Talk:Jordan Peterson

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/r/JordanPeterson is pissed[edit]

But a solid 90% of their comments don't contain any actual criticism, just whining about the source. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 18:12, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

The complaints are more about dislike for the Wiki than support for Peterson. Ariel31459 (talk) 22:09, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
I like how none of the comments go into more detail why the article is wrong. Accusing something of "cherry-picking" is meaningless if you can't back it up with, say, a full quote and RationalWiki's quote. There are more helpful comments, though, asking people to engage. And yeah, I'll engage if I want to, just don't be a prick like RationalP was. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 23:54, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Please, on the talk page was so many times debunked cherry-picking and intentional defamation (even his daughter being called a crank) that when someone has such an opinion about this RT article it's not for no reason. The quality standard of the article is constantly going up and down. As for your praise for calling another editor as "prick", well you should tell them that per RW:STANDARD "...resorting to personal attacks is strongly frowned upon, however justified they may seem". Oh, the irony.--RationalP (talk) 13:00, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

More crap from Peterson[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL61yQgdWeM&feature=youtu.be&t=59m25s

Human inequality is explained by the same mechanism that determines the height of trees and the masses of stars. Altering our political and economic systems is will not fix the problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUA6uqO9keY&feature=youtu.be&t=6m45s

Women who don't want children by their mid-twenties aren't well-oriented psychologically and don't know what's important in life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj7VgBnQNUc&feature=youtu.be&t=10m18s

If a 30-year-old woman's primary desire isn't to have a child, it's very likely there's something wrong with the way she's 'constituted'.

--195.50.217.92 (talk) 23:41, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

In addition to his interview in the Time article I cited, I think it's safe to say he's a sexist fart. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 23:47, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Women who don't want children by their mid-twenties aren't well-oriented psychologically and don't know what's important in life.
because going into a financial and emotional crisis for both you and your kid because you aren't well-prepared for it is really what's important in life. БaбyЛuigiOнФire(T|C) 23:48, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
This is within the context of "you should find women who knows for sure wants to have children". He says, as a "rule of thumb" for women who don't want children "unless it's a viciously important reason", they are not well-oriented psychologically. I wonder what his idea of what "viciously important reason" is. To be fair, he later says, "that might also be the case with you and it probably is", referring to one of his patrons. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 00:04, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
same here. people have different ideas of what a "viciously important reason" is, so in the end, it could mean pretty much "any reason", so therefore, his statement is pointless. БaбyЛuigiOнФire(T|C) 00:07, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
@LeftyGreenMario You think he's sexist because he thinks the general rule of thumb for women is for them to WANT to have children? That's not sexism. Also, he's a psychologist. He is stating how he understands human psychological behavior based on his decades of research. Don't call him a sexist just because he does not appeal to your leftist ideological view of the world. --Moobnert (talk) 12:16, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
LeftyGreenMario, stop thinking. You do not think, you project own personal frustrations while considering them as true, to "safely" depict somebody, in this case, Peterson, as a "denialist" or "sexist". It's pathetic and shameful. Irrational. What will be next? You said that dogwhistle part, ehhh, leaving that out for now, a paragraph in which was falsely accused of transphobia, racism, bigotry (see discussions above). Calling evolutionary psychology consideration as "sexist" is stupid. --RationalP (talk) 13:37, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Moobnert, it's not that child bearing claim alone that promoted me to call him a sexist. It's a combination of claims I find objectionable (note how I also mentioned his interview in the Time) really. I am not convinced about the whole "he is an expert in one field" rebuttal, though. Can you give me a better piece on Peterson where Peterson cites his claims and that he is being more specific? If I am wrong, that means the video the IP linked didn't give me enough info about him and therefore, I got the wrong impression about him, which is very possible. Being a talk video, I suppose Peterson doesn't have that ability to cite stuff while he is giving advice, so I can't evaluate his claims. Oh, and to clarify, I haven't said that women wanting children is sexist (so you are misrepresenting my argument), but the claim that if a couple by a certain age, their mid twenties, hesitate to have children, then something is wrong with them, which I think is a dated worldview (like expecting people to be independent by their twenties) and not very sensitive to the economic climate (recession puts people in a position where thy have to wait longer to sustain themselves before they can sustain children) and the newer generation of people having children later by their mid twenties (due to recession and other factors including overall attitudes to living life). I tried getting more context from the video rather than relying on the IP's claims and the video does later say "it also can apply to you" sort of thing, which I have tried to be fair to it in my comment. Otherwise, if I am missing any additional context, would be nice if you can supply me fuller quotes with context but overall, I haven't seen it when people criticize Peterson's critics. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 15:54, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

New section: Radical protesters[edit]

If we are going to have a section about "Reactionary fans", then it's time to have a section about "Radical protesters" whose activity is becoming more than noteworthy and reported in the media (only ironically giving him further attention and money), justifiably for criticism because of their irrational thinking and activity against Peterson or ideas, including independent or joint lectures on the freedom of speech (!).--RationalP (talk) 13:26, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

@RationalP Good point, for a typical definition these protestors are also 'reactionary', however, RationalWiki understands another definition for the term which is, from their own article 'Reactionary', someone "who wants to reverse political changes and seeks to restore society to a state believed to have existed before...It is usually used pejoratively to describe a conservative opposed to modernity." Since these protesters are evidently not conservatives, they probably won't be included in the section for Peterson's article. --Moobnert (talk) 14:40, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
If course they would not be included in the "Reactionar fans" section, it would be out of context, hence should have (as is shown in the edit) a separate section. Would add as a reference for various identification the link, or some other we find.--RationalP (talk) 19:06, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Some thoughts on Jordan Peterson[edit]

I think I'm going to reconsider some of my stances on Peterson, given that I'm starting to doubt anti-Peterson arguments and I need to actually watch what he says. I looked at this video. The interview may have been done before, but I'm going to look at it through, hopefully, a fairer perspective on Peterson.

