Why does Jordan Peterson hate education?


Sheesh. Jordan Peterson came out with a video in collaboration with the awful PragerU, and it’s basically an anti-education screed, relying on misrepresenting universities, students, postmodernism, Marxism, and all the things he hates uncomprehendingly. So I responded to it.

I include my sorta script down below, but I’m not sure how comprehensible it’ll be, since the video is just me commenting on still frames from the PragerU BS. You’ll probably find ContraPoints on Peterson’s incoherence more enlightening.

Jordan Peterson has come out with a new, short video under the auspices of PragerU — you know, the conservative YouTube channel that pretends that it’s a “university” — which I was informed of by the usual swarm of gloating right-wingers who email me to let me know when I’ve been totally pwned by one of their heroes. I was informed that it will give “people of my persuasion much to feel good about”, which was a peculiar way to say it, but after a moment, I realized that I am precisely the target of this video. Not by name, but I am the kind of person Peterson despises.

So a bit about me: I am a college professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, a small liberal arts college in the upper midwest. I teach biology, so maybe I’m not quite anathema. If I were a humanities professor, he’d be trying to get me fired and close down my discipline, but at least I’m not shy about pointing out where Peterson is babbling bullshit about science. Also, I do love my humanities and social sciences and arts colleagues, and consider their work to be an essential contribution to the legendary well-rounded education. I am also currently a member of my university’s Multi-Ethnic Experience Committee, which may be renamed the Diversity and Equity Committee in the near future, and I fully endorse that group’s work and think making the campus safe and supportive for all students is an important part of my job. And of course, in my personal life I actively support progressive causes and have a reputation as an SJW, which means Peterson fans, if they watch this at all, are only hate-watching it.

Anyway, Jordan Peterson has come out with this video titled “Dangerous People Are Teaching Your Kids”. “Dangerous People”, that’s me. Of course, what he’s actually doing in the video is reciting dangerous lies about universities and educators, and the title more accurately applies to him. It’s a rather slick video, gussied up with cartoonish art, and the weakest parts of the video are the ones where it switches to focus on Peterson himself, where he just sits there, expressionless, staring at the camera. He reminds me of that angry uncle, staring at you all tight-lipped and pissed-off that you dared to question him, thinking that he’d slap you good if you were his kid. Or alternatively, Quint’s speech from Jaws.

Y’know, the thing about a shark, he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes after ya, he doesn’t seem to be livin’ until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white, and then – aww, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’

Eww. Grim and dead-eyed. Switch to the cartoons! Quick!

You are currently funding some dangerous people. They are indoctrinating young minds throughout the west with their resentment-ridden ideology.

There are a lot of self-owns in Peterson’s video. When I see “resentment-ridden” on the screen, the most resentful people I know are the alt-right. He should talk to some of his colleagues — resentment is the last thing on most of our minds when we’re teaching. I see a lot of people who are so enthused about their field of study that they’ve committed their lives to it, and want to share it with the next generation. When we get together at educational meetings to talk about our work, we talk about inspiring students to engage, and enabling basic skills for progress.

They have made it their life’s mission to undermine western civilization itself, which they regard as corrupt, oppressive, and patriarchal.

There’s another one, and it’s revealing. He claims his critics want to destroy the civilization that he and they are part of.

Perhaps we have made it our life’s mission to undermine corruption, oppression, and the patriarchy. We would like to remove those three things from Western civilization to make it better. Peterson probably agrees that the first two, at least, are bad (he seems to like the patriarchy) and would probably think educating against them would be a good thing.

Does he think there is no corruption, oppression, or patriarchal thinking in Western civilization? Or is he saying that working against corruption, oppression, and the patriarchy is synonymous with Western civilization? I would think not, I hope. So why does he assume liberals believe that there is no good in Western civilization? It’s dishonest, to say the least.

Who is undermining Western civilization? Why, it’s the faculty.

If you’re a taxpayer—or paying for your kid’s liberal arts degree—you’re underwriting this gang of nihilists.

Those are the most cheerful nihilists I’ve ever seen. And look at them, they’re standing on a pile of money! If I had to capture just one big lie in this video, this would be it. College professors tend not to be nihilists — you don’t go into this business out of despair, but only with hope for the future. College educations are all about the future!

Furthermore, we tend not to be rich. Middle class at best, and not even that if you go by rich politicians’ definition of middle class. The educational systems’ share of taxes has been going down, down, down for decades, and tuition has been going up, up, up…but not because we’re pocketing that money. If anyone is profiting, it’s lending institutions and Republicans who can gouge money out of the schools because of attitudes like the ones Peterson is promoting.

You are supporting ideologues who claim that all truth is subjective, all sex differences are socially constructed, and that western imperialism is the sole source of all third world problems. They are the post-modernists, pushing progressive activism at a college near you.

That’s an interesting mix of truth and lies.

Yes, truth is subjective. It takes hard work to extract a coherent, consistent truth out of a body of observation and experiment, and it is all held to be provisional, subject to change with new data. That’s the way science works. That’s the way every discipline works. This shouldn’t be a point of contention, unless you’re claiming absolute knowledge and perfect truth, which isn’t something that can legitimately come from the mouth of a human being.

No one claims that all sex differences are social constructs. There are genuine biological differences. But they are more malleable and complicated than Peterson knows, and we social animals do build up elaborate social constructs of gender around them. Imperialism and colonialism are one source of the world’s problems; no one seriously believes that cultures untouched by empire are flawless paradises. Is Peterson endorsing imperialism? That would be interesting. The First Nations people he claims to study would probably find that a curious thing to say about their history.

You know, you can be a modernist, not even a post-modernist, and agree with those so-called ideologues. Francis Bacon would have told you that while God might hold the truth, men do love their lies, and that we struggle to work through the shadows.

And yes, it’s true, colleges do try to educate students to be activists for their causes. You have a poor understanding of education if you think the opposite, that they’re supposed to be passive acceptors of received wisdom.

They produce the mobs that violently shut down campus speakers,

A good education leads people to question and dissent; they should openly and loudly argue against foolishness. The violent mobs are generally on the other side.

When student activists protested Milo Yiannopoulos’s speech at my alma mater, the University of Washington, it was a right-winger who brought a gun to a demonstration, and shot a protester.

When Heather Heyer protested the neo-Nazis in the Charlottesville demonstration, it was an alt-right sympathizer who murdered her.

It’s part of that principle of free speech that Peterson venerates that allows for protest. The violence comes from his friends.

the language police who enshrine into law the use of fabricated gender pronouns,

ALL pronouns are fabricated; all of language is an evolving social construct. There is no language police. There are social mores that suggest that you ought to engage all members of your community with respect for their rights. Only assholes are resentful when they are informed that they are being disrespectful. And if you use your language to incite hatred and violence, then the real police have an obligation to stop you.

and the deans whose livelihoods depend on madly rooting out discrimination where little or none exists

Uh, no. I’ve known some of those deans. Finding no discrimination would make them so happy and relieved, and would be so wonderful for all members of the campus community. It’s the discrimination that is the problem, not the finding of it. They don’t get paid per lawsuit against the university, I guarantee you. Their livelihood comes from helping to make a comfortable and productive environment for all students, faculty and staff, and contributing towards making the campus an attractive site for prospective students.

This thinking took hold in Western universities in the 60s and 70s, when the true believers of the radical left became the professors of today

Damn hippies. It’s all their fault. I attended the university in the 70s, and that could be my picture, except that I didn’t let my hair grow quite that long. I do remember how the establishment despised all things counter-culture, and it seems a lot of them haven’t changed a bit since.

I’m a little grayer than that, but OK. Except, you know, this is always true, that one generation follows another, and it’s always the older generation that is resentful of that simple biological truth. Yeah, some people educated in the 70s became the professors of the 90s. Thanks for explaining time to us!

I should mention, though, that there was a wide range of beliefs even then, and some conservatives also became professors…like a certain Jordan Peterson. Stop hitting yourself like that, man!

And now we rack up education-related debt, not so our children learn to think critically, write clearly, or speak properly, but so they can model their instructors’ destructive agenda.

Good grief.

Why do our students rack up debt? Because conservative politicians hate supporting education. Don’t blame the educators for student debt.

Speak for yourself, Mr Peterson. Post-modernist analysis techniques are all about questioning the meaning, examining texts skeptically, and thinking more deeply, rather than accepting superficial interpretations. I’ve seen some of Peterson’s lectures online, and if we’re going to complain about babbling gobbledygook and demanding literal acceptance of nonsense, he wins.

As for writing and speaking clearly, my discipline has a two-year long communications curriculum. I’ve read parts of Maps of Meaning. Jordan Peterson would not pass.

We have an agenda of rigor and practice and appreciation of breadth of knowledge. We’re not the ones advocating destroying and closing down entire branches of the humanities and social sciences, Mr Peterson.

It is now possible to complete an English degree, and never encounter Shakespeare, one of those dead white males whose work underlies our society of oppression.

Oh come on. Please. This is ridiculous.

Shakespeare is not the be-all and end-all of English literature. He was a wonderful writer, and we encourage reading him, but there are thousands of wonderful writers whose work has also stood the test of time. The English curriculum does not have to stand frozen forever — and four years of undergraduate education is not the sole source of all knowledge for our students. We have to sample a subset of literature, and if an instructor chooses an alternative set of great writers, it does no harm to the standing of one left out that year.

We should not be about dogma. Even if Peterson would prefer it that way.

To understand and oppose the post-modernists, the ideas by which they orient themselves must be clearly identified.

First is their new unholy trinity of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Oh, boy. Here come the bad definitions. Right away, we get into trouble: his unholy trinity has nothing to do with postmodernism. Here’s a basic dictionary definition: “a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.”

Nothing in there about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Those are leftist, progressive values, I would agree — but they aren’t tied to his boogeyman version of postmodernism. “Postmodernism” is simply an empty word for a concept that he doesn’t understand, that he uses as an insult, because his similarly ignorant fans will sympathize with it. He’s just wrong.

But let’s see…what exactly is his beef with diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Diversity is defined not by opinion, but by race, ethnicity, or sexual identity.

Equity is no longer the laudable goal of equality of opportunity, but the insistence on equality of outcome.

And inclusion is the use of identity-based quotas to attain this misconceived state of equity.

All the classic rights of the west are to be considered secondary to these new values.

Once again, we’re going to see an argument that requires redefining terms to a way not used by these so-called “postmodernists”.

What doesn’t he like about diversity? I love being in a place where people have different histories and experiences, where different languages are spoken, where we discuss the art and literature and politics of the whole wide world. This is a good thing, and I don’t see why Peterson is calling this part of an unholy trinity — except that it’s a dogwhistle to his racist followers who want uniformity.

Equity still has the goal of equality of opportunity. We work to give everyone an equal chance. There is no dictum that we have to pass a certain number of brown-skinned students in our classes, all are on equal footing.

Inclusion means that all students have the same status here. There aren’t any quotas. If there are barriers to inclusion, we knock ’em down.

You know, you’re making a bad argument when you rely on lying about what the people you criticize do and think.

I would just ask Peterson whether he really thinks his “unholy trinity” is bad for the university, and what he’d replace it with. A white ethno-university where we don’t consider a student’s circumstances to give them an equal start, and where we exclude and ostracize people who don’t look like us?

That we value fairness does not mean we’ve abandoned all other rights.

Take for example freedom of speech, the very pillar of democracy. The post-modernists refuse to believe that people of good will can exchange ideas and reach consensus.

More misrepresentation. No, we think that. The question is…what about people who are not of good will? Does Peterson think they don’t exist? What about neo-Nazis? Are we supposed to believe they are people of good will?

Their world is instead a Hobbesian nightmare of identity groups warring for power.

No, my ideal world would be one of cooperation and diverse groups interacting amicably. We’re about social justice, remember. That portrait is closer to the far right, conservative perspective, where you have to march around chanting YOU WILL NOT REPLACE US and screeching about “White Genocide” because brown people exist.

They don’t see ideas that run contrary to their ideology as simply incorrect, they see them as integral to the oppressive system they wish to supplant, and consider it a moral obligation to stifle and constrain their expression.

