Tuesday, March 27, 2018

On Nathan Robinson’s Take Down Of Jordan Peterson


Jordan Peterson taken down here...

and hard.

The person who sent this said:

....Pretty good review of Peterson.  Robinson makes the point I was trying to make.  If you read Peterson with an open mind, you are going to be confused.  He says things in a vague and contradictory way, that don't allow rational debate.  To be fair, any position attributed to Peterson that he doesn't like he can always successfully refuted, because he has said something that is vague or contradictory that can be cited to "prove" the characterization is incorrect.

Robinson makes a good decision to quote at length from Peterson's own writing, so you can get a sense of just how nonsensical it really is.

Peterson is a bogus poseur and should be dismissed....

But read the below. 

I find it persuasive. 

Read Peterson.

I report. You decide.

P.S. But now a day later with some thinking about this article, I responded to the above writer as follows about Peterson:

....I’ve thought more about this take down.

I think it operates at two levels, one good and one bad.

The good is that it points to what is evasive and hazy in Peterson, at his making word salad over some things that are so and wrapping them in inaccessible grand pronouncements that yield, as Robinson notes, the common reaction, “It’s me not him in my not fully getting him. I assume his depth and brilliance.” So there is some trying to hold on to water in trying to come to complete terms with him.

The bad is the obvious ideological bias and Robinson’s need over and over to overstate his case: nothing of what Peterson says makes sense; he’s quite empty; he’s dumb; he’s wrong on any point he makes;  it’s all a huge con. This line of criticism is absurd, actually. There is a lot that’s discernible in what he says, even short of ultimately understanding him. That’s evident where Robinson takes him on point by point and then keeps apologizing for lending Peterson a coherence of thought he does not have. So, it follows that 
Peterson’s obviously not simply fatuous. And this particular  criticism conflates what is hazy and inaccessible with what isn’t. So this criticism is absurd. He’s obviously not dumb. There’s no appraisal, for example, of his academic work. Not for nothing, but he was on a tenure track at Harvard and is a full prof at U of T, just being credentialist about it. And simply from observing him live, alone or in debate, and reading him, it’s plain and obvious there’s an erudite and high intelligence in operation. So that criticism, his stupidity, is absurd. Further on many of his discrete points—the excesses of feminist and queer theory, generically post modern theory, the excesses of social construction theory, the differences between male and female, the near inexorable relation between gender and sex, the profound overreach of progressivism as manifest, for one example, in the demand for equality of outcome, the scourge of identity politics, the zealotry of political correctness, the callowness of youth, the cult of victimization, grievance mongering, the institutionalizing of some parts of post modern theory, I could go on—he’s right, at least as I see it. So this criticism is absurd too and here Robinson’s ideological underwear shows explicitly as he assimilates his point by point disagreements with Peterson into his overall thesis of overstated fatuity. Which all of which  makes it clear that Peterson’s not a bedazzling con man. 

You and or your first source say what?

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