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Jordan Peterson Criticism

 
Greg Rogers
 
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Greg Rogers
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08 March 2021 18:53
 
Jefe - 08 March 2021 08:01 AM
Greg Rogers - 07 March 2021 10:37 AM

Seems to be primarily three.  JP is an accomplished scientists (published papers / citations) and so he has an audience in the area.  I fine some of his work on personality, multi-variate analysis of social phenomena, etc., helpful.

Except where he gets science plain wrong, and doesn’t bother to learn or correct himself on it.

Greg Rogers - 07 March 2021 10:37 AM

Then there is an audience for his popular “self-help” books.  Seems many people find them useful; I don’t have an interest and haven’t read.

Tired old recycled platitudes.  Which he doesn’t appear to be able to follow for himself.  Why is his book of recycled advice more useful than those of predecessors who basically wrote the same things before?

Greg Rogers - 07 March 2021 10:37 AM

Then there is his Jungian / Bible stuff which, to use a technical term, I find mostly “bat-shit crazy”.  I don’t believe JP is ideological, but his research and self-help books do tend to support a more conservative view.  Hence, taken as a brand, a “conservative, Bible-quoting, scientist” makes him very popular amongst some Christian conservatives.

This may be the biggest part of it.  That an his appearance (to some) of anti-trans folks. Whether they are assessing his position on the matter correctly or not, the alt-righties seem to like this quite a bit.

Still think he’s over-rated; POMO for those who don’t understand POMO.

Strongly disagree with you first point.  You don’t get the “peer reviewed” publications and citations in a legitimate field and be an idiot. However, and here is the thing, his papers are in a very specific area.  There is nothing wrong saying he is REALLY good over here, and really crappy over there. Furthermore, just because a certain group doesn’t like the result of a study does not make the study wrong… I have countless examples.

Agree on self-help; but he really seems to have helped some folk… so give him some props for that.

Agree with your final comments.

I do owe him some props for educating me on some personality theory that I did not know, but generally… I don’t even know why we are talking about him.

SORRY, one reason.  He has a greater impersonator on YouTube grin

 

 

 

 
Jefe
 
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08 March 2021 19:45
 

I was referring to his lobster comments.
They were outside his field, and incorrect.  I don’t think he’s changed his position on that one.

 
 
Greg Rogers
 
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Greg Rogers
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09 March 2021 17:48
 
Jefe - 08 March 2021 07:45 PM

I was referring to his lobster comments.
They were outside his field, and incorrect.  I don’t think he’s changed his position on that one.

Yes… he does tend to outside his expertise and say stupid stuff. 

Sorry Jordan, not everything is a dominance hierarchy grin

 
weird buffalo
 
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07 April 2021 10:30
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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07 April 2021 11:15
 

Faked Crusader Father Irony.  Preaching “responsibility” and “independence” to privileged white kids looking for someone to follow.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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08 April 2021 17:37
 

I’ve been surprised by the hate Jordan Peterson seems to attract.

I’ve heard him interviewed on the Joe Rogan and Russel Brand podcasts. Rogan is “left-ish” politically, (he supported Bernie Sanders for president), and Brand is farther left-leaning. Both Rogan and Brand had a good exchange of ideas with Peterson. Nothing he said struck me as particularly far-right, extremist, or beyond the pale. As an American who has seen many far-right, demogogic pundits and politicians, including our last president, spew their unadulterated hate over the airways, Peterson seems pretty tame to me. 

I also saw Peterson on Bill Maher’s show, Real Time. Maher is a famous, confrontational, in-your-face liberal. Surprisingly, they got along quite well, with Maher full-hardheartedly agreeing with Peterson that cancel culture and the curtailing of free speech on campuses had gone way too far.

I’ve read a few online articles about Peterson. Many were obvious hit pieces. Others were more thoughtful and balanced.

One article, which was sited by Noam Chomsky, The Intellectual We Deserve, made some good points about Peterson’s platitudes and communication style. It dissects and highlights Peterson’s penchant for vague and sometime unintelligible writings.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/03/the-intellectual-we-deserve

An article I read today analyzing Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for Life, was in-the-weeds and rather obtuse, although I did learn a thing or two about a few 20th century French philosophers and Postmodernism I had never read before.

https://tinyurl.com/rt2pfd2b

The article I like best about Peterson is from the Guardian, written by Tim Lott: https://tinyurl.com/34z9scua

He states Peterson’s basic philosophy this way:

Peterson’s worldview is complex, although 12 Rules makes a heroic attempt to simplify it into digestible material. It might be encapsulated thus: “Life is tragic. You are tiny and flawed and ignorant and weak and everything else is huge, complex and overwhelming. Once, we had Christianity as a bulwark against that terrifying reality. But God died. Since then the defence has either been ideology – most notably Marxism or fascism – or nihilism. These lead, and have led in the 20th century, to catastrophe.

