There will be a few opinions expressed in this post. My main critique is that Jordan Peterson does not understand the issues that he is condemning, and so what sounds like intelligence is really just small minded opinion based upon an ignorance.
Here is a post worth reposting:
Originally posted on Cadell Last: Synthesis! Video: Slavoj Žižek or Jordan Peterson? Both Please! So it seems like Žižek heard the criticisms regarding his approach to the political phenomenon of Jordan Peterson and has responded quite clearly. In this response he attempts to remind us of the ways in which the “radical left” or the “identity…
In our current situation, I do agree that people should talk about things. But, the unpopular opinion is that this is not always the case, and all too often, no communication occurs in the attempts anyways!
I am making a sweeping judgment when I say that I watched this video of Jordan Peterson and it was enough to understand his view, manner, and basis of opinions. I do not think it is a valuable thing to disseminate at least some of this guy’s “scholarship”; his arguments are just plain incorrect. Answering to his points would be like arguing with a person over why 2+4 does not equal 9; there is no point in hearing information that is just incorrect in so many ways. So, I am not even embedding his lecture so readers are greeted with a nice picture when one opens this post. 😆This guy and his lectures are not really worth reposting. They are worth noting, though, because we should keep tabs on dangerous people an their ideas; they are not worth considering as true, except that they do have an effect upon people. They are valid in as much as there is indeed someone with such an idea, but we should always try to keep in mind the audience. So I am putting the link so you reader can watch his 10 minute piece and hear how scholarship and letters can lead to and support all sorts of ideas. Education, intelligence, and letters after your name does not necessarily denote legitimate substance. It’s often, it seems, really no different than saying I have short hair, often wear flannels and wingtips.
— But nevertheless I will be getting my advanced degree. 🤘🏾starting in August. 👽
The reason why it is not always the case that communication can take place is exemplified by this very lettered dude. He is an example of what is able to be wrong with the world education system: The only thing that makes him valuable is that he did some things to get some letter behind his name that makes him important so that people will think he knows what he is talking about. There are stupid doctors you know; he may indeed be quite knowledgeable about things, but apparently philosophy is not one of them (reflection in thought is often only intensional; but there is also The philosophical divide we know as “analytical” and “continental”, even as I’m not really sure these categories locate anything for us. The plain and simple fact is that I can levy the same claims against him that he does against the “Post-Moderns”. He obviously does not understand the issues by which he stakes his position, despite his “education”. The point of the “end of philosophy” or the “end of history” and all those ends, is that philosophy has painted itself into a corner such that no matter what is argued away from the corner it finds itself in the corner. The way that Jordan is arguing, it appears, however he wants to talk about what the “postmoderns” would say, that he does not understand what it means: His reflection upon the issues shows he is not understanding what he is supposed to be reflecting upon.
Now I am not apologist for any “Post-modernity”. In fact, I can agree with him in so far as there are many self claimed Post-Modern school-people (scholars?) who do indeed fall into his category to merit his PM description. I myself have pointed out the lamer PM approach.
Let me see if I can really simply spell out the problems I see with PM and also Jordan . Lets see if I succeed.
I will not be going through his lecture point by point, but in general to those points.
In short, Jordan is a white male reactionary, and traditionally, all that needs to happen for a white male to be correct is to argue the system that the white males erected. What this system is and does is the issue that he doesn’t seem to want to address. Maybe he does elsewhere, but I suspect he will use the discursive sight-of-hand to denounce the aspects that he himself uses to prop his ideas upon, And this because he simply is not understanding the discussion of race and gender relations.
(1) Jordan is puffed up on himself. His letters allow him to be viewed, by himself as well as others, as if he is giving intelligent lectures, lectures that contain intelligence. In fact, we can say that he has intelligence insomuch as we grant credence to the postmodern ideal that intelligence is what we make of it or what we argue of it. Intelligence in this way has dismissed itself from any actual ground: The ground is the “common sense” ground of propaganda. He has no interest in what might be true, only what is real; what is true is so because he is able to use discourse to establish its reality; this is a Post-modern tenant. He is thus caught in the Post-modern condition and is rebelling against this contradiction by outright living in denial. Though he is lettered, its seems he has conveniently missed the one of the basic tenants of white privilege: He will not look at , and is utterly unable to get outside of, his privilege. He is using Post-modern methodologies to argue that the Post-modern methodology is incorrect, then flat out simply asserting that he is correct beyond his contradictory position. In the extent that he is not involved with any irony, such a method asserts propaganda. Did I say that it is obvious that he is not understanding the issue?
(2) Jordan’s definitional categories of Post modern itself is an incorrect assessment; they are insufficient. While they do indicate a certain group who claims PM, the very ideal of PM has been corrupted by the problem that PM opened up. What is now called Post-Modernism is too often a deformity of the meaning of the texts. In short; his assessment is based upon not only upon an incorrect assessment, but he is very sure that his assessment is correct. The tenants he announces to thereby discredit are populist distortions.
