Jordan Peterson

AlchoPwn

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Krepostnoi, Would you be hinting at the Nazi condemnation of 'Jewish Science ' ? Even that was really ideology as opposed to political.
Where does ideology end and politics begin?
:gluck:
 

EnolaGaia

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... The idea of an apolitical belief system is something of an oxymoron, surely? ...
No. It only appears oxymoronic to someone vested in a belief system (as Peterson employs the label) that takes the socio-political dimension of collective human existence to be the fundamental context for addressing the entirety of all human existence.
 

Krepostnoi

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I don't see the point in that post.

I assume you have watched many of Peterson's early talks (it would be strange if you haven't, considering your opinion of the author) and do realise that he is talking about behaviour and motivation.

You appear to be implying that one's view on a subject must be conditional on the political view you hold.

is this so ?

INT21.
I was responding to your post #447, which I read to be suggesting that politics is something which happens over here, and science is something which happens over there, and there is a clear distinction between the two. If that's not what you meant, might you be willing to clarify?

Enola has reminded me of the importance of defining one's terms, so if we take politics to mean the ways in which individuals and groups of people interact and, often, strive for dominance, then clearly there is plenty of politicking in the academy. Time allowing, I'll proffer some examples, which hopefully will show why I took issue with this.
 

Krepostnoi

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The science of... actual scientists?
Ok, so who's an actual scientist? It might seem straightforward, but again that's a massively political question. Who gets to wear that mantle?

Do you mean people who work their way up from undergraduate degrees through postgraduate qualifications to post-doctoral status and beyond? That pool tends to be drawn initially from people who are encouraged to work towards academic success while they are still at school. Can you think of any groups for whom that might be more or less likely?

Now do the same thought experiment for people likely to be able to manage the debts inherent with attending university to obtain a first degree. Now, do the same again for the likely background of people who can afford to continue on to postgraduate study, or manage on the casualised working conditions that so many academics have had imposed upon them. At what point do you begin to notice anything, and what do you notice?

Or maybe you were thinking about people who have their research peer-reviewed and published? How do papers get accepted for review in the first place? What do you think is the overwhelming profile of the journal editors who make that decision? What conscious and unconscious biases do you think might influence their decision-making?

What language do research papers have to be written in to make an impact on the global stage? What conscious or unconscious biases might native-speaker editors have against the English written by non-native speakers? What obstacles might be faced by academics who need to have their work translated into English? How do they fund the translations?

These questions are endless. And they are all profoundly political.

Who is an actual scientist?
 
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Krepostnoi

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No. It only appears oxymoronic to someone vested in a belief system (as Peterson employs the label) that takes the socio-political dimension of collective human existence to be the fundamental context for addressing the entirety of all human existence.
Ah, I hadn't realised that Peterson had co-opted the term as a specific label for a particular concept. That said, though, it seems to me something of a quixotic mission to try and understand human existence without accounting for its socio-political dimension. (And, again, I'm using 'politics' in the broad sense of how human beings interact with one another in large groups - thanks, BTW, for reminding me of the importance of being clear about how we define terms.)
 

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Ok, so who's an actual scientist? It might seem straightforward, but again that's a massively political question. Who gets to wear that mantle?

Do you mean people who work their way up from undergraduate degrees through postgraduate qualifications to post-doctoral status and beyond? That pool tends to be drawn initially from people who are encouraged to work towards academic success while they are still at school. Can you think of any groups for whom that might be more or less likely?

Now do the same thought experiment for people likely to be able to manage the debts inherent with attending university to obtain a first degree. Now, do the same again for the likely background of people who can afford to continue on to postgraduate study, or manage on the casualised working conditions that so many academics have had imposed upon them. At what point do you begin to notice anything, and what do you notice?

Or maybe you were thinking about people who have their research peer-reviewed and published? How do papers get accepted for review in the first place? What do you think is the overwhelming profile of the journal editors who make that decision? What conscious and unconscious biases do you think might influence their decision-making?