OK, am I the only one exasperated by a tenured college professor whining about being silenced when his job is secure, he’s raking in tens of thousands of dollars per month, and his words get reported in all the major magazines and newspapers? The victim complex is tiresome.

Second is rejection of the free market, of the very idea that free, voluntary trading benefits everyone. They won’t acknowledge that capitalism has lifted up hundreds of millions of people, so they can afford for the first time in history afford food, shelter, clothing, transportation, even entertainment and travel.

Well, gosh, I learned something new. Before capitalism, no one in history had food, shelter, or clothing. How did they survive?

Capitalism has benefits, definitely. It also has weaknesses that can be exploited by the unscrupulous, and as we are witnessing now, can be so burdened with parasites — the obscenely rich — that it is in danger of collapse. Maybe Peterson’s real problem with us is that we lack the hyperbolic investment in the perfection of an economic system that he has. We lack his dogmatic religion.

Those classified as poor in the US, and increasingly everywhere else, are able to meet their basic needs. Meanwhile, in once-prosperous Venezuela, until recently the poster child of the campus radicals, the middle class lines up for toilet paper.

I keep hearing this from the right. When were they a “poster child for radicals”? Was it during the juntas of the 40s? The guerilla insurrections of the 60s? The economic crises of the 80s? The troubled mess of Hugo Chavez’s presidency? It’s a country that has long been plagued with political and economic corruption, foreign meddling, and the blessings and curses of an oil economy. Why is Peterson thinking this is relevant? Is Venezuela “postmodernist”?

Besides, if you asked most of us radicals what our ideal state was, most of us would answer “Sweden”.

Third and finally are the politics of identity. Post-modernists don’t believe in individuals. You’re an exemplar of your race, gender, or sexual preference. You’re also either a victim or an oppressor. No wrong can be done by anyone in the former group, and no good by the latter. Such ideas of victimization do nothing but justify the use of power and engender intergroup conflict.

This is nonsensical. Individuals are people with diverse patterns of ethnicity, race, sexual preference, gender and more. The point is to recognize the complexity of their makeup, not pretend it’s nonexistent.

The idea that one is all one thing or all another thing is counter to the whole idea of intersectionality. What’s the alternative? Erasure?

All these concepts originated with Karl Marx, the 19th century German philosopher.

Wait wait wait, “ALL of these concepts”? Peterson has such a muddled and vague notion of what the things are that he hates, that now I’m confused. So Marx invented postmodernism? He’s responsible for the collapse of the Venezualan economy? He told universities to enroll diverse student bodies? He hated Shakespeare?

This just doesn’t make sense. Peterson is incoherent, but he knows what magic buzzwords to say to appeal to the dogmatic Right.

Marx viewed the world as a gigantic class struggle, the bourgeoisie against the proletariat, the grasping rich against the desperate poor. But where ever his ideas were put into practice, in the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, to name just a few, whole economies failed, and tens of millions were killed.

First of all, step onto any college campus in North America. You won’t find many people who want to implement the full Marxist model — we’re imbedded in our current culture, and we might want improvements, but revolution is terrifying. And I agree that authoritarian governments are deplorable and produce excesses unchecked by the will of the people (but sometimes, so do democratic governments, as we’re seeing firsthand). Soviet purges and the Great Leap Forward and the Killing Fields are what happens with despotic governments.

But he’s glossing over something with his examples.

We fought a decades-long cold war to stop the spread of those murderous notions, but they’re back in the new guise of identity politics.

Millions dead, blame Communism exclusively. But it seems to me that our war to stop those murderous notions was fought rather murderously — we were bombing the heck out of Southeast Asia for an awful long time. Those casualties count. As do the more recent casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and … hey, wait a minute. We fought those wars to stop the spread of fabricated gender pronouns, campus diversity policies, and what the fuck, identity politics?

This is absurd. Peterson is building a case for his ideology on the back of the Chewbacca defense. Worse, it’s an offense: if Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must crush the political left. He’s equating campus liberalism with the Cold War Soviet Union, as if we’re armed with nuclear missiles.

We aren’t, are we? I haven’t checked the campus radical arsenal lately.

The corrupt ideas of the post-modernist neo-Marxists should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Instead, we underwrite their continuance in the very institutions where the central ideas of the West should be transmitted across the generations. Unless we stop, post-modernism will do to America, and the entire Western world, what it’s already done to its universities.

And there we go, the grand finale of his video is an explosion of bullshit. “Postmodern neo-Marxism” is a contradiction in terms. I’m not even going to try — I’ll just tell you to go watch ContraPoints, who deconstructs this whole pungent explosion of bloated rotting whale guts in detail, far more intelligently and entertainingly than I would.

I will mention that his dead-eyed lack of affect suggests that maybe he’s wondering how he ended up here, lying for PragerU. And I will point out that the man who is indicting North American universities as hotbeds of bad ideas is, himself,

I am Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, for Prager University.

…a product of those universities, a perfect example of bad educational practice, and is now reduced to shilling for a fake online “university”.

His video was a disgraceful mess, and it’s no wonder he looks like a zombie here. It was incoherent, inconsistent, and contradictory, built around misrepresentations and his own biases. His own misunderstandings of concepts like Marxism and postmodernism have been pointed out many times before, but apparently he doesn’t care to read them, or understand them, and his own scholarly failings just become more and more apparent.

I am PZ Myers, professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, speaking for myself and only myself. I am proud of the great education I received at DePauw University, the University of Washington, and the University of Utah, and my work as an instructor at Temple University and the University of Minnesota. And most of all, I am proud of my tolerant, thoughtful, activist students.

Comments

  1. einsophistry says

    I don’t wanna be a nit-picker, buuuuuuuuuuut:

    “Yes, truth is subjective. It takes hard work to extract a coherent, consistent truth out of a body of observation and experiment, and it is all held to be provisional, subject to change with new data. That’s the way science works. That’s the way every discipline works. This shouldn’t be a point of contention, unless you’re claiming absolute knowledge and perfect truth, which isn’t something that can legitimately come from the mouth of a human being.”