So I've watched the interview and some of the questions Newman posed are... annoying. Like Peterson does acknowledge that Youtube is predominantly male and doesn't know if his videos attracting a male audience or it's just Youtube demographics, but Newman then asks as if there is a problem with it. I don't think it's a problem if you make videos aimed toward young men, so I find Newman's question of "what is in it for women" just a bad question to ask, when women are not the target audience and Peterson shouldn't have to be obliged to talk about a portion of humans that don't make up his audience.

Anyhow, here is a quote from him I find I agree with, in that he says women want powerful men and goes through the pains to talk about "competent" power, not corrupt tyrannical power. He even says that people who don't want competent partners want to dominate them, but Newman somehow asks, "So you want women to dominate them?"... how did she arrive at that question? He just said women don't want to dominate, by wanting competent people they can't dominate over. He even says the women who want to be dominant are in a tiny minority and isn't good for the couple, and the submissive partner (I think?) doesn't have to take responsibility. Well, that confused me, could've gotten an example. Okay. Newman then says Peterson is making "vast generalizations" but even within her question, she says "even within these women" and this is referring to Peterson saying "a substantial minority". His comeback "I'm a clinical psychologist" wasn't a good one for me, he could've just said "but I just said it's a substantial minority of women". He could've clarified what "substantial" is. 12%? 30%? 40%? 49&? He does say that dominance isn't a long-term formula for a successful relationship, kudos to him for that.

Newman quotes from the book, talking about whole disciplines in universities being hostile to men and being Neo-Marxist oppressors who "instruct" people that Western society is dominated by women that oppresses women and minorities. That's the gist, anyway. She brings up the gender pay gap, okay, that can be a counterpoint. But he says the pay gap doesn't exist. I think Peterson has the right premise by saying it's really complicated and I do agree 70 cents per dollar is a very gross simplification, a mostly meaningless average and it fluctuates depending on where you work, what you work, and how long you work. I do agree, people aren't normally thinking about paying women less, and it's illegal otherwise. I don't think Newman's BBC case is representative, but on her side, she does cite specific examples of women being severely underrepresented in some fields. Personal comment on gender gap, I'm more convinced that old habits die hard and even if you think you're bias-free, chances are, you aren't and I think in a way, it'll affect how you perceive and value people. It can be hard to put equal value to something that can't be easily measured, such as quality of work and insurance coverage. I don't disagree that women have child-rearing stuff that can put them out for a while, but I still argue that it's a consequence of societal expectations of family raising (including employers who may be reluctant to give women raises or hire women not because they're sexist, but they, not unreasonably, expect women to start raising a family at some later point which can then impede on work).

But Newman "reiterates" his statement "but it doesn't matter that women can't make it to the top". Holy hell, Peterson never ever said that. I mean, I think his actual arguments (cited by the Time magazine) being that men are more "obsessive about their work" and "are more willing to work harder (i.e. because they don't have to worry about family as much)" are bad, but those are actual arguments he made. He makes eyebrow raising arguments about "marxism" and "univerisites oppressing people" and makes retweets to known global warming denier blogs, but he never said since the pay gap doesn't exist, it doesn't matter that women are underrepresented or that women should just "suck up to those reasons" (and Newman didn't even give Peterson the breathing room to talk about the reasons first before asking). Don't jump the gun, Newman. Peterson says that the claim that the "pay gap is only due to sex is wrong" which is, well, I just explained it's not "due to sex", but it's much more complicated. I just think there are traces back to previously sexist history which is embedded in our society and really hard to clean off 100%, not without leaving some stains behind. This is where Peterson and I disagree about the pay gap, and I'd ask him, "is it possible that societal expectations bred out of historical sexism influence your examples?" but Newman isn't asking good questions and she just asserts "they exist" and still no wanting to listen to the reasons Peterson wants to put out. I'd imagine it's frustrating for Peterson and call me whatever you want, but if I were there, I'm sure I'd get defensive at first, but I'd want to hear him out.

Peterson then goes on about "agreeableness" personality trait, where agreeable people get paid less than less agreeable people. And women are more agreeable than men. At the moment, if I were there, my question swimming in the moment would be, Peterson, I don't think you're wrong, but are you going to rule out societal expectations that may have given a biased result? Have an explanation? But Newman says, "But that's a vast generalization of women". And he says "of course it is" because the pay gap itself, as I've explained, is a big generalization. But she says "so women are by and large are too agreeable to ask for pay raises they deserve" and that makes me want to head bang. Peterson said it's only a small variable among a ton. Well, I like to see bigger reasons, if there is any. He downplays prejudice that "the radical feminists claim". I disagree and don't think it's all that radical (racial profiling is a thing).

Peterson says he doesn't deny it exists, he denies it exists BECAUSE of gender, which is strange, I thought he did say it doesn't exist. I suppose he's only clarifying. But Newman then says "so you're saying the gap doesn't exist because women are too agreeable to accept pay raises" and OH MY GOD he just said "it's among 18-20 factors". THAT'S STRAWMANNING. Peterson has flaws in his argument, Newman, but that's not one of them. Peterson then talks about how his programs has helped women, so I guess that answer's Newman's previous "what do the women have in store for them" question even if his audience isn't men. Newman asks, "Do you want to eliminate the gap". This point, Peterson says he's concerned how the gap should be eliminated and how the disappearance should be measured, which is not a direct answer, but that should lead to another question on getting more info on his stance. I would've asked, "but you want to eliminate it, and you have your means, right, and what do you mean by "how it should be measured"?" He says (I guess depending on the measure), it can be at the cost of men or women, I guess from unforseen consequences. But Newman asks "But they might not get happy from equal pay". MAMA MIA that's a dumb follow-up. If you mean "they might not get happy from equal pay because of unexpected crap such as an unwanted sacrifice of time and happiness for slightly higher pay", then I can understand that. But this came out bad. She asks "Why shouldn't women have the right to choose NOT to have women". What kind of question is that? Peterson immediately says "It's fine" but she says, "But this makes them unhappy by and large". What??

Peterson goes on about how women are heaped on stress and expectations to have a family by 35. All right. I myself don't like that pressure either. Newman quotes him by saying that women are more vulnerable when they have children. Okay. Then she asks about equality and all and Peterson asks how "equality" should be defined, which is not a bad question to ask, not at all. Peterson says that women are treated pretty equally, but Newman brings up the Fortune underrepresentation thing again and talks about the illegal pay gap (which is not a valid counterpoint). I mean, I thought we already went over this. But anyhow, he said that men pursue this to sacrifice their life to get that kind of career. Very high-energy, nonstop, specialized, extremely competitive. And he does agree that women just want "and are more sensitive", which.... I think "eeeehhhhh" and I don't think women are less competitive? Peterson agrees that there are some barriers, but I don't think he mentions a gender barrier, which I do think exists, but he didn't really refute that.

He argues against equality of outcome by saying men and women will just sort themselves: Scandinavia has 20 nurses female-to-male and approx. same male-female engineers and he says it's a consequence of free choice of men and women despite being part of advancements of equality and says they are ineradicatable differences and no amount of law that forces through social pressure and tyranny will change that. I do have problems with that argument. This is getting philosophical, but is this "free choice" in "consequence of free choice" really a free choice? These two fields are historically dominated by either gender, and as I said, old habits die hard. He wants equality of opportunity which is good but... I believe that's also a part of school of feminism too.

So anyway, I hit 15 min at this mark and I'll continue the critique later. IDK if it's useful for anyone, but I think I'll reconsider labeling the guy as a sexist. I still think his views are open to be criticized, but if it's sexist, it's more that his views seem old-fashioned to me and I still find his accusations of Cultural Marxism and suppression in universities still bizarre. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 06:03, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Oh, the famous interview. For the sake of mainstream media reputation, it should not have happened. Don't know if this Talk is the right place for such commentary, but agree with almost everything you said. The funny part, found in second half (somewhere 19:30s), was when she made another "so you are saying" - that women are not intelligent enough and that "Conscientiousness" and "Intelligence" are not female traits. These personality traits, along "agreeableness", if I am not mistaken, belong to Big Five or FFM model used in scientific research, and Peterson speaks about average in men and female population, while Newman constantly ignores it and goes for individual/low-high extremes.--RationalP (talk) 09:40, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
@LeftyGreenMario I commend you for reconsidering your label of Peterson as a sexist. Although indeed, being certain of considering someone a type of prejudice (sexist, racist) is not easy. In practical terms, perceived prejudice is a subjective thing since an individual may be considered sexist by a thousand people, while also considered not sexist by another thousand people. It's even harder to use prejudicial labels for people like Peterson because the definition of sexism involves 'stereotyping', which is directly affected by statistical averages, which is something researchers like Peterson look at. So if a psychologist researcher concludes from the peer-reviewed literature that women are i.e. more agreeable on average, is that same psychologist 'stereotyping' when he invokes this finding in his arguments? It's not an easy question to answer because (giving my subjective impression of sexism here) if Peterson argued "Men and women possess psychological differences, therefore women should be orienting themselves with respect to their overall collective psychological nature and uptake expected gender roles" then I would consider that as leaning towards sexism because there is no inherent 'should' or 'shouldn't' and I'll assume Peterson just wants people to orient themselves in a way that's comfortable for him and his views instead of allowing people to orient themselves as they see fit, which is grounds for the sexism label - however, what Peterson instead is saying (as far as I can tell) is "Men and women possess psychological differences, and if your goal is to achieve fulfilment and satisfaction from life, then more often than not you are more likely to achieve this goal if you orient yourself according to your psychological nature" - This is more an impression of a psychologist giving his opinion for the more likely way for people to achieve fulfilment rather than a sexist who just wants men and women to maintain roles that falls comfortably for his worldview.
You have some good thoughts written here, and I'll respond to one of them. When you discussed Scandinavia and the male/female ratio of various jobs, you said: "This is getting philosophical, but is this "free choice" in "consequence of free choice" really a free choice? These two fields are historically dominated by either gender, and as I said, old habits die hard. He wants equality of opportunity which is good but... I believe that's also a part of school of feminism too." My answer would be, if the data showed that Scandinavia remained consistent with its male/female ratio in jobs and the gap did not decrease, then I think asking about the environmental factor (old habits die hard) to explain the consistent ratio would be fully necessary to ask. However, the data shows instead that the gap INCREASES after instantiating gender equality laws and social order, thus I would argue that this is the result of reducing environmental variability (gender equality social order), thus allowing biological variability to maximize (due to consequence of free choice), thus showing that, on average, men and women fall into this distribution of 'stereotypical' job positions, not due socialization, but due to biological variability. Unfortunately, talking about this shit is hard because identifying psychological differences between men and women require statistics and averages, and stereotyping is often (but not necessarily) based on averages, so quite often people can consider a discussion of averages and reasoned arguments explaining those averages as 'stereotyping', hence sexism, prejudice. etc. --Moobnert (talk) 14:36, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Would dare to say that, being from another branch of scientific research, the at least partial difficulty to discuss it is also due to the fact the data is from social sciences, which data like this is peer-reviewed with probably many papers over a certain period of time and so on, but there's that doubt about the models and presence of criticism, maybe existence of alternative yet still minor scientific opinion, however criticism is inevitable in science.--RationalP (talk) 19:15, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Shouldn't Jungian Psychology be a subsection of pseudoscience?[edit]

Psychoanalysis is the alchemy of psychology -- when people like Jung and Freud were doing it, you could reasonably call it a proto-science. But when people do it today, it is pseudoscience. It is not based on experiments and observation, nor is it possible to falsify its conclusions; it is pure speculation. Cat A. Lonia (talk) 10:54, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

Yes. But Aneris seems determined to whitewash this aspect of Peterson. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 15:04, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Aneris? Isn't he no longer with us?Ariel31459 (talk) 00:56, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
Fuzzy was confusing Aneris with Ariel. From what I can tell, Aneris also considers Peterson and Jungian archetypes as pseudoscience, did not edit this article at all, and therefore never whitewashed anything. I think Fuzzy and other people should stop putting opinions onto other other people's names, on a relatively visible site, which are then not accurate. --Fnord (talk) 00:25, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

This "Neo Nazi" retweets sentence is irrelevant and dishonest[edit]

> On more than one occasion, Peterson has retweeted fans of his who were discovered to be alt-right or neo-Nazis.

