Noam Chomsky’s well-known political views have tended to overshadow his groundbreaking work as a linguist and analytic philosopher. As a result, people sometimes assume that because Chomsky is a leftist, he would find common intellectual ground with the postmodernist philosophers of the European left.
In this brief excerpt from an interview, Chomsky is asked about the ideas of Slavoj Zizek, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida. The M.I.T. scholar, who elsewhere has described those figures and their followers as “cults,” doesn’t mince words: