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Old 08-21-2003, 10:51 PM
jonr is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1

Chomsky obliterates Skinner

I found this message board while looking for a way to let Cecil know he had not done his usual first rate job in his column about the fate of B.F. Skinner. I hope this is in the right place to post it.

Skinner and behaviorism never recovered from Noam Chomsky's review of Skinner's 1957 book, "Verbal Behavior". Chomsky demonstrated that it is impossible to explain language acquisition with the behaviorist stimulus/response model and in general that intermal, innate mental structures need to be considered for any coherent, non-trivial theory of language and behavior. I am not aware of any behaviorist response, and Chomsky's views (on this matter) have carried the day. Stephen Pinker for example writes best sellers that adopt Chomsky's views.


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