The offending examples are a retweet of a picture of a castle, calling it beautiful, and a retweet of someone's opinion regarding a televised interview. Neither are examples of far-right rhetoric, i.e. it's clearly not a retweet of right-wing sentiment. What is the point of having this other than to wrongly imply that there exists sympathy for far-right extremism? The only honest conclusion one can draw is that there are some Peterson fans who are far-right extremists, but that's totally irrelevant. — Unsigned, by: 71.255.249.143 / talk / contribs

"Rationalwiki" has become a cultural Marxist activist site specializing in writing disgustingly dishonest ad hominem smear pieces on actual objective scientists. Sad! 31.205.66.133 (talk) 08:57, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
>Jungian
>objective scientist
lmao Cat A. Lonia (talk) 11:36, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
This site has always been about exposing woomeisters like Peterson and has never been about catering to the feelings of right-wingers who think that intelligent design is a legitimate scientific opinion, or (usually, apparently with the exception of Peterson) left-wingers who think psychoanalysis is a legitimate avenue of criticism in the year 2018. We can't help that you happen to agree politically with a fake scientist. Science doesn't care. Cat A. Lonia (talk) 11:39, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
You think "right wingers" (anyone who disagrees with your fake science equality fantasies or opposes White displacement) all believe in intelligent design? 31.205.66.133 (talk) 12:47, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, yeah we get it. Equality = bad. Multiculturalism = bad. Nazism = good. Trump = good. Yawn, go back to 4chan you pathetic excuse for a troll. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 12:58, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes because Europeans that don't want their people to get wiped-out through massive immigration are all "Nazis". At least your anti-European hatred is plain for all to see. And incidentally yes Nazism is a million times better than Judeo-Bolshevism, even the fake Hollywood history version. 31.205.66.133 (talk) 13:08, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
First off most of my political positions are closer to my European counterparts than their equivalents here in the U.S., secondly if you do not wish to be referred to as Nazis, perhaps it would be smarter to tone down the raging anti-antisemitism and white supremacist rhetoric. But alas you cannot, and thus you will not, for your ideology is a base and primitive one, filled with tribalism and othering, never once taking a moment to think about solutions to the world's problems, only blaim for your own shortcomings. Of course none of this "discussion" proves whether or not Peterson is an Alt-righter or not, making it merely an exercise in pedantics, and wasting time. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:41, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
"I'm not a Nazi but..." Cat A. Lonia (talk) 16:01, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Intelligent design was an analogy to Jungian psychoanalysis. In other words, a really old idea that used to hold currency among pre-scientific or proto-scientific philosophers and has been summarily dismissed as lacking any basis in objective, empirical reality. If you're going to talk about "fake science," at least don't use a fucking Jungian to make your point, lmfao. Have you looked at any of Jung's theories? Have you examined any of Peterson's theoretical basis? He's the absolute last person you want to use to talk about "objectivity." Cat A. Lonia (talk) 16:00, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Fascist mysticism[edit]

This article goes into detail about Peterson's place in a tradition of fascist mystics, and its points would be good additions to the article. I am unable to edit the article myself, however. Cat A. Lonia (talk)

