Top critical review
Interesting in places
23 September 2018
I like Jordan Peterson a lot. I’ve particularly enjoyed his explanations and verbal jousting with some of his interviewers, so I was looking forward to reading this book to understand more about his opinions.
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.