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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Hardcover – 16 Jan 2018
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Genuinely extraordinary... Unmatched by any other modern thinker ... A prophet for our times (Dominic Sandbrook Daily Mail)
The most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now (New York Times)
Everyone must read 12 Rules For Life... The most enlightening book I have read in ages. Google him if you like, if it makes you feel better. It will, by the way. But get the book, that is the most important thing. And then read it. And then pass it on to a friend (Chris Evans)
In a different intellectual league... Peterson can take the most difficult ideas and make them entertaining. This may be why his YouTube videos have had 35m views. He is fast becoming the closest that academia has to a rock star (Observer)
Charismatic and exceptionally articulate.... Peterson is a new kind of public intellectual, using YouTube to spread ideas infinitely wider than predecessors such as Bertrand Russell or Isaiah Berlin (Amol Rajan New Statesman)
Anyone who is in a position of leadership would find it very insightful ... Jordan Peterson is a profound writer (Gina Miller)
It is that rare thing: self-help that might actually be helpful (New Statesman)
Fascinating ... Peterson is brilliant on many subjects (Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times)
One of the most eclectic and stimulating public intellectuals at large today, fearless and impassioned (Matthew d'Ancona Guardian)
Profound, charismatic and serious... One of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years (Tim Lott Spectator)
From the Inside Flap
What are the most valuable things that everyone should know?
Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has reshaped the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world's most influential public thinkers, with his lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology drawing tens of millions of viewers. In an era of unprecedented change and polarizing politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world.
In this book, he provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.
Drawing on vivid examples from his clinical practice and personal life, cutting edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity's oldest myths and stories, Peterson takes the reader on an intellectual journey like no other. Gripping, thought-provoking and deeply rewarding, 12 Rules for Life offers an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.See all Product description
From the Publisher
Jordan B. Peterson
'The most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now' - New York Times.
Jordan B. Peterson
'One of the most eclectic and stimulating public intellectuals at large today, fearless and impassioned' - Guardian.
Jordan B. Peterson is a Professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Raised in the frigid wastelands of Northern Alberta, he has flown a hammer-head roll in a carbon-fiber stunt-plane, and built a Kwagu'l ceremonial bighouse on the upper floor of his Toronto home after being invited into and named by that Canadian First Nation. He's taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers, and his book Maps of Meaning revolutionised the psychology of religion. Formerly a professor at Harvard University, he was nominated for its prestigious Levenson Teaching Prize.
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I enjoyed the anecdotes and personal stories, which mostly come in the second half of the book. Unfortunately, I found the first half of the book hard going and it seems that most of his foundational ideas are taken from Heidegger’s concept of ‘Being’ which Peterson does not try to justify or explain, he just takes it for granted even though apparently Heidegger struggled to explain it (page xxxi).
Peterson gives case after case where we should take responsibility, tell the truth, repair what’s broken, obey rules and standards and have values and moral obligations, yet without once explaining how any of these things can exist given his evolutionary, materialistic view of life.
In particular, he doesn’t seem to take proper account of the is-ought problem and appears to me at least, to commit the naturalistic fallacy in moving from describing the way the world is suffering (is) and then tells us what we should do about it (ought) without proper justification.
I think he should roll back on criticising other people's writing (rule 6: get your own house in order). I quickly got bogged down when rather than illustrate and explain his point he rambled off on some exegesis of the first chapters of Genesis. You can't draw timeless truths from books that are neither timeless nor true and I wish he would get over this thing he has for holy books. When he sticks to evolutionary biology he starts to say interesting and useful things. I enjoyed reading another passage about his hometown I dipped into but trawling through biblical passages waiting for him to make a point is extremely tiresome. My copy will be available soon through a 2nd hand book charity on here if you want it. As new, partially read.
I may have found myself re-reading certain sentences or paragraphs I struggled to take in, and used my dictionary more regularly than in a game of scrabble as he uses some words I’ve never heard spoken but it was totally worth the read.
I like him a lot (from what I’ve seen on YouTube and his words in this book) and wish him every success as he seems like he truly wants to help us all be better.
This is not a book to attempt at a fast pace. Take your time, digest what he’s trying to get across and you’ll get the most out of it.
It’s a bit like giving up smoking... you have to really want to give up to truly commit. I got to a point this year where I really wanted to make a change and this book offers a highly informed helping hand to set you on the right path.
Prior to this I’d read The Chimp Paradox which I’d also recommend for those who are trying to sort themselves out.