Chomsky vs. Skinner: In Their Own Words

Noam Chomsky & B.F. Skinner
4.50 out of 5
6 reviews

$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
Survey Results
Below are live results from the voluntary survey users are asked to complete at the end of this module.

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.

6 reviews for Chomsky vs. Skinner: In Their Own Words

4.5
4.50 out of 5
Based on 6 reviews
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  1. 5 out of 5

    Derek Martin (verified buyer)

    I very much enjoyed this presentation. It was insightful to listen to both men explaining the rivalry between linguistics and behaviorism in greater detail and was a great review of these philosophies of language.

    (1) (0)
  2. 4 out of 5

    Brigitte Wallace (verified buyer)

    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.

    (1) (0)
  3. 5 out of 5

    Marc Fields (verified buyer)

    Very intriguing video on the philosophy of behaviorism and linguistics and very compelling arguments!

    (0) (0)
  4. 4 out of 5

    David Koehler (verified buyer)

    Seeing and hearing Skinner and Chomsky; priceless. The only reason I gave a 4 vs 5 star is the number of breaks for questions. Would be great if the questions could be chunked together.

    (0) (0)
  5. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid Ord (verified buyer)

    Something to really practice on!

    (0) (0)

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