Chomsky Foucault Debate

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Chomsky-Foucault debate - FULL VERSION (1971)

Running time: 1:10 [not counting a 15-minute chunk of empty video at the end]
Spoken Languages: Dutch, French, English
Text: English as .srt file
If you have trouble watching with subtitles, try VLC player

Excerpts from the Foucault-Chomsky debate on human nature and power have circulated online for years ΓÇö now itΓÇÖs available in full for the first time.

In 1971, with the Vietnam war in full swing and radical social movements destabilizing the social, political and cultural order throughout the Western world, Dutch philosopher Fons Elders invited two of the worldΓÇÖs leading thinkers ΓÇö the American linguist and activist Noam Chomsky and the French social theorist Michel Foucault ΓÇö to debate a thorny and perennial question: is there such a thing as an ΓÇ£innateΓÇ¥ human nature, and if so, what are its implications for our ideas about power, justice, revolution, and the shape of the ideal human society?

The resulting dialogue has been described as one of the most original, provocative, and spontaneous exchanges to have occurred between contemporary philosophers, and above all serves as a concise introduction to their basic theories. What begins as a philosophical argument rooted in linguistics (Chomsky) and the theory of knowledge (Foucault), soon evolves into a broader discussion encompassing a wide range of topics, from science, history, and behaviorism to creativity, freedom, and the struggle for justice in the realm of politics.

Recently a full video of the debate has surfaced, allowing a group of Dutch anarchists to assist in a new translation of the debate. Now that this project has been completed, we can finally share the first version of the full Chomsky-Foucault debate with English subtitles.

In his book, The Passion of Michel Foucault, James Miller recounts that, while Chomsky and Foucault prepared for the debate in the preceding hours, ΓÇ£there were already signs that this was not going to be any ordinary debateΓÇ¥:

Hoping to puncture the prim sobriety of the Dutch audience, the programΓÇÖs host, Fons Elders, a professed anarchist, had obtained a bright red wig, which he tried, unsuccessfully, to convince Foucault to wear. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Chomsky, Foucault had received, in partial payment for his appearance, a large chunk of hashish, which for months afterwards, Foucault and his Parisian friends would jokingly refer to as the ΓÇ£Chomsky hash.ΓÇ¥

Thanks to those responsible for putting this all together. The above is taken from:		
Chomsky Foucault Debate/Noam Chomsky vs Michel Foucault (FULL DEBATE) (1971).mp4 212.675 MB
Chomsky Foucault Debate/Noam Chomsky vs Michel Foucault (FULL DEBATE) (1971).srt 86.614 KB
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