    This concedes far too much. The subjectivity of truth doesn’t follow from the mere difficulty (or even the impossibility) of ascertaining it with certainty, nor from changes and upheavals over time in what we’ve taken to be the truth (the conflation of “what we’ve taken to be true” with actual truth is a Procrustean move no different in kind than the one Peterson himself makes in his James-cum-Darwin-cum-Jung pragmatic reconcepualizaion of truth). These two claims–that we can’t ascertain truth with certainty and that truth is subjective–are, in fact, in considerable logical tension. If all truths are subjective, then all truths are trivially easy to ascertain, since whatever I believe will simply be “true for me” and whatever you believe will be “true for you,” etc. We don’t need to go full subjectivist in order to secure the level of epistemic humility good, honest inquiry demands.

  2. nomdeplume says

    What a grim, awful world it will be if the Petersons of this world win. What am I saying? With Trump in the WH, and Trump-like figures around the world coming into power, these awful people are winning. New Dark Ages, here we come.

  3. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Nit:

    Equity still has the goal of equality of opportunity. We work to give everyone an equal chance. There is no dictum that we have to pass a certain number of brown-skinned students in our classes, all are on equal footing.

    I think it’s obvious that he’s referring to targeted programs to help out disadvantage and oppressed racial and gender groups, i.e. affirmative action policies for college admissions, and legal and social standards that extreme lack of diversity for i.e. employees of a company is itself evidence that (unjust) discrimination is occurring. Please at least address his points head-on. It almost seems like you’re purposefully pretending to ignore what he’s talking about. Of course, I’m not accusing you of that. I don’t know what has happened here, and I don’t know your intentions here. I’m just asking for “and affirmative action is a good thing and defensive” plus maybe a sentence or two briefing laying out the reasons, and also maybe a throwaway line like “and if X and X group is primarily male, then that’s evidence that there’s probably sex/gender discrimination going on at some point in the process, and moreover we have lots of specific evidence of this ongoing sex/gender discrimination. We’re not just inferring it indirectly. We observe it all the time, and we have lots of direct evidence on it.”

    PS:
    It always makes me mad when people like Peterson conflate Marxism, communism, and post-modernism.

    For example, the Frankfurt school, the most prominent successors of Marxism in the west, were strong advocates of of the rationalism school of philosophy, and they would be strong opponent’s of Peterson’s “subjective truth” version of post-modernism.

    For example, communism according to Marx did not involve an oppressive authoritarian government that micro-managed the economy. Rather, during the 1917 revolution, many worker councils came into being to manage the factories, one worker council per factory. These were called soviets. Hence the term Soviet Union. One might argue that this is true socialism – worker control of the means of production. However, one of the very first things that Lenin did when he came to power was to crush the soviets and centralize all control in a central government, with him at the head, of course. The US and the USSR both found it convenient for their own reasons to call the USSR socialist, because “socialism” was a positive word in Russia and because “socialism” was a negative word in the United States, but they were both wrong, and it wasn’t socialism at all, especially after Lenin crushed the soviets.

    Marx, from what I know, would be radically opposed to Leninism. Hell, I read Marx writing one time that the workers should be armed, and after they win the initial revolution, they should take great care that the workers’ revolutionary army should not be led by people who are chosen by the political and economic elite. He said that the officers of the workers’ revolutionary army should be elected by the workers themselves. Did Lenin do this? Hell no. He did the opposite by centralizing all control and removing the political power of the workers over the revolutionary army.

    /rant

  4. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PPS:
    I find it deeply ironic that Peterson is opposed to post-modernists because of their view of subjective truth, and yet Peterson is a strong advocate for a similar sort of wishy-washy truth, where something should be considered true or false – not by virtue of actually being factually true or false – but instead by virtue that people believing it’s true would be good for society (approx).

  5. cartomancer says

    It’s always a sure sign that someone hasn’t read a word of Karl Marx when they start talking about “his ideas being put into practice”. Much more so when they presume that the Soviet Union was anything but tangentially committed to the ideas of Marx. When Lenin took over in 1917 the actual leading Marxists of the day (Panacuk, Liebknecht, Luxemburg and so on), decried him as an authoritarian, right-wing offshoot of their movement who had little understanding of the fundamental analytics of Marx’s work. The first thing the Bolsheviks did was to close down the workers’ councils and bring the entire industrial sector under centralised state control. The second thing they did was redistribute land into the private ownership of the peasantry and watch as the mechanisms of unrestricted capitalism made a few of them wealthy and forced the rest to work as landless labourers for those ones. They remained committed to state-run enterprise with government-imposed overseers, and only grudgingly let one or two communally owned farms become established well into the Stalin era. The fundamental idea of Marx was that there should not be a hierarchical employer-employee relationship – the workers should own the means of production. All the Soviets managed was state-run capitalism: the party owned everything, the workers effectively owned nothing. The class-based tensions that Marx identified in capitalist societies were in no way removed.

    But there are plenty of people who can lecture Peterson on the intricacies of Marxian analysis better than I can. Perhaps the biggest criticism I can muster of the US education system over the last sixty years is that it has worked ceaselessly to erase Marx and Marxism from its purview. Americans simply don’t get exposed to Marxist critiques of capitalism at university anymore. There’s bugger all by way of faculty who have any familiarity with him either. It wasn’t always thus, but since the Cold War the US has effectively expunged the Marxian tradition from its educational offerings. This has not been the case in Europe (to a lesser extent in Britain), where the Marxist tradition has continued. Peterson is the acme of this failing – he proudly boasts that he understands Marxism when he hasn’t got a clue about it.

    Also… Marxism isn’t part of Western Civilisation? I don’t like the term myself, because it lumps together too much, but if there is such a thing as Western Civilisation then Marx is pretty much slap bang in the mainstream of it. He was a German intellectual, a product of the best universities in Europe, trained in Classics and Philosophy, who had an abiding interest in European economics and politics, a commitment to the values and ideals of the French Revolution and spent most of his working life in England. You can’t get more Western Civilisation than that. In fact, capitalism has only been a part of Western Civilisation for a mere three centuries. When Marx was alive, for about one. He knew full well that Western Civilisation had far deeper, far more profound, far more noble roots and aspirations than capitalism ever did.

  6. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    “Equity, Diversity & Inclusion” has specific meaning on Canadian post-secondary campuses that is being entirely missed here.