Really, another article which accuses him of fascism and other things, an obvious slander?--RationalP (talk) 14:45, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
What exactly from this article do you think should be in the RW Peterson article? --Moobnert (talk) 01:42, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
A summary of this:
In all respects, Peterson’s ancient wisdom is unmistakably modern. The “tradition” he promotes stretches no further back than the late nineteenth century, when there first emerged a sinister correlation between intellectual exhortations to toughen up and strongmen politics. This was a period during which intellectual quacks flourished by hawking creeds of redemption and purification while political and economic crises deepened and faith in democracy and capitalism faltered. Many artists and thinkers—ranging from the German philosopher Ludwig Klages, member of the hugely influential Munich Cosmic Circle, to the Russian painter Nicholas Roerich and Indian activist Aurobindo Ghosh—assembled Peterson-style collages of part-occultist, part-psychological, and part-biological notions. These neo-romantics were responding, in the same way as Peterson, to an urgent need, springing from a traumatic experience of social and economic modernity, to believe—in whatever reassures and comforts.
This new object of belief tended to be exotically and esoterically pre-modern. The East, and India in particular, turned into a screen on which needy Westerners projected their fantasies; Jung, among many others, went on tediously about the Indian’s timeless—and feminine—self. In 1910, Romain Rolland summed up the widespread mood in which progress under liberal auspices appeared a sham, and many people appeared eager to replace the Enlightenment ideal of individual reason by such transcendental coordinates as “archetypes.” “The gate of dreams had reopened,” Rolland wrote, and “in the train of religion came little puffs of theosophy, mysticism, esoteric faith, occultism to visit the chambers of the Western mind.”
A range of intellectual entrepreneurs, from Theosophists and vendors of Asian spirituality like Vivekananda and D.T. Suzuki to scholars of Asia like Arthur Waley and fascist ideologues like Julius Evola (Steve Bannon’s guru) set up stalls in the new marketplace of ideas. W.B. Yeats, adjusting Indian philosophy to the needs of the Celtic Revival, pontificated on the “Ancient Self”; Jung spun his own variations on this evidently ancestral unconscious. Such conceptually foggy categories as “spirit” and “intuition” acquired broad currency; Peterson’s favorite words, being and chaos, started to appear in capital letters. Peterson’s own lineage among these healers of modern man’s soul can be traced through his repeatedly invoked influences: not only Carl Jung, but also Mircea Eliade, the Romanian scholar of religion, and Joseph Campbell, a professor at Sarah Lawrence College, who, like Peterson, combined a conventional academic career with mass-market musings on heroic individuals.
The “desperation of meaninglessness” widely felt in the late nineteenth century, seemed especially desperate in the years following two world wars and the Holocaust. Jung, Eliade, and Campbell, all credentialed by university education, met a general bewilderment by suggesting the existence of a secret, almost gnostic, knowledge of the world. Claiming to throw light into recessed places in the human unconscious, they acquired immense and fanatically loyal fan clubs. Campbell’s 1988 television interviews with Bill Moyers provoked a particularly extraordinary response. As with Peterson, this popularizer of archaic myths, who believed that “Marxist philosophy had overtaken the university in America,” was remarkably in tune with contemporary prejudices. “Follow your own bliss,” he urged an audience that, during an era of neoconservative upsurge, was ready to be reassured that some profound ancient wisdom lay behind Ayn Rand’s paeans to unfettered individualism.
Peterson, however, seems to have modelled his public persona on Jung rather than Campbell. The Swiss sage sported a ring ornamented with the effigy of a snake—the symbol of light in a pre-Christian Gnostic cult. Peterson claims that he has been inducted into “the coastal Pacific Kwakwaka’wakw tribe”; he is clearly proud of the Native American longhouse he has built in his Toronto home.
Peterson may seem the latest in a long line of eggheads pretentiously but harmlessly romancing the noble savage. But it is worth remembering that Jung recklessly generalized about the superior “Aryan soul” and the inferior “Jewish psyche” and was initially sympathetic to the Nazis. Mircea Eliade was a devotee of Romania’s fascistic Iron Guard. Campbell’s loathing of “Marxist” academics at his college concealed a virulent loathing of Jews and blacks. Solzhenitsyn, Peterson’s revered mentor, was a zealous Russian expansionist, who denounced Ukraine’s independence and hailed Vladimir Putin as the right man to lead Russia’s overdue regeneration.
Nowhere in his published writings does Peterson reckon with the moral fiascos of his gurus and their political ramifications; he seems unbothered by the fact that thinking of human relations in such terms as dominance and hierarchy connects too easily with such nascent viciousness such as misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. He might argue that his maps of meaning aim at helping lost individuals rather than racists, ultra-nationalists, or imperialists. But he can’t plausibly claim, given his oft-expressed hostility to the “murderous equity doctrine” of feminists, and other progressive ideas, that he is above the fray of our ideological and culture wars.
Indeed, the modern fascination with myth has never been free from an illiberal and anti-democratic agenda. Richard Wagner, along with many German nationalists, became notorious for using myth to regenerate the volk and stoke hatred of the aliens—largely Jews—who he thought polluted the pure community rooted in blood and soil. By the early twentieth century, ethnic-racial chauvinists everywhere—Hindu supremacists in India as well as Catholic ultra-nationalists in France—were offering visions to uprooted peoples of a rooted organic society in which hierarchies and values had been stable. As Karla Poewe points out in New Religions and the Nazis (2005), political cultists would typically mix “pieces of Yogic and Abrahamic traditions” with “popular notions of science—or rather pseudo-science—such as concepts of ‘race,’ ‘eugenics,’ or ‘evolution.’” It was this opportunistic amalgam of ideas that helped nourish “new mythologies of would-be totalitarian regimes.”
Peterson rails today against “softness,” arguing that men have been “pushed too hard to feminize.” In his bestselling book Degeneration (1892), the Zionist critic Max Nordau amplified, more than a century before Peterson, the fear that the empires and nations of the West are populated by the weak-willed, the effeminate, and the degenerate. The French philosopher Georges Sorel identified myth as the necessary antidote to decadence and spur to rejuvenation. An intellectual inspiration to fascists across Europe, Sorel was particularly nostalgic about the patriarchal systems of ancient Israel and Greece.
Like Peterson, many of these hyper-masculinist thinkers saw compassion as a vice and urged insecure men to harden their hearts against the weak (women and minorities) on the grounds that the latter were biologically and culturally inferior. Hailing myth and dreams as the repository of fundamental human truths, they became popular because they addressed a widely felt spiritual hunger: of men looking desperately for maps of meaning in a world they found opaque and uncontrollable.
It was against this (eerily familiar) background—a “revolt against the modern world,” as the title of Evola’s 1934 book put it—that demagogues emerged so quickly in twentieth-century Europe and managed to exalt national and racial myths as the true source of individual and collective health. The drastic individual makeover demanded by the visionaries turned out to require a mass, coerced retreat from failed liberal modernity into an idealized traditional realm of myth and ritual.
In the end, deskbound pedants and fantasists helped bring about, in Thomas Mann’s words in 1936, an extensive “moral devastation” with their “worship of the unconscious”—that “knows no values, no good or evil, no morality.” Nothing less than the foundations for knowledge and ethics, politics and science, collapsed, ultimately triggering the cataclysms of the twentieth century: two world wars, totalitarian regimes, and the Holocaust. It is no exaggeration to say that we are in the midst of a similar intellectual and moral breakdown, one that seems to presage a great calamity. Peterson calls it, correctly, “psychological and social dissolution.” But he is a disturbing symptom of the malaise to which he promises a cure.
This is well-researched and has an understanding of history; it passes the test later given by Mike Godwin to clarify Godwin's law, namely that it's OK to compare someone to Nazis if you're not doing so on a whim / baselessly. Cat A. Lonia (talk)

