Chomsky vs. Skinner: In Their Own Words

Noam Chomsky & B.F. Skinner

$15.00

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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Description

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.

Below is the entire open access version of this video. It does not contain embedded questions or interactions like the CEU version of the module.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews

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67%
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Brigitte Wallace (Dorchester, US)

An enjoyable CEU opp

I enjoyed the videos and follow up questions. I did learn more about Skinners

and Chomskys perspectives. When I struggled to answer a question it was very difficult to figure out how to rewatch parts of the video. For the first few minutes I had the speed up high, making it difficult to follow and I struggled with slowing down the video. Once I figured out the controls it was a bit easier.

I

Ingrid Ord (Oxhill, GB)

Brilliant

Something to really practice on!

H

HUGO LANDA (Toronto, CA)

Chomsky vs. Skinner: In Their Own Words

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