Why I study - Interthinking

Neil Mercer
I HAVE had a special interest in the study of language and thinking ever since I was a student. One reason back then, perhaps, was that the ‘big names’ in the field seemed particularly colourful characters – Chomsky, with his politics; Whorf, talking with the native Americans; Wittgenstein, who worshipped Carmen Miranda; Bruner, the charismatic; Bernstein, so controversial; and Vygotsky, the James Dean of developmental psychology. And, as that multidisciplinary list illustrates, the fact that the topic could not be contained within psychology seemed a sign of its significance. At first, I was a laboratory-bound psycholinguist, but the attraction of trying to make sense of what people did with language in real life drew me outside.

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