomsky is perhaps better known to the general public as a major political thinker and dissident. Chomsky’s involvement in the political discourse of the US began with participation in protests of the Vietnam War in the early 1960s. Since then, he has published numerous books and given countless talks on subjects such as American Imperialism and US foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and media and propaganda.

For his work, Chomsky has received many awards and honors, including honorary doctorates from the University of London and the University of Chicago, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the Sydney Peace Prize.

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Professional Website

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What schools is this person affiliated with?
Harvard University
Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

Private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Notable Works

What contributions to academia has this person made?
  • Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
  • Cartesian Linguistics
  • Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
  • What Kind of Creatures Are We?
  • Midnight on the Mavi Marmara
  • Hopes and Prospects
  • Interventions
  • The Political Economy of Human Rights
  • Imperial Ambitions
  • Hegemony or Survival
  • Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures
  • Class Warfare
  • Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact & Propaganda
  • Hay alternativas
  • Propaganda and the Public Mind
  • Who Rules the World?
  • Making the Future
  • Because We Say So
  • Requiem for the American Dream
  • Understanding Power
  • 9-11
  • Current Issues in Linguistic Theory
  • The Sound Pattern of English
  • Why Only Us
  • The Chomsky Reader
  • Pirates and Emperors, Old and New
  • Optimism over Despair: On Capitalism, Empire, and Social Change
  • Middle East Illusions
  • Manufacturing Consent
  • Syntactic Structures
  • American Power and the New Mandarins
  • Occupy
  • The Responsibility of Intellectuals
  • Year 501
  • Deux heures de lucidité : entretien avec Noam Chomsky
  • World Orders Old and New
  • Necessary Illusions
  • Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship
  • Profit over People
  • Getting Haiti Right This Time
  • Gaza in Crisis
  • Failed States
  • The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many
  • Deterring Democracy
  • The Fateful Triangle
  • Knowledge of language: its nature, origin, and use
  • Ilusionistas
  • Les dessous de la politique de l'Oncle Sam
  • De l'espoir en l'avenir

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#1 World Rank #1 USA Rank
Political Science
#1 World Rank #1 USA Rank
#14 World Rank #8 USA Rank
#21 World Rank #13 USA Rank
Computer Science
#30 World Rank #9 USA Rank
#71 World Rank #26 USA Rank
#77 World Rank #14 USA Rank
#178 World Rank #27 USA Rank
#495 World Rank #105 USA Rank