Chomsky on Zizek, Lacan And Derrida

It has not been possible for me to find time to write about the essays in the Derida book Limited Inc as I promised. However I won’t put it away for good, maybe I get the chance to sit down with it in the christmas holiday. In the meantime let’s check out something Noam Chomsky have said about Derrida and others. It is thought provoking and interesting. If it is true as Paul Watzlawick write in his book How Real Is Real? that there are two ways of doing research, the empirical way and the more anecdotical, exemplary way, it’s pretty clear to me that Chomsky is a representant of the first, and Derrida, Zizek and Lacan the last. Let’s keep that in mind. This is from Open Culture (the link in the first line will take you there):

Chomsky: «What you’re referring to is what’s called “theory.” And when I said I’m not interested in theory, what I meant is, I’m not interested in posturing–using fancy terms like polysyllables and pretending you have a theory when you have no theory whatsoever. So there’s no theory in any of this stuff, not in the sense of theory that anyone is familiar with in the sciences or any other serious field. Try to find in all of the work you mentioned some principles from which you can deduce conclusions, empirically testable propositions where it all goes beyond the level of something you can explain in five minutes to a twelve-year-old. See if you can find that when the fancy words are decoded. I can’t. So I’m not interested in that kind of posturing. Žižek is an extreme example of it. I don’t see anything to what he’s saying. Jacques Lacan I actually knew. I kind of liked him. We had meetings every once in awhile. But quite frankly I thought he was a total charlatan. He was just posturing for the television cameras in the way many Paris intellectuals do. Why this is influential, I haven’t the slightest idea. I don’t see anything there that should be influential.»