    Peterson is stupid to think that E, D & I means the same thing to his foreign audience, but PZ (and some commenters here) are getting the criticisms wrong by failing to appreciate that this is a very specific phrase in Canadian post-secondary education.

  7. cartomancer says

    Having just presumed that there is such a thing as “Western Civilisation”, I should sound a louder note of criticism for the whole concept though. When someone says “Western Civilisation”, I usually ask “which one?”

    The usual suspects? Athenian democracy, Roman Imperialism, Medieval Christianity, Renaissance Humanism, Enlightenment Science and American Capitalism?

    Or do you mean the radically authoritarian Spartans, Carthaginian Mercantilism, The committed Islamic intellectual ferment of Moorish Spain, Counter-Reformation mysticism and inquisition, transatlantic slavery and genocide and the Basque culture of worker-cooperative enterprise?

  8. emergence says

    Here’s the game Peterson plays with regards to social justice:
    First, assume by default that discrimination against historically marginalized groups magically disappeared at some point in the 60’s or 70’s. Second, claim that it’s intrinsically wrong to discuss discrimination in society by claiming it’s the same as soviet-style communism.

    If a certain group of people is marginalized by society, then it’s important that we discuss it and find a way to correct for it. If we buy into this notion that, for example, trying to increase the representation of black people in the STEM fields makes you morally equivalent to Joseph Stalin, then that would have made it wrong for MLK and other civil rights leaders to protest against segregation and lynching. After all, they were blaming problems in the black community on discrimination from white people, so in Peterson’s pockmarked brainmeats that means the civil rights movement was engaging in horrible murderous identity politics.

    There have been multiple social movements active over the years that championed the rights of the same marginalized groups that modern social justice movements do. A good number of them were active at around the same time that communist groups were either taking hold or in power. It’s telling that Peterson compares social justice advocates to authoritarian dictators rather than to people who also protested against racism and sexism. It’s also telling that people accused the leaders of the civil rights movement of secretly being communists too.

    As for Peterson’s whining about seeing people as individuals and how it’s wrong to put people in groups; It’s suspicious how people who promote this sort of “color-blindness” are using it to defend a status quo where straight white men dominate almost all areas of society. It’s faux egalitarianism used to hide the fact that our society doesn’t actually treat people equally.

  9. emergence says

    On a shorter note:

    I don’t really know anything about post-modernism, but I can see how being aware of your cultural biases is useful for science and other intellectual pursuits. The culture you grow up in and your place in society can affect how you see the world. You should be aware of that and avoid trying to make scientific or historical evidence conform to your preconceptions. That’s not denying that objective truth exists, it’s recognizing that something can cloud your ability to recognize the truth.

  10. raven says

    Why does Jordan Peterson hate education?

    QFT!!!
    Peterson does hate education and the educated!!!
    He once tried to start a war with his own University of Toronto faculty.

    You can see why he hates the educated easily.
    He is fractally wrong in many fields and the real educated call him on it often.

    Peterson is a poly-hater.
    His many hates include women, atheists, nonwhites, the educated, Muslims, Progressives, and Social Justice Warriors.
    Add them up and they are most of our society.
    The guy literally hates most of the people around him.

  11. raven says

    PZ Myers
    Anyway, Jordan Peterson has come out with this video titled “Dangerous People Are Teaching Your Kids”.
    “Dangerous People”, that’s me.

    LOL!!!
    You aren’t going to hog all the limelight and all the glory and kudos here.

    I’m also a dangerous person to Jordan Peterson.
    His many hates include women, atheists, nonwhites, the educated, education, Muslims, Progressives, and Social Justice Warriors.
    I’m on his To Hate list in multiple places.
    I’d be very disappointed not to be on his Hate list.
    Probably not his worst nightmare but one can always dream.

  12. raven says

    I just finished reading PZ’s long commentary.
    Peterson is doing a Gish gallop by stringing a huge number of lies and strawpeople together.
    Toss a few dozen lies against the wall and see if any of them stick.
    The guy is a crackpot way out there in La La Land.

    A rich crackpot.
    He’s making over $1 million a year reflecting his followers hate and bigotry back to them.
    Reminds me of Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, any fundie Televangelist, or any other self appointed right wingnut spokesperson.

  13. cartomancer says

    Crip Dyke, #6,

    What exactly is the specific meaning of “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” in the Canadian educational context then? How does it differ as a term of art from the usual general meaning of those words?

  14. ajbjasus says

    Don’t want to be nit-picky here but unfortunate choice of quote:

    Y’know, the thing about a shark, he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes after ya, he doesn’t seem to be livin’ until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white, and then – aww, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’

    Jaws did an enormous amount of damage to the general our perception of sharks and role in the eco system by mis-characterising them in that way,

  15. Dunc says

    Jaws did an enormous amount of damage to the general our perception of sharks and role in the eco system by mis-characterising them in that way,

    All of this “cultural marxism” dog-whistling is obviously messing with my brain – I initially read that as “Jews” rather than “Jaws”. ;)

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – anybody who thinks post-modernism is Marxist simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Marxism is the modernist political theory par excellence, and post-modernism was largely a reaction to its failure. Post-modernism is an explicit rejection of all of the foundational ideas which undergird Marxism.

  16. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @cartomancer:

    It would be a really long-ass OP itself to really provide that because Peterson is referencing not only denotation but also connotation.

    As short as I can make it (which will still be very, very long) and dealing with denotation only, every Canadian university has an Office of Equity & Diversity, usually including “equity and diversity” in the name. All of the others reference E&D prominently in the mission statement and the office’s website. These offices are responsible for university compliance with provincial Human Rights Codes (HRCs). If someone thinks that you’ve discriminated against them in a post-secondary educational environment, any formal complaint will be dealt with via the OED. Many OEDs also do proactive education to prevent discrimination. For various reasons, complaints of harassment and the creation of a hostile work or educational environment are also handled under the OED. Some harassment compliance work is mandated by the HRC of the university’s province, but some is not (so-called “personal harassment”). But because of the similar procedures necessary in many of these cases (and some random historical factors), all this work is handled by the OED.

