Jordan Peterson

Zeke Newbold

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While I lean left, I am a centrist and I am vocal about loathing opinions on both extremes. I would consider JP to be a mild libertarian (which is a bit right wing). I certainly agree with his pro-Freedom of speech position unequivocally, and I am also not fond of political correctness as I, along with JP, think it is a species of thought policing. I do begin to draw the line when a psychologist like JP begins to promulgate Climate Denial without actually addressing any of the science. I find that the level of scientific illiteracy on the topic on both left and right should be getting more people to STFU and do their homework, and Peterson expressing an uninformed opinion in as if it should matter adds nothing to the debate. Had he waded in with a legitimate scientific criticism of Climate Change, or criticised the left for politicising what should be a bipartisan issue, I would be far more sympathetic towards him. More broadly I can understand the appeal of the sort of rugged individualism that JP promotes, but where I begin to doubt him is when he begins to promote a life philosophy that begins to sound like it has been plagiarised from a pick-up artist website. He literally does a whole spiel where he discusses female psychology and their pursuit of the alpha male, in favor of the beta "nice guys". Word for word it could have come from a pick up forum, and this from a public intellectual? What next?

I guess my problem with Peterson, condensed, is that he is glib, but not substantial. What he says sounds snappy and informed, but when you listen more closely and think about what is being said more critically, you realise that you are being fast-talked into buying a lemon. On close inspection, the sad truth is that JP has nothing new to say. Everything he says has been said before and often better, but he dresses it up like it is his own idea; relevant and contemporary, but it never is. Now there might be some spineless millennials out there who could benefit from a bit of tough love, but the same answer will not work for everyone, and should not be "sold as a cure-all". I certainly don't think that arguing against compassion is a form of decency, and often JP does just that. JP behaves like a culty life coach, while recent events suggest that he himself may be in need of one. Ergo he doesn't practice what he preaches.

Well put Alcho!
I had thought that some of your earlier posts on this seemed a little OTT - but here you account for your position well - and speak for me too in the process.
 

Yithian

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While I lean left, I am a centrist and I am vocal about loathing opinions on both extremes. I would consider JP to be a mild libertarian (which is a bit right wing). I certainly agree with his pro-Freedom of speech position unequivocally, and I am also not fond of political correctness as I, along with JP, think it is a species of thought policing. I do begin to draw the line when a psychologist like JP begins to promulgate Climate Denial without actually addressing any of the science. I find that the level of scientific illiteracy on the topic on both left and right should be getting more people to STFU and do their homework, and Peterson expressing an uninformed opinion in as if it should matter adds nothing to the debate. Had he waded in with a legitimate scientific criticism of Climate Change, or criticised the left for politicising what should be a bipartisan issue, I would be far more sympathetic towards him. More broadly I can understand the appeal of the sort of rugged individualism that JP promotes, but where I begin to doubt him is when he begins to promote a life philosophy that begins to sound like it has been plagiarised from a pick-up artist website. He literally does a whole spiel where he discusses female psychology and their pursuit of the alpha male, in favor of the beta "nice guys". Word for word it could have come from a pick up forum, and this from a public intellectual? What next?

I guess my problem with Peterson, condensed, is that he is glib, but not substantial. What he says sounds snappy and informed, but when you listen more closely and think about what is being said more critically, you realise that you are being fast-talked into buying a lemon. On close inspection, the sad truth is that JP has nothing new to say. Everything he says has been said before and often better, but he dresses it up like it is his own idea; relevant and contemporary, but it never is. Now there might be some spineless millennials out there who could benefit from a bit of tough love, but the same answer will not work for everyone, and should not be "sold as a cure-all". I certainly don't think that arguing against compassion is a form of decency, and often JP does just that. JP behaves like a culty life coach, while recent events suggest that he himself may be in need of one. Ergo he doesn't practice what he preaches.
I don't see anything very egregious about the 'self help' end of his work, but it's his Jungian analyses of archetypal images in cultural 'art' that I've found much more interesting: the idea that wisdom about our fundamental psychological nature has been encoded in images, motifs and sets of structural relations that carry a deep resonance for Man and may not merely 'hold truths', but actually be of genuine therapeutic value for a modern soul adrift without the meta-narratives of religion or totalising ideology.

