Jordan Peterson doesn't list evolutionary psychology anywhere in his
wikipedia article.  He paints himself as much more of the Carl Jung variety
psychologizer, which makes sense since his PhD is in Clinical Psychology.
Then he tacks on Soren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich as influences, which
puts him pretty far out there for any kind of psychologist.

His principle work is *Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief *which
looks on the face of it, and on his appeals to its authority, to be a
strong appropriationist claim to understand everyone's belief systems
better than the believers do themselves.  This is why he attacks all his
enemies at the universities, because he has identified postmodernism as
crypto-marxist (ie, they claim to have rejected Marxism, but their maps of
meaning are clearly still Marxist, as his many years of studying
authoritarian thought systems allow him to see).

It's pretty obvious why dialogue with Peterson is awkward for people who do
not grant his assumption that he understands why everyone believes what he
thinks they believe.  Those kinds of people are always awkward partners for
intellectual discussions, they're always telling you to sit down, shut up,
and listen.  It's also clear why his secret decoder ring lectures for
filing political opponents into pigeon holes could collect such a
following, who wouldn't want to know what everyone really believes?

His research program at Toronto is currently crowdfunded after his Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Council
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Sciences_and_Humanities_Research_Council>
grant
was cancelled last spring.  Bizarrely foreshadowing the future of all
academics?

There's a funny part in the article where he describes "white privilege" as
a totally unfair way of blaming whites because some of their ancestors were
assholes, where I always think of it as calling out whites for being
assholes in real life.  I guess the meaning sort of floats around or
flickers between those poles, also making dialogue awkward.

-- rec --


On Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 11:49 AM, ∄ uǝʃƃ <geprope...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> On 02/23/2018 07:12 AM, Nick Thompson wrote:
> > I think one is an evolutionary psychologist if and only if one thinks
> that knowledge of human evolutionary history has something to contribute to
> our understanding of contemporary human behavior.  So, yes, you may call me
> an evolutionary psychologist.  My guess is that, on that definition, so are
> you.
>
> Ha!  No, I'm not.  As I've argued lots on this list, I think thoughts are
> either purely epiphenomenal or, at least, rhetorical abstractions. (Yes.
> "This sentence is false.")  To the extent that even an extreme behaviorist
> draws a (artificial) line between a behavior like sneezing and its
> underlying physiology, you can't include me in that group.  There is no
> line.  Psychology seems, to me, like a misguided stepchild of philosophy.
>
> Add to that my appreciation for postmodernism and context-determined
> behavior and you might wonder what strength evolutionary arguments hold at
> all, of anything other than trickery and artifice like Peterson's.  Note
> that I'm qualifying "argument" with "evolutionary", not suggesting I don't
> believe evolution is, and is accurate.  It is both.  But the space of
> arguments invoking it is *swamped* with bullsh¡t (
> https://press.princeton.edu/titles/7929.html).  Luckily, I see no
> bullsh¡t in the 3 or so papers of yours that I've read.
>
> > ... particularly if we take them as CAUSAL claims.  And what other kind
> of claims to increased understanding are there?
>
> Now *that's* another interesting topic, non-causal claims.  But I suspect
> everyone's tired of me by now.  So, I really should back off. 8^)
>
> --
> ∄ uǝʃƃ
>
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