    “Inclusion” was brought on later to address, essentially, actions consistent with the spirit of the HRCs but not mandated by them. If there’s no specific act of discrimination for which someone at the university is liable but the university is 99% white in a province that is 60% white, an office responsible for “Inclusion” will be working to try to figure out why and to address this. It’s important to note that long before any province passed an HRC there were social justice & anti-oppression movements that certainly included educational efforts on college campuses. In this sense, “Inclusion” came first, but it was only later that the universities began funding such efforts out of their own pockets. This “Inclusion” as a university function came later (obviously) than those unfunded (or non-university funded) activist efforts. The Human Rights Codes codified responsibilities that some universities had already taken upon themselves, but the offices weren’t as tightly dedicated to anti-discrimination, anti-harassment & anti-stalking as they are today. By responding to the passage of HRCs with the creation of more focussed offices (typically by transferring existing employees into a new organizational structure), the universities were left with some efforts that didn’t fit neatly into the responsibilities codified by HRCs. These “leftover” programs now needed a new name to reflect their new, reduced (but still important) focus. “Inclusion” is what stuck.

    Inclusion offices are often much more responsible for proactive education (such as harassment prevention education) than E&D offices, but this isn’t always true. It does vary from campus to campus. Further, unlike E&D which has a hard mandate from the provincial HRC and so is always (so far as I know) centralized in one office, “Inclusion” responsibilities for a single university might be spread across multiple offices. This is especially true at University of Toronto where Peterson teaches where there are many different offices tackling what at other universities would be small, specific pieces of the overall Inclusion work. There’s a Black Student Union at UofT, for instance – I forget what it’s called, but it might be just that, the BSU – that does inclusion work focussed on the unique experiences and barriers of black students. “Inclusion” work for black faculty & staff might be handled by a different office or the BSU might handle faculty/staff inclusion work as an extension of the mission of serving students (students are ill served, after all, if the university is making it particularly hard for Black academics to join the faculty).

    “Inclusion” has been around long enough that there are specific expectations for what “inclusion” means as well, though this isn’t as hard-coded as E&D work is (because of the specificity of HRCs and anti-harassment/anti-stalking laws).

    So one thing that’s important to understand is that although E&D isn’t a law-enforcement office, it is essentially a Human Resources office that is tasked with making sure the university or college is in compliance with the law, and thus if you’re formally accused of behavior that violates your provincial HRC or anti-harassment/anti-stalking laws, you’re probably going to face some serious meetings with E&D folks. E&D folks do intentionally employ a lot of de-escalation & conflict resolution skills, but most people accused of something do feel that their experiences coming to the E&D office are similar to facing a prosecutor.

    So while “equity” and “diversity” might be just general values to PZ and to nearly everyone in the states, “Equity & Diversity” references very specific university offices that can feel like law enforcement to faculty members of Canadian universities.

    Further, while there is a distinction between E&D and “Inclusion” that is made by people who actually do E&D or I work, since some inclusion work is done by some E&D offices and since the work has similar social-justice aims, the strong distinction between ensuring university compliance on one hand and culture/community-building on the other is often lost on people who don’t directly do the work of E&D or of I in one of the relevant offices.

    Still further, though the legal precedents and case studies that E&D officers need to read to stay current are frequently irrelevant to Inclusion workers, all of the stuff in professional journals tailored for Inclusion workers is relevant to E&D staff. So a good many professional journals are written for ED&I staff – all of them together. Because of THAT (and a general university bureaucratic desire to sometimes reference all of these efforts together), “Equity, Diversity & Inclusion” as a specific phrase is routinely strung together in ways (and with a frequency) that leaves people who don’t work inside those specific offices with the impression that it’s all one thing. Thus the “inclusion” folks are often assumed to be doing compliance work, even though their mission is education and community building, not compliance. So the hard feelings towards E&D offices get transferred to Inclusion offices & staff.

    I know a ton about this because Ms CD is an E&D specialist and has been for 2 decades now. While a lot of people appreciate the work of E&D, if you’ve been suspended or fired or reprimanded by your supervisor at the end of a process handled by your E&D office and according to the recommendation made by E&D, then “Equity, Diversity & Inclusion” isn’t going to be a list of three vague values. It’s going to be the specific name of the legal tyrants who rat-fucked you just because you dropped a few n-bombs in class when the Black students got uppity and forgot who was teaching the class and who was supposed to be shutting up and listening, and what the fuck is with outlawing specific words anyway, I mean isn’t the university supposed to favor free speech?

    There’s so much more, including the fact that Peterson himself may very well have been mandated to go through E&D processes a time or two at UofT, but if you’re going to remember anything from all this, remember that:

    1. Peterson actually came to public attention by ignorantly mouthing off about human rights law in Canada (and getting a lot of things wrong in the process), and

    2. Equity & Diversity is the office that would have enforced those laws at UofT, and

    3. A lot of people lump inclusion work in with what their E&D office does, and

    4. “Equity, Diversity & Inclusion” is a profession-specific term describing the group of people who oppose oppression, harassment and discrimination on post-secondary campuses in Canada, and

    5. “Equity” in this context refers to the mandate to adhere to certain elements of Human Rights Codes that apply to post-secondary campuses, as well as adherence to responsibilities created for employers by the existence of anti-harassment/anti-stalking laws, and

    6. “Diversity” in this context refers to the mandate to adhere to all the other elements of the HRCs that apply to post-secondary campuses,

    7. and so Equity and Diversity in the Canadian college/university context are not just values, but also authoritative mandates.

    Peterson is still absolutely fucked, but he might not be quite as fucked as he seems to non-Canadians when he’s making a connection between “equity, diversity, & inclusion” and legal coercion, because there is a direct connection between “Equity & Diversity” and specific legal requirements on educational institutions (and thus their employees) and there is a common conflation of “Equity, Diversity & Inclusion” with “Equity & Diversity”. The ways in which he’s completely wrong are somewhat different and a great deal more specific than merely attributing an authority/enforcement connotation to “equity, diversity & inclusion”.

    PZ’s critique thus misses some important elements that are going on here, and completely misses some of the very specific things that Peterson is probably actually upset about. On the other hand, Peterson is a dope for thinking that he could use for an international (and not necessarily academic) audience a term that grew out of the work that lawyers and human resources experts did to translate Canadian provincial Human Rights Codes legal language into practical and policy requirements as well as HR best practices recommendations for Canadian colleges and universities.

