Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson

Books | Philosophy | The Road To Wigan Pier

mapsofmeaning Date: 26/11/2016
I first came across Jordan Peterson because of the controversy that ensued after he made a few videos about gender pronoun use and new amendments to laws coming into place in Canada (Law C16).

What has come to pass lately (2016) is simply fascinating. I have watched every video that he has made and I am now attempting to read his book.

I think this guy is the real deal. I don't mean just his courage to stand in the face of overwhelming opposition or his ability to clearly argue and articulate the utter stupidity of the proposed amendments to Law C16. But I feel that his level of analysis into to the human psyche is something I haven't come across in any living academic or philosopher.

He wipes the floor with the likes of Sam Harris or Daniel Dennett. Ok, Sam is a moron, Dennett is more respectable but still... he goes deeper by an order of magnitude.

Notes - Introduction

  • It was not socialist ideology that posed the problem, then, but ideology as such. Ideology divided the world up simplistically into those who thought and acted properly, and those who did not. Ideology enabled the believer to hide from his own unpleasant and inadmissible fantasies and wishes
  • What people valued, economically, merely reflected what they believed to be important. This meant that real motivation had to lie in the domain of value, of morality . The political scientists I studied with did not see this, or did not think it was relevant.
  • The truly appalling aspect of such atrocity did not lie in its impossibility or remoteness, as I had naively assumed, but in its ease. I was not much different from the violent prisoners—not qualitatively different. I could do what they could do (although I hadn't).
  • The world can be validly construed as a forum for action, as well as a place of things. We describe the world as a place of things, using the formal methods of science. The techniques of narrative, however—myth, literature and drama—portray the world as a forum for action. The two forms of representation have been unnecessarily set at odds, because we have not yet formed a clear picture of their respective domains. The domain of the former is the objective world—what is, from the perspective of intersubjective perception. The domain of the latter is the world of value—what is and what should be, from the perspective of emotion and action.

  • The world can be validly construed as forum for action, or as place of things. The former manner of interpretation -more primordial, and less clearly understood-finds its expression in the arts or humanities, in ritual, drama , literature and mythology. The world as forum for action is a place of value, a place where all things have meaning.
  • We need to know four things:

    what there is,

    what to do about what there is,

    that there is a difference between knowing what there is,

    and know ing what to do about what there is and what that difference is.
  • Everything is something, and means something— and the distinction between essence and significance is not necessarily drawn.
  • The medieval man lived, for example, in a universe that was moral—where everything , even ores and metals , strived above all for perfection.
  • It was the great feat of science to strip affect from perception, so to speak, and to allow for the description of experiences purely in terms of their consensually apprehensible features.
  • Religion for the pre-experimental mind was not so much a matter of faith as a matter of fact— which means that the prevailing religious viewpoint was not merely one compelling theory among many.

    07dec16   admin