Once again, we’re heading back to 1971. Yesterday we had Dick Cavett’s 1971 interview with George Harrison. Today, it’s the clash of two intellectual titans, Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault. In ’71, at the height of the Vietnam War, the American linguist and French historian/social theorist appeared on Dutch TV to debate a fundamental question: Is there such a thing as innate human nature? Or are we shaped by experiences and the power of cultural and social institutions around us?
40 years later, you can find the classic debate on YouTube. If you need subtitles, make sure you turn on the captions function at the bottom of the video.
A full transcript of the debate can be read online, or you can purchase a copy in book format. Finally, a recent BBC program revisits and analyzes the Chomsky-Foucault encounter. H/T Metafilter