    There are quite a number of times when Peterson uses some technical term, but gets important aspects of it wrong. Then people come across the technical term and some don’t realize it’s a technical term (because it also has straightforward meaning and Peterson did nothing to indicate he was using it in some technical sense). THEN when those people critique Peterson for being an asshat, some will be doing it on the basis that what he said, if given its straightforward meaning, is obviously wrong. THEN Peterson insists that all the people who critique him are idiots because he really had this technical meaning in mind the whole time.

    That leaves some people with the impression that maybe Peterson was right the whole time. I just happen to have the specific knowledge required to see this one from a mile away. I know he’s wrong. I can go off on how he’s wrong, but my explanation of why he’s wrong includes everything I’ve written so far PLUS a bunch of “connotation” stuff, plus some additional context. He’s completely full of shit. And yet, I can see all this coming our way, where Peterson the idiot communicator stumbles on a critique of his statements about ED&I from PZ or someone like PZ and declares that no critique of him can be valid because some people critiquing him didn’t understand what he was referencing.

    My stomach just churns at how predictable this all is.

  17. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    You know what I hate even more than Peterson’s tribalist idiocy?

    Writing a fucking dissertation and not getting a PhD at the end of it.

  18. Daniel Dunér says

    Please don’t use Sweden as an example of an “ideal state”. I realize that when caught up in the hellscape of US politics it may seem lika a paradise in comparison. But up close it’s still a fundamentally capitalistic society built on exploitation, oppression, racism, sexism and so on.

    Sweden is *not* socialist. It’s a capitalistic society, with some limited attempts made by the social democratic party to balance out the horrors of capitalism with social programs during the 20th century. But the social democrats are pro-capitalism and not socialists and are currently trying to court racist/fascist voters. They shouldn’t be confused with democratic socialists (like Orwell) who actually want democratic socialism (i.e. democratic worker control of the means of production).

  19. Susan Montgomery says

    Mr Y. Ngula, I know I’m getting booed (if not banned) for this, but, as a Trans*woman myself, may I ask you to please stop linking Natalie Wynn (aka ContraPoints)? Please pretty please? Okay, I get it, you’re woke or bae or whatever the kids call it these days. You win the Totally Conspicuously Cool Ally award. Now kindly please consider no longer giving publicity to a Camp Clown who reads like a Greatest Hits Collection of negative and harmful LGBT stereotypes.

  20. cartomancer says

    Crip Dyke,

    Thanks for that explanation. I should have known it would be highly technical from the fact you didn’t expand on the comment earlier. I feel like I’m now qualified to teach Canadian human rights law.

    It sounds a lot like the way the right-wing press in the UK use the term “health and safety” – to stand for both the modern culture of looking after workers’ safety and preventing accidents in general (which they’re against) and the specific policies, mandate and work of the government’s Health and Safety Executive, created by the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, which has both an educational and an enforcement role (which they’re also against).

  21. says

    I think the most gorgeous thing about the US far right is the way they are performing in a highly post-modernist fashion (and Professor Peterson is no exception here) while denouncing it loudly from every possible pulpit. They redefine and re-contextualise language (just like Derrida); they denounce previous philosophers’ concepts (the idea of truth as subjective dates back to Plato, if not before – just think of the analogy of the shadows on the wall of the cave… “go on, do deformed rabbit, it’s my favourite”) while living in a way which illustrates those concepts (I’m sorry, which political party was it said “we define reality now”?); they’re apparently not blind to the irony of it all, which makes everything even more post-modern, since irony is one of the defining traits of the post-modern; and if you catch them out in anything they say they didn’t mean it, can’t you take a joke? Which, again, is post-modern styling as well.

    It’s gorgeous to watch, and I’m sure they’re going to provide a lot of fodder for cultural studies courses in years to come.

    PS: I’m not expecting to study Shakespeare at university level in a course about Literary and Cultural Studies because most of the kids I’m seeing as my new peers at undergraduate level spent most of their high school years studying him. So instead we’ll study things like the novel (Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte); the creation of genre (Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley); various poetic forms (Emily Dickinson, Dorothy Parker, Edna St Vincent Millay), critique and criticism (Dorothy Parker again), the essay (Helen Garner), and so on. I’m pretty sure it’s possible to create an entire 101-level course on English-language literature, citing various examples of assorted genres from various historical periods, and not have to mention a single dead white man if you don’t particularly want to.

    PPS: I think Marx was actually Romantic in period, not post-modern. The “Modernist” period in philosophy, aesthetics and so on doesn’t really kick off until about the 1900s, and the post-modernists don’t kick in until the late 1960s. Marx was writing in the 1800s.

    cartomancer @ 7: can I borrow that to send to the institute here in Australia which was trying to get one of our major universities to offer a degree in “Western Civilisation”? (Don’t worry, the VC of the institution said “no thanks, we already have quite a good Humanities faculty”).

  22. says

    Prager has always professed his disdain for education. His audience isn’t college educated, and he feeds their resentment at that fact.

  23. says

    CD
    Interestingly “inclusion” in a German educational context means the establishment of structures that make it possible for children with disabilities to attend regular schools. This is contrasted with and opposed to respectively integration and exclusion.
    On a ridiculously basic level this would mean having an elevator (inclusion) vs having people to haul up the wheelchair (integration) vs telling wheelchair users to g fuck themselves (exclusion).
    I guess Peterson would hate the German Inklusion just as well.

    ++++
    I think yes, it’s important to point out that by “equality of opportunity” we mean different things.
    People like Peterson and Hoff Sommers for example understand it to mean “there are no government imposed limits” and everything else is your problem while we understand it to mean trying to make up for an uneven playing field.
    We understand that black kids face additional challenges from the start. We recognise that women face structural discrimination, sexual harassment and an unfair work load at home.
    The everloving irony is, of course, that Peterson et. all. will turn around and use not only the broader definition of these things when it comes to free speech, but make the definition so broad that all criticism becomes a threat to free speech. But only when it comes to them. Women being harassed and bullied online, student newspapers and individuals being threatened with SLAPP suits, that#s no problem.