“‘Happiness’ is a pointless goal. Don’t compare yourself with other people, compare yourself with who you were yesterday. No one gets away with anything, ever, so take responsibility for your own life. You conjure your own world, not only metaphorically but also literally and neurologically. These lessons are what the great stories and myths have been telling us since civilisation began.”

From what I’ve heard from Peterson himself, this seem like an accurate summation of his ideas.

I like the ideas of C. J. Jung, so I have a natural affinity to Peterson’s use of archetypes and mythological analyses. I don’t see much controversy in encouraging people, young men in particular, to strive to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

I don’t understand why Peterson has an aversion to using transgender pronouns. I don’t see what difference it makes.

I think his Postmodernist, Cultural Marxism theories are suspect, overblown and flawed. He’s big on “hierarchies” which he views as the most qualified rising to the top. I can see why this would grate on some people. Hierarchies can also turn into private clubs that strive for exclusivity and keeping others “in their place,” although Peterson would probably acknowledge this.

So, like many people, I like and accept certain aspects of Peterson’s views, and doubt or reject others. But I don’t see him as the Boogeyman that many make him out to be.

 

 
 
LadyJane
 
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08 April 2021 22:11
 

The root of his notoriety is based on a lie about compelled speech and gender pronouns.  The origin story is now mostly forgotten.  Hidden beneath all the superficial interviews milking their latest cancel culture cash cow for all that it was worth.  That was when his rhetoric was still considered controversial.  And manufacturing a guru for disillusioned men exploited the temporary fanfare that fills an empty void.  Such is the shelf life of a pseudo celebrity.  Whose value relies solely upon their ability to shock a captive audience.  Quel dommage.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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08 April 2021 22:46
 
Cheshire Cat - 08 April 2021 05:37 PM

An article I read today analyzing Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for Life, was in-the-weeds and rather obtuse, although I did learn a thing or two about a few 20th century French philosophers and Postmodernism I had never read before.

https://tinyurl.com/rt2pfd2b

The article I like best about Peterson is from the Guardian, written by Tim Lott: https://tinyurl.com/34z9scua

He states Peterson’s basic philosophy this way:

Peterson’s worldview is complex, although 12 Rules makes a heroic attempt to simplify it into digestible material. It might be encapsulated thus: “Life is tragic. You are tiny and flawed and ignorant and weak and everything else is huge, complex and overwhelming. Once, we had Christianity as a bulwark against that terrifying reality. But God died. Since then the defence has either been ideology – most notably Marxism or fascism – or nihilism. These lead, and have led in the 20th century, to catastrophe.

“‘Happiness’ is a pointless goal. Don’t compare yourself with other people, compare yourself with who you were yesterday. No one gets away with anything, ever, so take responsibility for your own life. You conjure your own world, not only metaphorically but also literally and neurologically. These lessons are what the great stories and myths have been telling us since civilisation began.”

From what I’ve heard from Peterson himself, this seem like an accurate summation of his ideas.

I like the ideas of C. J. Jung, so I have a natural affinity to Peterson’s use of archetypes and mythological analyses. I don’t see much controversy in encouraging people, young men in particular, to strive to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

That is not a good summation of “12 Rules for Life”.  It’s a good summation of the chapter titles, but it completely disregards the content of those chapters.  The words inside each chapter greatly outnumber the words in each chapter title.  Maybe I’m crazy, but I would consider the much larger quantity of content to be a better representation of Peterson’s thoughts than just each chapter title.  That Guardian book review essentially only reviewed the chapter titles.

If you don’t want to buy the book, these two people did a chapter by chapter review of the book, analyzing most all of the books ideas, and using numerous examples from the text.

[ Edited: 08 April 2021 22:50 by weird buffalo]
 
Twissel
 
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09 April 2021 04:57
 

If the Red Skull fits ...

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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09 April 2021 09:20
 
Cheshire Cat - 08 April 2021 05:37 PM

... I don’t see much controversy in encouraging people, young men in particular, to strive to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

I don’t understand why Peterson has an aversion to using transgender pronouns. I don’t see what difference it makes.
...

Unfortunately, his encouragement of young men, particularly frustrated young men, has been to promote a particular role for women, setting them up as competitors with women rather than to help them to partner and progress with women.

He does not just have an aversion to certain pronouns – that was a fallacy.  He made a concerted political effort to fight legislation designed to provide the same protection under the law for transgender people provided to every other group of people (he failed).  This certainly does make a difference to this group of people.

