What's your opinion of Jordan Peterson?


(Justin Brown) #1

Jordan Peterson is one of the world’s most popular public intellectuals. He shares (in my opinion) extraordinarily valuable personal development advice, focusing on the importance of people taking responsibility for what’s happening in their lives.

He is also highly polarising when it comes to a number of contemporary issues. Personally, while I value his personal development advice, I think that is quite sensationalist and actively creates an echo chamber around his public profile.

I’m curious about what members of the Ideapod community think of Jordan Peterson. Are you a fan? A foe? Are there ideas shared by Peterson that you appreciate? Others you don’t?

Please share your thoughts and also share links to any articles referencing Peterson if you can find any.


(Bill Ames) #2

Before Ideapod I had never heard of the person. I just asked Wiki who he is and I learned that he is, "Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormal, social, and personality psychology, with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.

There is nothing in this description that I find appealing. There may be many people in the world that are in desperate need of his enlightenment, and I hope they find each other.

I looked for him on Youtube to get an idea of how he presents himself and found this:

Based on my very brief research, I am interested in what others have to say.


(Neil Simpson) #3

I have just finished his 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos and it is a challenging read but an insightful one.

I see Peterson in the long line of thinkers throughout history attempting to elevate our minds out of a lazy sort of thinking and question the many roles we play in life and the different ways in which we can play them.

There is an earnestness to the way he approaches his rules but he does seem to stray off-topic so much so that you might wonder if this book was cobbled together from different essays he has written.

I would describe his book as a Philosophical Self-Help book for the ills of society - as Peterson sees them.


(denise wheeler) #4

I read about him a while back and thought, “Oh great, another pseudo intellectual peddling another 12 steps to success,” which I’m always leery about.

I don’t know anyone who ever succeeded from all of Tony Robbins’ pseudo preaching, except Robbins himself, or Marianne Williamson etc.

I’m sure candle sales went up and all that journal writing, but I doubt anyone who ever bought into it is flying around in a helicopter, looking down at all their riches.

So I doubt any of Peterson’s self-help theories are going to advance anything other than himself either.

Just look at Ghandi and Mother Teresa, etc. It’s people like them who have the most impact on things, cause they do it by example not profit.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”


(Mel Saint) #5

His rise to fame is when he challenged the Canadian feminists in universities. I find his theories to be highly valuable. And his “psychological approach” to Bible and Christianity is also worth taking.


(denise wheeler) #6

I’m sure his credentials are authentic, as he seems to have spent a lot of years as a professor and clinical psychologist, and no doubt has a large body of work that I’m sure he feels compelled to share and draws from.

And I’m sure he’s put a lot of serious thought and research into everything and therefore believes what he professes.

I just personally have a hard time with anyone who uses their mastery of language and rhetoric to inject their ideological opinions onto others, especially with things they are only clinically trained in or, even worse, have no personal experience in it at all.

It would be like me getting on a soapbox and telling people how they should behave after losing everything in a fire, when I’ve never been through that kind of devastation myself.

Just being clinically trained in the psychological traumas of things doesn’t make that person an authority, only clinically knowledgable.

So if I wanted to have a debate on race relations or feminist injustice or the criminal greed of Wall Street, I would do it with those who have been through the fires, not a clinical psychologist on youtube.

Even if his intensions are good and not solely profit minded, the fact that he only draws from a clinical well is a turn off for me.

It’s the questions that enlighten, not the answers, so anyone who has too many of the latter always raises a red flag.


(Bob Copeland) #7

I don’t know everything about him so I can’t say. I will say that I’ll discuss anything that he says, thinks etc…