Discussing Jordan Peterson: The Good, the Bad, and the Chaotic

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Love him or hate him, Jordan Peterson can only be described as a rare phenomenon. An intellectual getting millions to watch on YouTube 2-hour lectures on the symbolisms of the Bible, filling arenas for his talks, and having an impact of hope on the lives of many people.

At the same time, he has been denounced as a reactionary who wishes a return to traditional gender roles of subordination for women, an enabler of “transphobia”, and even as the ‘figurehead’ of the Alt-Right.

Yet, overshadowed by the noise of the controversies, what is rarely clarified is what the actual ideas of Peterson are on specific topics. More importantly, how has he helped us understand such topics, or how has he further blurred them?

This conference will aim to discuss 5 intellectual areas, having as a starting point an evaluation of Peterson’s ideas: philosophy, psychology, politics, patriarchy, and postmodernism. Where is Jordan Peterson right, where is he wrong, and where is he out of his depth? How can we make our life better by engaging in the realm of ideas?

Panels:

Philosophy

Is Jordan Peterson a pop philosopher or someone with an integrated view of existence? Does he say something new, or does he merely recycle the arguments of previous thinkers? Is there a crisis of meaning, and, if so, what role can philosophy and religion play in addressing this?

Speakers: Piers Benn, Helen Dale, Connor Watts

Chair: Josh Dickson

Psychology

Jordan Peterson’s background as a clinical psychologist provides him with an advanced insight into the human experience. But does that make him equipped to take on the greatest philosophical and political debates of our time? How does his background in psychology influence his views on politics, gender and society? Is the answer to today’s social problems individuals ‘sorting themselves out’?

Speakers: Josh Dickson, Charlotte Gill

Politics

Is Jordan Peterson a right-winger? Does he even have a political philosophy? Does he understand Marx, or are his criticisms over-simplified and superficial? Taking into accordance that Peterson’s appeal goes beyond conservative circles, do the terms Left and Right even make sense anymore?

Speakers: Alexander Douglas, Frank Furedi, Nikos Sotirakopoulos

Patriarchy

Is Jordan Peterson indeed a sexist and a misogynist? What does he say about the difference between men and women, and how does this contrast with the views expressed by modern feminists? Is there a crisis of masculinity, and are gender roles merely social constructs?

Speakers: Yana Nova, Connor Watts, Zuby

Chair: Razi Ginzberg

Postmodernism

What is postmodernism? Is it unfair to describe the postmodern movement as inherently left-wing? Is the cultural tone set by those that Peterson describes as ‘postmodernist neomarxists’? Are the Enlightenment values and the idea of the sovereign individual an over-simplification? Can individuals descent their group identities?

Speakers: Razi Ginzberg, Luke Mitchell, Greg Scorzo

Chair: Nikos Sotirakopoulos

More speakers will be announced shortly.