 

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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09 April 2021 09:43
 

Philosophy Tube’s new video about Peterson’s newest book. Though the video isn’t available for a couple more hours.  I’m sure it’ll have some relevant points for this thread though.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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09 April 2021 13:20
 
Jan_CAN - 09 April 2021 09:20 AM
Cheshire Cat - 08 April 2021 05:37 PM

... I don’t see much controversy in encouraging people, young men in particular, to strive to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

I don’t understand why Peterson has an aversion to using transgender pronouns. I don’t see what difference it makes.
...

Unfortunately, his encouragement of young men, particularly frustrated young men, has been to promote a particular role for women, setting them up as competitors with women rather than to help them to partner and progress with women.

He does not just have an aversion to certain pronouns – that was a fallacy.  He made a concerted political effort to fight legislation designed to provide the same protection under the law for transgender people provided to every other group of people (he failed).  This certainly does make a difference to this group of people.

I’ve never heard him articulate that women and men are competitors who are fighting against each other, but I’ll take your word for it that this is so. With his emphasis on dominance hierarchies, I can see how he might frame males versus females in this way.

I also don’t know enough about the Canadian transgender laws that Peterson seems to oppose and that you are referring to. Do you think that Peterson dislikes transgender people so much that he purposely wants to deprive them of their rights?

And there are a lot of frustrated young men out there. Men in their twenties and thirties, in American at least, are having a hard time keeping careers on track, finding mates and starting families. Young women now outnumber men in attendance at universities, giving women the upper hand in earning income and social status. The ideal of the man as the breadwinner of the family is being overturned. I would imagine that many young men these days are drifting along, not knowing what their place in society is any more. I don’t see this as a left versus right political thing, but more of an existential crisis. Someone like Peterson, with his common sense platitudes, would probably be some kind of relief from the malaise that they must feel. I haven’t read his book, but the outline of it doesn’t seem especially controversial to me.

 

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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09 April 2021 14:29
 
weird buffalo - 08 April 2021 10:46 PM

That is not a good summation of “12 Rules for Life”.  It’s a good summation of the chapter titles, but it completely disregards the content of those chapters.  The words inside each chapter greatly outnumber the words in each chapter title.  Maybe I’m crazy, but I would consider the much larger quantity of content to be a better representation of Peterson’s thoughts than just each chapter title.  That Guardian book review essentially only reviewed the chapter titles.

If you don’t want to buy the book, these two people did a chapter by chapter review of the book, analyzing most all of the books ideas, and using numerous examples from the text.

I watched the Hannah and Jake video you posted above. It was pretty amusing. They obviously were contentious toward Peterson’s writing, but were big enough to say when they agreed with the content. They were also big enough to admit many of their quotes were taken out of context.

I’m glad I watched this video because it brought home the point to me of how much of an evolutionary psychologist Peterson really is. When I was attending college, evolutionary psychology was a relatively new scientific field. Around that time, an offshoot branch of biology, called Sociobiology, was coming into vogue.

From Wikipedia: “Sociobiologists maintain that human behavior, as well as nonhuman animal behavior, can be partly explained as the outcome of natural selection. They contend that in order to fully understand behavior, it must be analyzed in terms of evolutionary considerations.”

It seems to me that evolutionary psychology has a strong basis in sociobiology.

One cannot deny that we are biological creatures who have evolved with certain ingrained behaviors and drives. But I found sociobiology to be rather fatalistic: You are your biological drives. Women seek men with the resources to provide for her offspring. Men seek women who are young, healthy, and fertile. Primates in particular, strive for social dominance and hierarchy. We are primates, therefore we strive for social status and dominance.

Petersen is stating these things in no uncertain terms. He’s also encouraging men in particular, to move up the biological hierarchy in order to gain access to females, status and resources.

Put this plainly, most people would bridle at being characterized in such terms. Perhaps this is one reason Peterson is so disliked. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

I may be deluding myself, but I think that if you have enough self-awareness, then you can overcome your programmed biology. I think there is an exit out of the sociobiology/primate hierarchy box. That’s probably why I like Sam Harris, because he sees this possibility also.

 
 
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09 April 2021 14:31
 
Cheshire Cat - 09 April 2021 01:20 PM

I’ve never heard him articulate that women and men are competitors who are fighting against each other, but I’ll take your word for it that this is so. With his emphasis on dominance hierarchies, I can see how he might frame males versus females in this way.

I also don’t know enough about the Canadian transgender laws that Peterson seems to oppose and that you are referring to. Do you think that Peterson dislikes transgender people so much that he purposely wants to deprive them of their rights?