The author of this article, Pankaj Mishra, is a lovely fellow from India. He is a novelist and certainly more qualified to express an opinion on the nature of fascism than a host of earth's creatures. He studied neither history, psychology, nor any recognized science, his main area of interest being commerce. Are you sold on him?Ariel31459 (talk) 01:05, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

Peterson doesn't study science either; he studies pseudoscience. Also, at least the author is intellectually honest and forthcoming, whereas you use credentials to bludgeon people and refuse to address actual points; this is most evidenced by your user page which uses the fact that you're a RationalWiki sysop as a weapon against people who aren't, despite the fact that almost everyone who has been editing for a significant period of time is a sysop.
Though your behavior has, for some time, been one of a person who bludgeons and bullies others with ad hominems and avoids substance at all cost, the fact that you believe Pankaj Mishra's being Indian was worth bringing up demonstrates that you are also unabashedly and brazenly white supremacist, and I will not dignify your nonsense with responses any longer. If you think this is an ad hominem, then consider it a taste of your own medicine. I may, however, engage a point you make if it's an actual argument. Cat A. Lonia (talk) 02:48, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Now that you have changed the subject from Pakaj's intellectual qualifications, which are meager, to your own form of effrontery, we will, in the future have little to say to one another. Don't blame yourself my dear. It was not meant to be.Ariel31459 (talk) 03:13, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Literally the first thing you mentioned was that he was from India, and then you put a full stop after it. What does that have to do with intellectual qualifications? You're a joke. Cat A. Lonia (talk) 05:14, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Defamation[edit]

It seems that admins again respect more IP edits than of confirmed editors ([1]), in which arguing that social hierarchies are natural to some extent and not only social/economical (due to capitalism) is pseudoscience (?!), and categorized among "Anti-LGBT bigots", "Homophobes", "Transphobia" is not wrong. Why such incredibly partial choices?--RationalP (talk) 12:44, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

you get no special privileges as a 'confirmed' editor over an an IP. this is as it should be. it s the edit not the editor that counts. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:55, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
and maybe make a case for your edits rather than whiningAMassiveGay (talk) 13:01, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, it's the edit that count, however, it obviously does not matter how much it is accurate or deserving if does not fit the admins narrative to bash Peterson i.e. on this article cannot be said anything negative about his protesters (but can about his fans).--RationalP (talk) 00:15, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
Now that's funny, because I thought you registered an account to have more respected edits. Which way do you want it? —Kazitor, pending 07:12, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

Scott Alexander[edit]

Scott Alexander gave a positive review to Peterson's new book/arguments.--RationalP (talk) 00:37, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Please remove bogus source for this sentence[edit]

This sentence appears in the entry, falsely citing an article as the source: "He ranks Jung, a Nazi-sympathizing spiritualist, as a better descriptor of human action than large scale, quantitative, time-based studies of human interaction,[12]"

The source citation says NOTHING OF THE KIND, nothing about Jung being a spiritualist nor him being a Nazi-sympathizer. Please remove it and find a real source. 118.208.73.212 (talk) 07:04, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

I cannot find that sentence anywhere in the article. Are we looking at two different things? —Kazitor, pending 07:09, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
It was there. If it is now gone, someone has removed it. 118.208.73.212 (talk) 07:19, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Please check the current version of the article before complaining next time. That link is over three months old. —Kazitor, pending 07:34, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Amazing that you let rubbish like that be posted here. Guess I won't be donating to RationalWiki just yet. 118.208.73.212 (talk) 00:32, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Not a big deal that some things in an open editing Wiki slips by. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 00:40, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
I really can't see how it's a problem that the statement in question literally does not appear. It's not like we're going to delete any old revisions that are poorly written. —Kazitor, pending 01:26, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
"I will only donate to RationalWiki if you remove every old page revision that disagrees with my ideology. You're supposed to be RATIONAL, you see!" If you want to buy a pseudo-rational sycophant, go to Washington; there are plenty on offer. Cat A. Lonia (talk) 02:54, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
I appreciate the suggestion of finding a better source. Here's a better source for Jung being a spiritualist and Nazi sympathizer: Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism. Maybe the sentence could be re-added with the new source. Cat A. Lonia (talk) 02:52, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Use of Freudian psychology[edit]

I'll admit I turn a blind eye to a lot of Peterson's short comings, and I have come to agree a fair amount of what he says, but why is no one pointing this one out? Hasn't Freudian psychology been proven to have lots of flaws within? I'd figure this would be one of the main things RATIONAL wiki would bash on. — Unsigned, by: 149.150.236.48 / talk / contribs

