The Guy List: Jordan Peterson
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Dr Jordan Peterson is the latest addition to a pantheon of intellectual heroes...
Great philosophers don't come from nowhere. They are products of a time and a place.
For how we live now, Peterson is the inevitable philosopher. No one else will do.
Why he’s one of us:
Here’s what Guy Shepherd has to say about Peterson, in this PM story:
“The current intellectual environment is like the cage used to contain MMA contests, and Jordan Peterson is the Royce Gracie of that cornerless ring. He creates his own cage by erecting and defending interesting ideas. The popularity of these contests has been built on the infrastructure of you Youtube and Patreon, and Peterson uses them to test his most sophisticated ideas in demonstration bouts that can be watched globally and studied for free.”
“When you watch Peterson mop the floor with his critics, it becomes apparent why the intellectual establishment is against him.”
– Guy Shepherd
Although he is an academic and an intellectual, Peterson is the ultimate “no bullshit” guy. When he says something he says it clearly and concisely and you know he means it, and you also know it’s backed up by conviction, wisdom, common-sense and experience. So even when you disagree with him, you can still respect him and respect his opinion and his position.
Who he was before he was famous:
Yeah, he did teach psychology at Harvard first as a wildly popular assistant professor and then associate professor. Once student recalled, “I remember students crying on the last day of class because they wouldn’t get to hear him anymore.” But until 2016, he was pretty much just an obscure academic. Today, even The New York Times calls him “The most influential public intellectual in the western world right now.”
“The most influential public intellectual in the western world right now.”
Why so many men are listening and watching:
Peterson does something quite amazing: At a time when so many men feel that they as men and masculinity in general are under attack, Peterson defends men while also explaining why they’ve brought the attacks on masculinity on themselves while also preaching a gospel built on taking personal responsibility. The end result is a message that can be intoxicating to anyone feeling powerless against adversity because it provides meaningful context for current unacceptable circumstances while also offering a viable roadmap for moving on.
Why he is often misunderstood and misinterpreted:
We believe Peterson is often called, for instance, a misogynist, because unlike many media personalities he means exactly what he says without trying to hide or spin anything. Take this infamous and contentious exchange with Cathy Newman from the BBC, and notice both the clarity of Peterson’s words as well as how thoughtful and good natured he remains even while under attack; often when you see Peterson interviewed, you will see him both courageously and patiently stop the conversation to set the record straight with interviewers who attribute incorrect statements or concepts to him.
More PM stories about Jordan Peterson: