Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Philippe Theophanidis on his blog Aphelis links to a complete recording on youtube (as yet unsubtitled) of the Foucault-Chomsky debate and provides detailed background on the history of the recording and the various versions and publications of the transcript.

The Chomsky-Foucault Debate On Human Nature, New York: The New Press, 2006, pp. 57-58. Content of the transcript differs from the actual recording.

The video displayed […] is a complete 1 hour 11 minutes video recording of the original television program titled “Menselijke Natuur En Ideale Maatschappij” (“Human Nature and Ideal Society”). It took place in November 1971 at the Eindhoven University of Technology, in Nederland, as part of the “International Philosophers Project”. It was recorded and broadcast by the Dutch National Television. The video includes opening credits, an introduction by Prof. L. W. Nauta, the entrance of Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault, the debate itself moderated by Dutch philosopher Fons Elders, a period of discussion with the audience and end credits. It was uploaded by user withDefiance on Feb. 25, 2013. [UPDATE–May 3, 2013] A “Proper Subtitles” version with English subtitles for the Dutch and French parts was completed on May 3, 2013. The video was also edited to adjust its actual running time (i.e. to get rid of the 14 minutes of black at the end of it). The video embedded above was updated accordingly.

It’s important to stress out that this is a complete recording of the television program and not of the debate itself. On the television program, the debate was interrupted by Prof. L. W. Nauta for commentary and parts were edited out. Therefor, there are large sections of the available transcript (which was published by Fons Elders in 1974) that are not included in the complete video recording of the television program.

Read more…

For information on the controversy surrounding the removal of a youtube posting of this debate see Chomsky-Foucault debate removed due to copyright on the site. See the site for a transcript of the debate

4 thoughts on “The Chomsky Foucault Debate

  1. Jeremy says:

    Reblogged this on Open Geography.

  2. stuartelden says:

    Reblogged this on Progressive Geographies and commented:
    The complete Foucault-Chomsky debate on youtube – parts of this have been available for a while, but this is the full recording.

  3. Brad Carpenter says:

    Could anyone tell me if there was any kind of translation between Chomsky and Foucault? Or did they manage to understand each other’s language.


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