The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 29–34 | Cite as

An Underdiscussed Aspect of Chomsky (1959)



Chomsky’s (1959) review of Skinner’s (1957) Verbal Behavior has been influential and attributed with a role in the cognitive revolution. However, while counter reviews from within behavior analysis have noted that Chomsky misunderstood the subject matter, certain aspects of his scholarship have been underdiscussed. This includes several instances where Chomsky misquotes Skinner or takes his quotes out of context. Similar to the findings of Sokal (1996a, 1996b), it is speculated that the problems with Chomsky were overlooked by cognitive psychologists because his general outlook was accepted. Implications for the editorial review process are discussed.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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