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:16, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
You can always hop in and try to edit the article. Our wiki's never complete. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 23:57, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Most psychoanalysts start with an MD in psychiatry. But don't let unfamiliarity with the topic stop you.Ariel31459 (talk) 02:27, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
People have repeatedly pointed out Peterson's reliance on unfalsifiable, unscientific and indefensible psychoanalytic models; in fact this has already come up on this page. There are some Peterson bros here who have basically shut out all criticism, though, including to the point of locking the article from redaction by unapproved editors. Some of them may be his students, as his original Wikipedia article was written by one of his students, so he has apparently been using them to increase his fame and notability since long before he made a scene with the whole pronoun sophistry. Cat A. Lonia (talk) 02:41, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
But how about specifically Freud? Freud seems to be one of the biggest offenders in terms of pseudo-science. It'd seem one would want to point that out, instead of just pseudoscience. — Unsigned, by: 149.150.238.0 / talk / contribs
The problem here is the use of the term "pseudo-science". Historians regard Freud as one of the earliest modern psychologists. Much of his work is still influential, if outdated. It is better to regard Fraud's work as scientific speculation, some of which is outdated, overly reductionist, or simply wrong. I doubt many psychiatrists regard Fraud's work as pseudo-scientific. The attempt to indiscriminately use the label "pseudo-scientific" is sophomoric at best. Ariel31459 (talk) 15:02, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
But Jordan Peterson’s other comments on science and what not aren’t? I understand the time difference, but a fair amount of Freud’s work did much to hinder psychology, be unintentional or not. If we are to treat Freud like this, then what stops someone from saying Peterson’s comments aren’t scientific speculation too. — Unsigned, by: 149.150.238.192 / talk / contribs
Nothing. They are scientific speculation. "Pseudo-science" is used in commentary as a pejorative rather than a category of specious knowledge. Astrology and palmistry are pseudo-sciences. They are based on entirely false premises. When dealing with errors in reasoning, misinterpretation of examples or simply scientific misunderstandings, "pseudo-science" is not epistemically appropriate. Consider the statement, "It isn't enough that Dr. Z is wrong about X. Because he is wrong about X, he is a pseudo-scientist, ergo his opinions about Y can be safely ignored." This is a specious form of reasoning known as the poison-well fallacy. Ariel31459 (talk) 18:17, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Usually that I'd find some way to argue or what not, but this is actually pretty good reasoning and a good explanation. Thanks. — Unsigned, by: 149.150.238.192 / talk / contribs
Random ip passing by. I don't understand the argument: some of Freud's theories, at the time, were scientific speculations. Later, people brought new arguments and new observations showing that it does not really work. If after that, people still promote those theories or theories based on that, this makes pseudo-science. In other terms: in the 2000's, before the observation of the Higgs boson, promoting a model in which the Higgs boson has a mass of 200GeV is scientific speculation. Today, if you promote an explanation of the world relying on things contradicting with observations without explanations, this is pseudo-science. What makes pseudo-science is not the theory in itself, but if the theory is not following the scientific approach when formulated, which includes the fact that you cannot present a theory as valid if they are obvious unexplained or non-convincingly-argumented clashes with other elements that made the scientific consensus. 131.220.163.41 (talk) 09:45, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
You may be conflating an art with science. Psychological treatments, somewhat like medical surgery, require a degree of artistic skill. Studies have shown that, on average, untreated trauma victims recover at about the same rate as those who receive psychotherapy. This kind of study does not disprove any theoretical construct of psychotherapy or the fundamental principle of psychotherapy: creating a shared inner dialog describing traumatic experiences is helpful. Social movements, e.g., the #Metoo movement, have a psycho-therapeutic aspect. There is an art to healing.Ariel31459 (talk) 11:52, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Maybe I just don't understand what we are talking about right now, but I'm reacting to the Dr. Z example. I really think that it's not poisoning the well to inform people of the context (after all, you can also do whitewashing fallacy: by avoiding the relevant negative aspects that are needed to help the person to build a sensible well-balanced opinion). If Dr. Z fails about X, he is not a pseudo-scientist. If Dr. Z fails about X but still maintain X is correct and scientific when it is contradicted by the scientific approach, he is doing pseudo-science. If Dr. Z is doing a painting, no problem, we don't care about his scientific approach. But if Dr. Z himself take position on what is science or not, I think it's bad to hide the fact that he has done stuffs demonstrating that he should be blindly trusted on this subject. To apply to Peterson, I think a lot of people are picturing him as a scientist (after all, even rationalwiki "psychology" page starts with "psychology is the scientific study of ..."). At the end, if someone is taking Peterson for what you explain he is (not a scientist), then talking about his pseudo-science tendencies has no impact. So I don't see the point of not mentioning that: in the best case, it's needed, in the worse case, it's irrelevant. Alternatively, if it is clearly stated that Peterson is not a scientist, then it's fair to not talk about pseudoscience. 131.220.163.41 (talk) 15:11, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I think you may be missing the point I have been pressing. With regard to Dr Z.: He is a scientist whose contributions to the academy are accepted. But he lectures to the public. Some of the things he says to the public are unscientific. This has nothing to do with his academic standing. I am not interested in white-washing Peterson. I am interested in the standing of psychotherapy, Freud and the psychoanalysts. It is sophomoric to simply refer to their work as pseudoscience. Please feel free to list all the mistakes you think you have found in Peterson's public work. Remember that it is popular psychology we are talking about and not science. Scientists have grumbled about the BS quality of popular psychology for forever and a day. How long have I been calling BS on pop psychology? Maybe for my adult life. Popular science is not pseudoscience. It may, however, be loaded with errors. Ariel31459 (talk) 15:50, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
My intervention is quite simple: two scientists can work on the same subject, and one of them is a scientist and the other a pseudo-scientist, just because the first one worked on the subject at a time when working on this subject was not contradicting with the scientific approach (scientific speculation), while the second worked on the subject when the scientific approach had already placed discredit on the scientific value of this subject. Pseudo-science is defined by not conforming with the scientific approach, not about working on a subject that is later discredited. To answer your question: Freud can be seen as not a pseudo-scientist, as he can be seen as doing the best to keep in the scientific approach with what he had at the time (and non-scientific hypotheses on a brand new subject can be seen as a pragmatic way to explore it). But if someone redoes exactly the same thing that Freud has done with today's knowledge, then this person is pseudo-scientific. I also don't understand the argument about explanation to the public. My understanding is that the complain is not that his vulgarized explanations are not precise, the complain is that his vulgarized explanations are promoting pseudo-science (for ex, when retwiting blatantly pseudo-scientific article about climate change) and therefore show a flaw: not being able to distinguish what is blatantly pseudo-scientific. The question is not a question of expertize in a field: if someone is doing something that requires good eyes, but then show that he cannot distinguish two obviously different objects in front of him, it's incorrect to pretend that it's not an important information on his quality of his work because his work is not about seeing those object: his work is still about having good eyes, and clues he has bad eyes is therefore relevant. Being a good scientist requires that when confronted to an article like the one Peterson retwitted, the good scientist will say "there is no more point of retwitting that than retwitting a picture of my sock". 131.220.163.41 (talk) 16:49, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
