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The Art of the Interview: Foucault and Chomsky

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Conducted in three languages and three epistemological frames, this 1971 interview from a Dutch TV program sees Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault talk at and past each other about human nature.

Chomsky is at the height of his linguistic-scientific mode, while Foucault performs a genealogy of scientific truth itself. It would be an epic showdown if the two of them were in closer dialogue, but as it is it encapsulates the debate over human nature and scientific ontology that would go on to shape four decades of radical thought. The host, a Dutch commentator in a terrible suit-jacket, pops in occasionally to give some play-by-play of the beatdown, there’s tons of lens flare off Foucault’s head, and the insert shots of early-70s radical Dutch intelligentsia in the audience are priceless. The caption button provides English subtitles.

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