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’ll find excerpts of the classic debate on YouTube. Get Part 1 above, and Part 2 here. Plus a full transcript of the debate can be read online. Finally, a recent BBC program revisits and analyzes the Chomsky-Foucault encounter.