This in itself is not an original concept--not by some long way--but his explanations in the lectures I have seen have been crisp, and the examples of his own 'decodings' were quite insightful.
 

Zeke Newbold

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I don't see anything very egregious about the 'self help' end of his work, but it's his Jungian analyses of archetypal images in cultural 'art' that I've found much more interesting: the idea that wisdom about our fundamental psychological nature has been encoded in images, motifs and sets of structural relations that carry a deep resonance for Man and may not merely 'hold truths', but actually be of genuine therapeutic value for a modern soul adrift without the meta-narratives of religion or totalising ideology.

This in itself is not an original concept--not by some long way--but his explanations in the lectures I have seen have been crisp, and the examples of his own 'decodings' were quite insightful.
You;re right there- it's not an original concept - not by a long, long, long way!

If you want to see how the Jungian archetypal mythopoetic approach can be applied to the problems of modern man - and I do mean man as in `male` - then you need to read Robert Bly. Start with Iron John (1990).

In some ways Robert Bly was the Jordan Peterson of the Nineties: but he did it with so much more breadth of mind, humour, finesse and compassion than Peterrson could ever do.
 

Yithian

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You;re right there- it's not an original concept - not by a long, long, long way!

If you want to see how the Jungian archetypal mythopoetic approach can be applied to the problems of modern man - and I do mean man as in `male` - then you need to read Robert Bly. Start with Iron John (1990).

In some ways Robert Bly was the Jordan Peterson of the Nineties: but he did it with so much more breadth of mind, humour, finesse and compassion than Peterrson could ever do.
Interesting. Thank you.
 

Frideswide

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@Zeke Newbold Agreed - Robert Bly is excellent on these things. Clinically not a million miles away (pers. comm. a Jungian therapist while playing Call of Cthulu) from canon and because of the date starting to create a canon of his own :)
 
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I read a chapter of his "12 Rules" book and after a general introduction to the subject and one or two illustrative anecdotes, amounting to perhaps a page and half, he then launched into a relatively esoteric diatribe about mythology, including but not exclusively Christian. Perhaps I am moar stoopit than I realise but this mostly went over my head and was the prose was overwritten and turgid, leavened by the occasional dad joke. I'll admit to not trying to hard with it after a couple more pages but bloody hell, it was awful and was reminiscent to clips I've seen of him lecturing on similar subjects, I don't know how "the average reader" is likely to get out of it.
 

INT21

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Ogdred,

He does have a tendency at times to drag things from the Old Testament to illustrate his points. which is fine if you accept the original as intended to be lessons in behaviour.

INT21
 
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Ogdred,

He does have a tendency at times to drag things from the Old Testament to illustrate his points. which is fine if you accept the original as intended to be lessons in behaviour.

INT21
It does seem that way, even in limited experience. The bulk of this chapter was Old Testament references and droning on about Classical mythology. I am interested in both but neither seemed especially relevant and the writing was neither accessible nor engaging, as I said though, I only read one chapter once, the experience made it unlikely that I'd attempt another.
 

INT21

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You'd probably do better watching some of his early YouTube videos.

The later ones, where he has become something of a cult figure, are a bit more ambiguous.
 

INT21

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I haven't followed him for a while.

It looks as if he really aught to go back to his roots.

And that cover really is 'strange'.
 

Krepostnoi

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Oh, dear lord, you're right. I've irrevocably ruined my Amazon search history for this, but it's almost worth it. (I note in passing that the second recommendation on the page is for Walker's "Manly Exercises"... That sounds like the perfect companion volume for anyone on the Peterson "Lion diet".) That is spectacularly ill-judged. But quite funny.

If I ever had any doubts about whether Peterson was a fit and proper person to be giving advice to others, I can safely say that particular question is now resolved.
 

Vardoger

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I haven't followed him for a while.

It looks as if he really aught to go back to his roots.

And that cover really is 'strange'.
It's like she needed a photo of her father too, to appeal to the "Petersonites".
 
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