“Languages”, a festival of creativity and science
Rome, 23 – 26 January 2014, Auditorium della Musica
“Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.”
With these words Noam Chomsky describes the unique quality of the human language, an unlimited process of free creation that characterises the human nature distinguishing the human species from any other living creature.
“Languages” is the theme of the Science Festival in Rome with the special participation of Noam Chomsky on Saturday 25th of January at the end of a week of lectures, debates, interactive workshops, projections and conversations in the friendly setting of Auditorium Parco della Musica.
“The limits of my language are the limits of my world”: the motto by Ludwig Wittgenstein is the inspirational thread of ninth edition of the Science Festival. During the four-days event scientists, researchers, journalists will explore together with the public one of the most investigated subject of the last century: the human language. A number of fascinating questions will be presented: “how are we able to convey a potentially endless series of meanings? What are the differences and similarities between different languages? What is the relation between language and the perception of reality, i.e. if people speak different languages, does this mean they perceive reality differently? How does language develop within the mind of a child? And again: what can we learn from pathologies specifically affecting language? What is the relation between music and language? What is the role of language in politics and law?” (from the Science Festival website).
Interactive workshops will be available to younger participants including a meeting with the singer Roberto Vecchioni on the relation between words and music. The more mature audience may enjoy a series of lectio magistralis on “Language of sexuality”, “New space-age aesthetics”, “Language and Music”, “The language of photography” and “Language and Justice”. Academic personalities from various nationalities will hold dialogues and conversations with the public on several themes related to the language.
Friday the 24th evening will be dedicated to Noam Chomsky‘s works. Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Technology Institute, Chomsky will be in Rome on Saturday 25th for his lecture “The language, organ of the mind“. Considered the father of modern linguistics and cognitive sciences, Noam Chomsky, now 85, is also well known for his anti-war activism and in recent times for his praise of the Occupy movement. His ideas revolves around “nourishing the libertarian and creative character of the human being”.
In a sequence of three lectures recently given at Columbia University under the title “What kind of creatures are we?” Noam Chomsky answered three questions: What is the language? What can we understand? What is the Common Good?, turning with the latter from linguistics to political philosophy and to the question of what might be a truly democratic society. According to the report that Stanley Fish wrote a few weeks ago for the New York Times (read here the whole article), Chomsky received at the end of each lesson a thundering round of applause and by the third day the applause refused to stop!
If you are interested with “Languages” and are in Rome in those days or able to go there, it is certainly worthy to take part into the Science Festival 2014, an event that should not be missed!
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