I just attended Noam Chomsky‘s first appearance at the University of Oslo, today’s topic was Newton and the mechanical world-view, Chomsky’s critique of the concept of limitless explanatory power introduced by the mechanical world-view (Newton), presented at the Center for the Study of Mind in Nature. It’s quite apparent that the CSMN did not anticipate this kind of turn up, given the size of the auditorium:
It was quite informative with regards to Chomsky’s in-depth knowledge of Newton and Descartes’ not-so-famous works, and gave me a hint of the world’s leading intellectual’s contribution to human understanding. From one of the posters I also learned that Chomsky’s among the top 8 most cited persons of all time, which explains the rock star factor.
There were a couple of nutcases in the QnA section, as well as people who had not understood that Chomsky’s political/ethical essays are the result of his philosophical work despite studying them for years (awwwww!). And when I got down to Chateau Neuf to pick up my 1 free ticket to tomorrow’s Chomsky lecture, there were some 1000 people in the line in front of me. I must say the man himself was more than patient and answered each questions as objectively as possible given the circumstances. I might blog some thoughts on the topic itself later, as it touches on some of my areas of expertise/study.
All 3 appearances by Chomsky will be put online by Uni at some point.