Chomsky vs. Skinner: In Their Own Words (Standard)

Noam Chomsky & B.F. Skinner
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In 1957, B.F. Skinner published the book Verbal Behavior. In 1959, a young linguist named Noam Chomsky published a review of that book, sharply criticizing Skinner’s behaviorism in general and his behavioral approach to language acquisition in particular. Chomsky’s review became arguably more influential and well-known than Skinner’s book, and it played a key role in the “cognitive revolution” that soon came to dominate both psychology and linguistics.

The debate between the pragmatism of Skinner and the structuralism of Chomsky continues to this day. Now hear directly from both men, in a series of archival interviews and speeches spanning several decades, as they address the philosophical and practical differences between their approaches.

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In 1957, B.F. Skinner published the book Verbal Behavior. In 1959, a young linguist named Noam Chomsky published a review of that book, sharply criticizing Skinner’s behaviorism in general and his behavioral approach to language acquisition in particular. Chomsky’s review became arguably more influential and well-known than Skinner’s book, and it played a key role in the “cognitive revolution” that soon came to dominate both psychology and linguistics.

The debate between the pragmatism of Skinner and the structuralism of Chomsky continues to this day. Now hear directly from both men, in a series of archival interviews and speeches spanning several decades, as they address the philosophical and practical differences between their approaches. Topics addressed include:

  • Verbal behavior, linguistics, and language acquisition
  • Structuralism
  • Morality
  • Nature vs. nurture
  • Fascism and racism
  • Rule-governed behavior
  • Universal grammar

Based on a video originally edited and posted to YouTube by Ariel Raphaeli in 2012.

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4 reviews for Chomsky vs. Skinner: In Their Own Words (Standard)

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  1. Avatar

    Interesting.

    (0) (0)
  2. Avatar

    I thought this was a great way to learn the differences between Chomsky’s and Skinner’s views.

    (0) (0)
  3. Caitlyn Smith

    Easy to follow

    (0) (0)
  4. Avatar

    Easy to follow, great information in regards to this debate that occurred back then. Lots of great retainable information!

    (0) (0)

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Chomsky vs. Skinner: In Their Own Words (Standard)
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