And there are a lot of frustrated young men out there. Men in their twenties and thirties, in American at least, are having a hard time keeping careers on track, finding mates and starting families. Young women now outnumber men in attendance at universities, giving women the upper hand in earning income and social status. The ideal of the man as the breadwinner of the family is being overturned. I would imagine that many young men these days are drifting along, not knowing what their place in society is any more. I don’t see this as a left versus right political thing, but more of an existential crisis. Someone like Peterson, with his common sense platitudes, would probably be some kind of relief from the malaise that they must feel. I haven’t read his book, but the outline of it doesn’t seem especially controversial to me.

His overall talking points when discussing gender roles is sexist and peculiar (e.g. “enforced monogamy”), concerned more with issues of dominance rather than cooperation and equality.

Canada does not have specific transgender laws.  The bill in question was one that simply added ‘gender identity and gender expression’ to those groups already protected (gender, race, etc.) from discrimination and harassment.  Since he dogmatically opposed this bill, he most definitely wanted to deprive them of their equal rights.  Whether it’s personal dislike or an inability to comprehend and accept the fact that not everyone fits into clearly defined male/female, who knows.

I’m sympathetic to frustrated and unhappy young men, but not at the expense of the success of young women.  Peterson feeds into their frustration and anger, when instead young men need to come to terms with equal competition with women and relationships built on trust and acceptance.  Being a breadwinner may have been a comfortable role for some men, but being freed from the pressure of primary provider can also be liberating for them.  And of course it’s also young women who are adjusting to changing roles and increased pressures.

Many of us in Canada have not forgotten the 1989 massacre at École Polytechnique when an angry young man murdered 14 women.  In his suicide letter he stated “that he considered himself rational and that he blamed feminists for ruining his life”.  We don’t need any more of these angry young men.

 

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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09 April 2021 14:37
 
Cheshire Cat - 09 April 2021 02:29 PM
weird buffalo - 08 April 2021 10:46 PM

That is not a good summation of “12 Rules for Life”.  It’s a good summation of the chapter titles, but it completely disregards the content of those chapters.  The words inside each chapter greatly outnumber the words in each chapter title.  Maybe I’m crazy, but I would consider the much larger quantity of content to be a better representation of Peterson’s thoughts than just each chapter title.  That Guardian book review essentially only reviewed the chapter titles.

If you don’t want to buy the book, these two people did a chapter by chapter review of the book, analyzing most all of the books ideas, and using numerous examples from the text.

I watched the Hannah and Jake video you posted above. It was pretty amusing. They obviously were contentious toward Peterson’s writing, but were big enough to say when they agreed with the content. They were also big enough to admit many of their quotes were taken out of context.

I’m glad I watched this video because it brought home the point to me of how much of an evolutionary psychologist Peterson really is. When I was attending college, evolutionary psychology was a relatively new scientific field. Around that time, an offshoot branch of biology, called Sociobiology, was coming into vogue.

From Wikipedia: “Sociobiologists maintain that human behavior, as well as nonhuman animal behavior, can be partly explained as the outcome of natural selection. They contend that in order to fully understand behavior, it must be analyzed in terms of evolutionary considerations.”

It seems to me that evolutionary psychology has a strong basis in sociobiology.

One cannot deny that we are biological creatures who have evolved with certain ingrained behaviors and drives. But I found sociobiology to be rather fatalistic: You are your biological drives. Women seek men with the resources to provide for her offspring. Men seek women who are young, healthy, and fertile. Primates in particular, strive for social dominance and hierarchy. We are primates, therefore we strive for social status and dominance.

Petersen is stating these things in no uncertain terms. He’s also encouraging men in particular, to move up the biological hierarchy in order to gain access to females, status and resources.

Put this plainly, most people would bridle at being characterized in such terms. Perhaps this is one reason Peterson is so disliked. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

I may be deluding myself, but I think that if you have enough self-awareness, then you can overcome your programmed biology. I think there is an exit out of the sociobiology/primate hierarchy box. That’s probably why I like Sam Harris, because he sees this possibility also.

I disagree.  For one, I don’t think you are characterizing Peterson correctly.

Peterson isn’t using evolutionary biology as a way of explaining human behavior.  He is using it as a way of establishing how society should be structured.  He is arguing that our society should in essence be constructed the same way as lobster territory and mate control is.  Because nature made our brains this way, therefore it is a good thing that our brains are this way.  This isn’t a book intended to explain human psychology in academic sense, it is a book of advice on how men should behave.  It is a self-help book, which is intended to help shape how the reader behaves.

Never mind the fact that humans and lobsters are extremely different animals.  We are a species built around cooperation, because raising young who take 27 years to fully develop is an extremely intensive endeavor.  If we cooperated with each other to the same extent lobsters did, our society would immediately crumble.  Lobster psychology is not the divine source to understand human psychology.

[ Edited: 09 April 2021 14:40 by weird buffalo]
 
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