What language do research papers have to be written in to make an impact on the global stage? What conscious or unconscious biases might native-speaker editors have against the English written by non-native speakers? What obstacles might be faced by academics who need to have their work translated into English? How do they fund the translations?

These questions are endless. And they are all profoundly political.

Who is an actual scientist?
It depends who's asking.

Academics tend to accept only those fellow members of the club, those with the requisite post-nominal scrabble, a few published papers and the links with industry that tend to be developed as a result.

The media tend to follow the academics' lead, but they're more likely to adorn the title 'scientist' with approving or disapproving adjectives; in the latter case, they're often disqualifyingly negative, which in turn paints a picture of a 'true scientist' as some kind of cloistered ascetic, likely possessing no political beliefs beyond those required to facilitate open enquiry and the exchange of ideas, certainly not giving public voice to their personal views regularly.

The truth, of course, is very different. A friend of mine has told me some laughable stories of the time when his research came to the interest of Russian government and the Mafia, and of the consequences for his future funding! (The field is specific enough to be identifying, so I shan't say more).

Similarly, we have all seen a number of 'fringe scientists' in the field of Forteana who clearly pursue some form of scientific method, but who lack the requisite qualifications (academic, professional and social) to be granted the title 'scientist'.

In my view, Peterson is a 'real scientist' in the sense of being institutionally accepted and having carried out a lot of clinical work (at least I've never seen a counter-claim to this), but the media and the public downstream have moved him to the fringe because he has (perhaps unwisely) explicitly enunciated the political consequences and consonances of his theories, consequences that were possibly best left undrawn. If he had stayed silent, he'd still have an unsullied membership card.

That said, if he had constrained himself to the theoretical, he wouldn't be half as famous, and, as he has said several times, he's determined to use what he is sure will be a temporary spot in the limelight to work some good--especially work against young male suicide, about which he appears to have a deep passion that I see no reason to doubt.
 

EnolaGaia

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Ah, I hadn't realised that Peterson had co-opted the term as a specific label for a particular concept. ...
Yes, no, sorta ... I'd put it this way ... Peterson set out to explore "belief" in its most general / universal form, and his results were intended all along to contribute to understanding the composite / aggregate "belief systems" we attribute to each other.

Personally, I don't think he managed to clearly specify or circumscribe what a "belief system" is. In some places he applies the label in a fashion that connotes something or some characteristic(s) that seem to be his unique interpretation or seem to be specific to his orientation to the subject matter. In other places, he seems to invoke the label in a relatively casual / everyday sense.

This intermittent ambiguity is consistent with the obvious, overarching and frustrating fact that Peterson often relies on allusion more than precision in presenting his concepts, rendering extensive stretches of his explanatory path more "rhetorical" than "scientific." He primarily convinces more than proves, so to speak. Admittedly, there's a limit to how much "proof" one should expect in such matters or expect of someone whose background is vested in clinical and social psychology - two of the "softest" of the "soft sciences."
 

EnolaGaia

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As someone who can count "Senior Scientist" among his formal job titles I feel motivated, if not obligated, to comment ...

It depends who's asking.
Agreed, but ... It also depends on who's being asked, as I hope to explain below ...


Academics tend to accept only those fellow members of the club, those with the requisite post-nominal scrabble, a few published papers and the links with industry that tend to be developed as a result.

The media tend to follow the academics' lead, but they're more likely to adorn the title 'scientist' with approving or disapproving adjectives; in the latter case, they're often disqualifyingly negative, which in turn paints a picture of a 'true scientist' as some kind of cloistered ascetic, likely possessing no political beliefs beyond those required to facilitate open enquiry and the exchange of ideas, certainly not giving public voice to their personal views regularly. ...
Here's the terminological and conceptual issue that most people don't recognize at all ...

Nobody is awarded the title "scientist" as the reward for completing an academic process. There are no diplomas that certify the designee as a "scientist." The recently-departed Freeman Dyson is an example of an eminent "scientist" who never completed a PhD.

