Is there such a thing as innate human nature? Or are we shaped by our experiences and the power of the cultural and social institutions around us?

A couple of years ago, openculture.com made available a discussion between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault entitled “The Clash of Titans”. Their discussion addressed the two fundamental questions: Is there such a thing as innate human nature? Or are we shaped by our experiences and the power of the cultural and social institutions around us? How both Chomsky and Foucault answer these questions reveals the assumptions of their diverse theoretical positions. Adopting either one of these positions has a profound impact on the study of organisations in general and on our particular understanding of the legitimate knowledge that we teach in the field of Critical Organisational Behaviour.

http://www.openculture.com/2013/03/noam_chomsky_michel_foucault_debate_human_nature_power_in_1971.html

The website offers two extracts of the discussion with English subtitles. The whole discussion, which lasts about one hour, is only available without subtitles. Hence, if you are not able to understand French, you may have difficulties following Foucault’s explanations. However, by only watching the excerpts you will get a grasp of the different theoretical stances of Chomsky and Foucault. Furthermore, you may also enjoy their sophisticated way of exchanging different positions of intellectual knowledge.

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