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Text Interview


Social and Behavioral, Linguistics

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini




Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini is (since August '99) Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona, member of the Department of Linguistics, of the Cognitive Science Program, of the Department of Psychology, and honorary member of the Department of Management and Society. From January 1994 to July 1999 he was director of the Department of Cognitive Science (Dipsco), of the Scientific Institute San Raffaele, in Milan (Italy), and professor of Cognitive Psychology at the San Raffaele University. From September 1985 to December 1993 he was Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Cognitive Science of MIT.

He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University (Fall 2020, Spring 2007, 1989 and 1988), the University of Maryland (Fall 2006),  at MIT (Fall 2003 and Spring 1993), at the Collège de France (Paris, May-June 2002), Rutgers University, NJ (Fall 1992), and at the University of Bologna (Spring 1997 and 1998). In August 1990 he was the chairman and organizer of the XII Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, held at MIT.

From 1980 to 1985 he has been the Director of the Florence Center for the History and Philosophy of Science (Florence, Italy); from 1974 to 1979, the Director of the Royaumont Center for A Science of Man (Chaired by the Nobel laureate Jacques Monod) in Paris, and lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris-Sorbonne). He obtained his doctorate in Physics at the University of Rome in 1968.

His books in English: "Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule our Minds" (Wiley, 1994); with Jerry Fodor "What Darwin Got Wrong" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)

#weareISSNAF Seminar Series

Over 60 years ago, a radically new approach to language and mind called Generative Grammar was initiated by Noam Chomsky. In 1974, at MIT, Chomsky and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini opened a convergent field: biolinguistics. This field has witnessed an impressive development ever since, in terms of experiments, dedicated journals, books, articles, conferences and teaching. This webinar will offer a non-specialistic panorama of these developments, in a field that is still fully growing. Watch the video here.

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