"Pseudo-science is defined by not conforming with the scientific approach." That is not an accepted definition of pseudoscience. By this sort of definition pseudoscience becomes a judgement call rather than a reference to a specious scientific system, like phrenology. Denial of the results of climatology may well be deluded, but it is not characteristic of pseudoscience. A false system that attempted to explain climate change would be pseudo-scientific. People who doubt it are just very probably wrong.Ariel31459 (talk) 18:39, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
It is a bit disappointing to see that you don't get the big picture. By the way, I've used "defined" in the sense "set limit" (and I admit that I'm not an expert on the definition of pseudo-science, but I doubt it's wrong to pretend that a theory that conforms with the scientific approach cannot be considered as pseudo-science). If your problem here is the word "pseudo-science", then you miss the point: I think we can agree that knowing that a painter has vision problem is an important information when people need to judge of the correctness of the painting, even if the vision problem is observed in a different context than when painting. Same here: Peterson's opinions are often taken as scientific opinions, it is therefore relevant to point out when Peterson has shown he has problem with using science in general (and therefore in his field: if you are not able to do a task in one context, how can you do it in another when the task is identical). If the term "pseudo-science" bothers you, then you can find another way of phrase it. You've said it yourself: "very probably wrong". It is relevant to indicate that Peterson is, often on several subjects (climate, quantum mysticism, myths interpretation, ...) , very probably wring, it gives important information on his scientific capacities. 77.182.85.94 (talk) 22:51, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
"It gives important information on his scientific capacities." No. That is the fallacy. If there is no false theory underlying Z's assertions, then our data points are simply errors. Why not be satisfied with that? Believe it or not scientists make a lot of mistakes. One cannot connect data points to create a pseudoscience, one must begin with the pseudoscience and show it generates specious data points. There is no underlying picture that relieves you of the job you have chosen, that of describing Dr. Z's mistakes. You wrote "If your problem here is the word "pseudo-science", then you miss the point." I am afraid that you missed my point, because correct language is my only issue here. Pseudoscience is an epistemic category and not a term of abuse. I cannot force you to think likewise. Ariel31459 (talk) 00:10, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
We totally disagree on this point. There is a huge difference in occasional honest mistakes and having no problem with procedure not following the scientific protocol. A painter can make few mistake, it can happen and it's not a problem, but if he demonstrates that he has vision problem, it is a relevant information to judge the accuracy of his work. Your argument is that what we talk about is occasional honest mistakes, but it's not very convincing, because those mistakes seem to reappear systematically, even after Peterson was informed. And again, the idea that this mistake is easy to make because it's not his field is incorrect: following the scientific approach is not a problem of content, but a problem of understanding the logic behind it, and does not require to understand the content (I don't know the detail of climatology, but I still don't fall easily for the first pseudo-scientific article. And if I occasionally do, I learn my lesson and be way more careful especially when it's the same subject). I understand "all dogs have 4 legs ...", it does not mean that I will need to relearn it each time this logical link is not applied to canines. Once you understand the logic behind the scientific approach, the mistakes as the ones done by Peterson can only be rare and followed by corrections. Which means that having this pattern of mistake indicates that the most probable conclusion is that Peterson has not understood the logic behind the scientific approach, and that it is therefore a relevant information to provide (not even saying he doesn't understand, just that we can keep in mind that maybe he doesn't understand). One element that you can provide is to show that every scientists are producing as much of those mistakes as Peterson, but it's just not the case (in fact, I've personally never seen another scientist retwitting several time obviously pseudo-scientific climate articles without identifying them as pseudo-science). It does not mean that Peterson is pseudo-scientific, but that's not the point. If you don't like the word "pseudo-scientific", we don't need to use it, let's just say it in another way "Peterson made in multiple occasion mistakes that, accumulating, show that he does not really understand the scientific approach (and it's incorrect to pretend that this can be excused by not being an expert in a specific field, it's just not how it works). Let's just keep that in mind when we try to evaluate the uncertainties on his conclusions". My point on why it is relevant is not even related to pseudo-science: I would say exactly the same if a mathematician had a history of doing computation mistakes. 131.220.163.41 (talk) 12:21, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, we totally disagree. I, on the one hand, have epistemology backing me up, while you have an ideology of sorts, whereby you see a pattern that does not exist. By the way, many mathematicians have a history of making computational errors. Embarrassing, but nobody in the field calls them pseudo-mathematicians. I think we are done here.Ariel31459 (talk) 12:43, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
But ... this is exactly my point: many mathematicians have a history of making computational errors, and nobody pretends it's poisoning the well that to consider the information that a mathematician is particularly prone to computational errors. This is exactly why I don't understand why you are considering the list of mistakes of Peterson has something to avoid (if it's the case, then you committed the same crime by reminding people that mathematicians make mistakes). You cannot just close the discussion with "we disagree, so you don't agree because you hate Peterson", this is just ridiculous. I understand that being confronted to people biased against Peterson puts you in a defensive position, but now, you are the one looking biased when you deny your own shortcoming over someone who just doesn't care about Peterson's reputation (of course, you cannot have the proof of that, but you can realize that if indeed I am not the one you picture, you understand that you lose credibility). I really doubt epistemology really says I'm wrong (my position is that we should find a balance), because the absence of balanced opinion implies that we should consider with the same level of trust two individuals having an answer on a question of algebra even if one has an history of being unable to do basic calculus. 131.220.163.41 (talk) 15:00, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

You must realize that there is no great quantity of mistakes itemized in the pseudo-science section. I imagine that you believe that the few mentioned represent enormous transgressions. Some of them are not even mistakes, but negative associations that offend leftists (e.g., climate change retweets). How to quantify such offences? I have no idea. Please feel free to list as many mistakes as you can find. I want to see them brought to light.Ariel31459 (talk) 15:28, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Also, sign your comments please.Ariel31459 (talk) 18:21, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:24, 9 April 2018 (UTC)