  24. jack16 says

    @Meg Thornton

    PZ . . . What do you think of the biography, “anniversary edition ”
    of Karl Marx by Richard D. Wolff?? According to Wolff Marx is almost unknown as a critic of capitalism in United States of America academia.

    jack16

  25. says

    His whole thing is lobsters. Yet he’s never suggested putting rubber bands on men’s fists to reduce violence. Makes you think.

  26. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @cartomancer:

    Thanks for that explanation. I should have known it would be highly technical from the fact you didn’t expand on the comment earlier.

    When I think it’s too long, you’re really in trouble.

    @rq:

    At least there’s no exam… right? No exam?

    That … that is a relief. No I can focus on eating my potato.

    @Giliell:

    Interestingly “inclusion” in a German educational context means the establishment of structures that make it possible for children with disabilities to attend regular schools. This is contrasted with and opposed to respectively integration and exclusion.

    & also @Cartomancer again:

    It sounds a lot like the way the right-wing press in the UK use the term “health and safety” – to stand for both the modern culture of looking after workers’ safety and preventing accidents in general (which they’re against) and the specific policies, mandate and work of the government’s Health and Safety Executive, created by the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, which has both an educational and an enforcement role (which they’re also against)

    Yep. I think you’re both right about the parallels in those two cases.

    and finally, @petesh:

    You’ll always be Dr Crip Dyke to me. Professor if you prefer.

    I LOLd. You can put the apple on that corner of the desk over there.

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Mike Smith:

    His whole thing is lobsters. Yet he’s never suggested putting rubber bands on men’s fists to reduce violence. Makes you think.

    Thread won.

  28. says

    He’s basically taken the antisemitic conspiracy theory of cultural marxism and sanded off the label, but not even enough to make it illegible. I feel very comfortable saying this guy would proudly sign off on genocide. With his ball-fondling love of “western civilization,” essentially he already has. And I thought he was dogshit when he was just a frothing transphobe.

  29. hemidactylus says

    I was disappointed that you kinda led me to the mistaken assumption that ContraPoints had a new video on Peterson. I am now just grudge-reading the thread because I would prefer ContraPoints. Ughhh!!!!

  30. Pierce R. Butler says

    There is no language police.

    That’s There are no language police.

    I’ll let you off with a warning, this time.

  31. rq says

    CD

    No[w] I can focus on eating my potato.

    Uh… I don’t mean to be rude, or anything… but… that’s…. that’s my potato. That one, too. Yeah, and that one. … I’ll just pick up after myself and be off, okay?

    Mike Smith @28
    Well, that’s something I’ll be chuckling about all day. And getting side-eye from all the colleagues. I mean, I just figured out that if you put the rubber bands on just right, the menfolk in the lab will still be able to do all the pipetting required.

  32. rq says

    There’s a language police in my country. They make sure you don’t use inappropriate consonant combinations in children’s names or outdated vowel accents or unapproved translations of foreign words and things like that.
    Also whether the immigrant shopkeeper speaks the required level of the official language to be allowed to interact with customers. Language purity is important.

  33. chigau (違う) says

    Language purity is important.
    furshurdood!
    I am still working on
    inappropriate consonant combinations in children’s names or outdated vowel accents
    because … dunno …
    I am Canadian. With a wee bit of effort, (in “English”) we all understand each other’s talk.

  34. rq says

    we all understand each other’s talk

    Au contraire! Jordan Peterson is also Canadian, and yet there seems to be some difficulty in understanding his talk (in context, I mean, with all appropriate nuance).
    Apparently when I came here speaking a (pre-)WWII version of the language, people had trouble with some of my vocabulary, but I can be grateful that no one called the language police on me. Besides, I’m pretty sure they were busy writing about the ruinous effects of youth slang or those terrible IT-inspired anglicisms at the time.

  35. says

    Reminds me about the frequent joke (and yes, it keeps playing out in reality again and again) when right wing politicians are asked what they will do about all the house numbers that are displayed in Arabic numerals.

  36. says

    I am Canadian. With a wee bit of effort, (in “English”) we all understand each other’s talk.

    Some shockin’ good, eh b’y? I ‘llows half of upalong too stunned t’ h’unnerstand half us growed up with the Queen’s h’English! Come to the Rock, b’y! We’ll have us a scoff and chew the fat ’bout just ‘ow many h’Englishes there is!

  37. DanDare says

    Just noticed the “gang of nihilists” are all men. Does that mean that women professors are ok?

  38. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @mobius:

    I would read it, but it’s behind a paywall. On the one claw, it might be worth tearing apart if I could read it, on the other claw it’s not worth tearing apart if it costs me anything more than the tearing-time.

  39. Owlmirror says

    @Crip Dyke:

    I have discovered a magic trick to slip under, over, or through the WSJ paywall. Add the string amp/ before the string article/, and access to the full text is granted. It’s covered by an annoying bar with a cookie notices, and an annoying box asking you to log in or join, but I use Firefox’s reader mode, and that eliminates the bar and box.

    Viola! Da gamba! Or even cello!

  40. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Owlmirror, that’s wonderful!

  41. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    oops. Tried it and it doesn’t work: they’ve somehow fixed it so that unless you log in even the reader mode displays only the first (preview) portion of the article that I could already access.

  42. Owlmirror says

    @Crip Dyke:

    What happens if you clear all cookies from WSJ?

    How about if you use private mode?

  43. Owlmirror says

    @Crip Dyke:

    I’m also starting to wonder if WSJ has now registered your IP.

    Does your local library offer Proquest access to journals and newspapers?

  44. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    okay, it works on firefox

    thanks again!

  45. KG says

    Why does Jordan Peterson hate education?

    Simple: he knows that his influence and income depend on the uneducated and miseducated.

  46. KG says

    The subjectivity of truth doesn’t follow from the mere difficulty (or even the impossibility) of ascertaining it with certainty, nor from changes and upheavals over time in what we’ve taken to be the truth (the conflation of “what we’ve taken to be true” with actual truth is a Procrustean move no different in kind than the one Peterson himself makes in his James-cum-Darwin-cum-Jung pragmatic reconcepualizaion of truth). – einsophistry@1

    QFT

  47. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @KG:

    QFT

    I laughed so hard. Ironically, of course.

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