Pictures of Theories: Performativity

Performativity (specifically Judith Butler’s iteration), Gender Studies: Philosopher and feminist theorist Judith Butler offered a new, more Continental (specifically, Foucauldian) reading of the notion of performativity, which has its roots in linguistics and philosophy of language. She describes performativity as “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains.” She […]

Pictures of Theories: Language Acquisition Device

Language Acquisition Device (LAD), Linguistics:  First proposed by Noam Chomsky in the 1960s, the LAD concept is an instinctive mental capacity which enables an infant to acquire and produce language. It is a component of the nativist theory of language. This theory asserts that humans are born with the instinct or “innate facility” for acquiring […]

Pictures of Theories: The Boltzmann Brain Paradox

The Boltzmann brain paradox, physics:  A Boltzmann brain is a hypothesized self-aware entity that arises due to random fluctuations out of a state of chaos. The idea is named for the physicist Ludwig Boltzmann (1844–1906), who advanced an idea that the Universe is observed to be in a highly improbable non-equilibrium state because only when […]

Pictures of Theories: Deconstruction

  Deconstruction, literary studies: Deconstruction is a method of literary analysis with roots in the work of philosopher Jacques Derrida. According to Wikipedia, “This article has multiple issues.”   Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself.  – J. Hillis Miller, “Stevens’ Rock […]