The Post-modern method is exactly that which Jordan is using to discredit white privilege and PM, but in reverse; He is taking a representation of assumption of individuals and discrediting it as if it represents the whole of the group. (In this case, the purported group, the PMs, also often fall into a similar category as Jordan. Yay for letters !!) Again, while there is indeed a group who might claim the title of PM, this title is also not worth its letter, except, as Leotard might describe it, the letters themselves have become indicators or privilege and expertise and do not necessarily convey any actual truth. He understand himself with reference to truth due to the fact that he has done x amount of work; he believes his own script and is unable to consider what might not be included in his ‘expertise’. He is an example of someone caught in the the post modern condition as well as white privilege, but also the system that is being exploited by him is subject to the same fault (hence the exploitation and hence the perpetuation of the racist system).
In short; he is a white male who is reacting to a threat upon his identity. His claim that identifiers reduce to an infinity of identifiers (and so why pick ‘just these ones’) and thus have no credence in real social negotiations has, again conveniently, missed the basic fact that communication does not occur across a common category. His assumption is one of white privilege. It is based on a “should be” rather than an “Is”, but he uses his innate offense upon the basis of his identity, what he perceives as an attack upon is Being, to cater to the crowd and use general ideals such as “reality” to argue a position that is common to everyone, as if every one is a equal human being. This is called the argument from the political state; the Idea is a good one, but it doesn’t translate into reality intact. Intersectionality is a critique about overarching idealisms and institutions that enforce such ‘normalcy”. Jordan is not seeing logic as a tool; evidenced by his use of it, he sees Logic as a sort of ‘holy spirit’ by which one may commune with the great Logos God. Again, he conveniently sets aside his use of discursive gymnastics that is usually associated with the PM lineage. He is twisting and confusing academic rigor with intentionality, engendering religious intolerance under a guise of open theoretical validity.
While I tend to agree with his argument about where the ideas of racism and systemic privilege lead, he seems to miss the real issue. His position is concerned with what “should be”, but the actual issue is about what “Is”. He is arguing an ideology of ontology as an identity ( a common) rather than confronting the teleology it supposes and enforces on the ground. As we find in his other addresses, he associates an assault on his identity, on the categories given to him, as an assault on a general “human freedom” and I would guess he extrapolates this over into the freedoms of democracy and the Canadian-United Sates-and others way of life. Well of course it is an assault on your “way of life”, Jordan! Thats the point. But it doesn’t mean that the “free world” is threatened.
Yet this is also what is at root the problem in philosophy and the critical academics is that most are in a race to the finish line, a race to nowhere. And the method that has come about because of this competition to produce valuable intellectual products advocates anticipating ends and creating academic products based in those (speculated) ends. More and more, the extension towards these products ends are creating a “ground vacuum” such that Jean-Francois Lyotard was more correct than he could have known (maybe).
We are indeed still living in the Post-modern condition. Lettered people similar to Jordan only serve to make an argument for why the condition still exists because they are incapable of understanding the significance of the discussion. They end up reifying the condition and moving us in a swirling eddy, offering little constructive input, and plain ideological propaganda of the “we shall be great again” rhetorical type.
Oh and the “you’re next”. OMG. If that isn’t reactionary politics going on the offensive…
Maybe Ill be proven wrong. After all, I only watched one video of his.
It’s not so much that we need a new theory, it’s that we need a different type of theoreticians.
Like that is ever going to happen for our culture of popularity and products. 😝
That’s where a philosophical divergence comes in the play.
Here is another little bit with Jordan about pronouns and gender issues. In short, he is (begrudgingly, and in denial that he is) a congregant of postmodern intentionality. While I agree he has a point about pronouns, but again, he is concerned with what “should be” more than what “Is”. The consideration is generalized ,just as he argues that we can’t generalize respect; he is generalizing respect in his thinking and granting it to respect for his own.
The person who posted the vid and made the captions obviously lives on a different planet. Of course, the person thinks the captions make sense, but I don’t know what it is. That is called a “failure of communicating across a category”, and in this case there is a category that I am not recognizing that the person believes they are communicating across, but here the category itself has failed.
But after all that: what a boring world it would be without different ideas and opinions. So actually, the academy is working well. It only appears that I’m attacking him personally because he acts and behaves as if he’s got all the information, but it is obvious to me that he’s not understanding the things that he is critiquing.
And finally; I am not convinced that Zizek and Peterson represent a thesis and anti-thesis relationship, and therefore there would really be no synthesis that would occur, except in the most mundane form, from their interaction. This is because Peterson does not represent an antithesis, he actually represents a continuing postmodern thesis.
I wonder if he thinks homosexuality is a mental disease?