To be sure, academics evaluate, associate with, and self-identify themselves as peers / equivalents based on credentials, publications, accomplishments, affiliations, etc. - just as any other set of individuals will do using whatever criteria their set's social context prioritizes. These interactions and affiliations can be just as self-consciously "club-ish" as any other self-circumscribed social group.

To the extent there exists such a club (or set of local clubs), the self-identification has to do with the accoutrements of academia rather than any particular disciplinary sector within academia's vast disciplinary range. You'll find the same club atmosphere among academics in (e.g.) the arts and humanities.

If "scientist" isn't somehow naturally or automatically derived from one's academic background, what is it? It's almost always a general / casual label attributed by someone external to any "science" or "research" per se - e.g., journalists referring to a subject matter expert / researcher or managers assigning labels to the eggheads on their organization charts.

At best, this external labeling is done by more or less approximating the dictionary definition - i.e., a person studying, knowledgeable in, or conducting research regarding a "science", especially one of the natural or physical sciences.

This in turn runs into the ambiguity regarding what counts as a "science," I've personally known "hard science" professionals who discount anyone working outside the scope of the classic physical sciences and a strict by-the-book scientific method (a la Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory). To such doctrinaire strict interpretationalists Peterson doesn't qualify as a "scientist" in the first place. Even using a looser interpretation, Peterson's background in a "soft science" (e.g., the social or applied "sciences") means one's answer will depend on where he / she draws the boundary line.

This same conundrum recursively applies within psychology itself. I know (e.g.) experimental and behavioral psychologists who'd consider clinical psychology a matter of philosophical or speculative inquiry rather than their own "scientific" subset of the field. Peterson is vulnerable to this opinion based on his grounding so much of his work in Jung - who, like Freud, can be construed as a perceptive and persuasive speculative thinker whose theories aren't subject to reasonably objective testing, much less falsification.

Going even further ... Much of Peterson's work can be just as easily classified as "philosophy" rather than "science." This doesn't clarify anything, insofar as the same issues mentioned above can be found among the community of academic philosophers, and third parties (e.g., journalists) are all too willing to casually categorize someone as a "philosopher" in the same way they casually label someone a "scientist."


Similarly, we have all seen a number of 'fringe scientists' in the field of Forteana who clearly pursue some form of scientific method, but who lack the requisite qualifications (academic, professional and social) to be granted the title 'scientist'. ...
Given what I've expressed above, I'd say such fringe thinkers / researchers are attributed the "fringe" attribution on the basis of the external / third-party basis I mentioned above as much as by any snooty condescension from the academics' club(s). I'd also point out that some such "fringe" researchers would still qualify as "scientists" if the label were based on academic credentials alone - further demonstrating the futility in linking the label to academic background or affiliation.
 

INT21

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Krepostnoi,

IN 447 I was responding to the following by eboracum.

Nope. I am not going to be drawn into a political discussion. I do believe, however, that Peterson is not a suitable subject matter for this forum, simply because of his political beliefs. We should not be pandering to this sort of demagogue on here.
And pointing out that it must be a suitable subject for discussion based on what the statistics for the thread show.
Clearly there was enough interest to keep it going

Which pleases me.

INT1.
 

Frideswide

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And pointing out that it must be a suitable subject for discussion based on what the statistics for the thread show.
Clearly there was enough interest to keep it going

Which pleases me.
I repeat :)

Quantity of posts is not sufficient for /anything/ to be a suitable subject here.

Edit to add that it isn't necessary either.

Frides
 
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EnolaGaia

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...
And pointing out that it must be a suitable subject for discussion based on what the statistics for the thread show.
if post statistics or degree of database burden were a valid indicator of suitability the Shat Chaff Chat thread would be reasonably interpreted as the thematic core of this forum.

It isn't.


Clearly there was enough interest to keep it going
On the priority list of suitability / acceptability criteria interest absent relevance ranks somewhere down in the 3-digit range.


Which pleases me.
That would be somewhere deep in the 4-digit range. :evillaugh:
 

INT21

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Thanks,

Now I'll have to go find a copy and re-read it.

It is worth it though. Consider me a martyr to the cause.

INT21.
 
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