Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

Category: Psychology
Author: Jordan B. Peterson
This Month Reddit 2


by heroofthestories   2021-12-10

used one

by psychonauticusURSUS   2021-12-10

So I thought a bit about these comments while I was lifting, and before I address your post point by point and where I agree, and where I disagree, I wanted to say the following. It seems to me that you want to paint Jordan Peterson as being all bad, that he has no redeeming qualities or ideas, and everything about him is repugnant. You seem intelligent to me, so surely you see the problem with this type of thinking, right? Almost no one (I said almost) is ALL bad or ALL good. I like AOC, but I could tell you things I don't like about her. I support Bernie for president, but he has some policies I don't care for. I like Joe Rogan, but there's many things he says I really don't like. I love my dad, but there are things I don't like about him. Do you see what I'm getting at? Virtually every single thing I'm pointing out to you about why people like Jordan Peterson, you're trying to negate and say he's all bad, then you're left confused as to why millions of people adore him. I just wanted to address that beforehand. You seem to be approaching the subject with it already made up in your mind that everything about Jordan Peterson is bad.

>It's not even an "overgeneralization", it's just a completely absurd, out of thin air idea that is grossly misogynistic. He's claiming to read the minds of millions of women and suggesting that they are all masochists that want to be... I dunno raped and killed, I guess... but fundamentalist Muslims? It's just ugly on so many levels.

Aren't you taking his comments a little too far? I mean... he didn't say that. You're just putting words in his mouth and taking his comments further than they actually were. Big Dick Bernie (viva la revolucion) once penned an essay about a woman fantasizing about being raped. Are we going to nail him to a cross for a lifetime for that?

>But that doesn't discredit his work on social justice. That's just a personal failing between his marriage agreement with his wife. There's not really much to talk about there. Same story with Clinton and his blow job. Something like that should have little to no bearing on orthogonal areas of his life.

No it definitely does not discredit his work for social justice. It just adds to my earlier point about the complexity of people, and how no one is all good or bad. It's not completely unrelated, because it speaks to MLK's character, and that's what we're talking about here - people's character. So just like Peterson may say some stupid shit about feminism, or environmentalism, it doesn't have much to do with his work in psychology.

>You're equivocating. It's one thing to think that the world is flat, it's another to think that women can't think for themselves and should be subservient to men.

This is quite confusing to me. You think someone saying the earth is flat would have MORE credibility than someone saying women can't think for themselves? By the way, you're going to need to source that. I have listened to hours and hours of Jordan Peterson's lectures and podcast appearances, and I have definitely never heard him say anything close to what you're asserting here.

>One has very clear socioeconomic downstream effects, while the other is just nonsense. Not only is Peterson a pseudointellectual, he's also mean and unethical in his statements towards women, LGBT and other minority groups.

What has he said that disadvantages minority groups? On this claim I'm going to have to say the following: you're either lying, or you're misinformed. Again, I have listened to hours and hours of him talking, and I have NEVER heard him say a disparaging or mean thing about minorities. In fact, his writing program helps minorities more than it does whites. Here's a piece that NPR did on him about this topic before he became the scary alt-right boogie man: "He co-authored a paper that demonstrates a startling effect: nearly erasing the gender and ethnic minority achievement gap for 700 students over the course of two years with a short written exercise in setting goals."

So, here NPR is espousing this neat little writing program that he published an academic paper on and how it helped close the academic achievement gap between minorities and whites, and you're telling me he's "mean and unethical towards minority groups". Do you see the lack of congruence here? It doesn't add up.

>How do you know? Based on what you said above, it sounds like there's a whole lot you don't know about his record.

I've read his book, I've listened to every appearance he's made on Joe Rogan, including the one with Brett Weinstein, I'm listening to the audiobook version of 12 rules for life, I watched his Munk Debate appearance, I've listened to hours and hours of his U of T classroom lectures that he's posted on youtube, and I'm about halfway through his lecture series on the psychological significance of the bible. All of this over three years more or less. I have a very, very solid grasp of what JBP believes/thinks and what he doesn't. A much more solid grasp than you do, I'm willing to wager, based on the facts I've just laid out in this paragraph.

>He also denies climate change, despite not having ANY background in the field. None. Not a single day spent as a climate change scientist or a related, interdisciplinary field. Not a SINGLE shred of credibility on the issue... and yet he PROCLAIMS that climate change is a hoax. This is another enormous red flag regarding his ability to intellectualize on wordly matters.

Again, this is another completely unfounded claim, that I have NEVER heard come out of his mouth. This is beginning to get tiresome to have to repeatedly address things that you're claiming he has said or done, that he has actually never said or done.

Here's what wikipedia says on the matter: "Peterson doubts the scientific consensus on climate change.[129][130] Peterson has said he is "very skeptical of the models that are used to predict climate change".[131] He has also said, "You can't trust the data because too much ideology is involved".[132][130]"

While his take on climate change IS bad, there is very clearly a world of difference between "climate change is a hoax", and "I am skeptical of the models being used". Surely you can agree that those positions have worlds between them, right? So, here again, you have made strawman characterizations about him that I have again demonstrated are wrong/fabricated/whatever. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're not lying, and that you've been mislead.

>Oh, come on. His self help book is just repackaged ideas that you could find on any Tony Robbins tape. His academic work in psychology is not particularly offense but, from what I understand, is not particularly remarkable to other psychologists (there's a fairly large thread about this in the AskPsychologists sub). What is so brilliant about him?

Well, when you consider that going by academic citations, which is a fairly good metric for evaluating an academics credibility and success, he is in the top 1% of the world's publishing social scientists. I mean, regardless of ANYTHING else about his academic career, surely you can acknowledge that being in the top 1% of publishing social scientists by academic citations, is pretty impressive.

Have you read his book? Because at this point its starting to seem more and more like you've actually consumed/read/listened to very very little of his work, and you've let other people characterize his works for you, and you assumed those characterizations were accurate. See: the other examples in this post where I have demonstrated that you inaccurately characterized him.

If you continue to mischaracterize him and not take a good-faith approach to analyzing his works, you're going to continue to fall flat on your face in understanding why his book sold over 3 million copies in two years, why thousands of people are attending his lectures, and why millions of people are tuning into his video and audio content.

If you want a dense psychology work from him, check out his book "maps of meaning".

It's a much denser, more complex philosophical/psychological work. 12 rules for life was not written for Cambridge or MIT professors. Or even general lower level academics. 12 rules for life was written for the common person. IMO, he does a solid job of synthesizing some of the great ideas from a selection of the great thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries (Jung, Freud, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche and others), while bringing them into the 21st century and making them easily digestible for the common person, while adding his on take on top of it all. What do you feel is more reasonable: that it's just "tony robbins" self-help fake motivational bullshit, or the complex and nuanced view of the book I've just given? Come on.

by Treknobable   2019-11-17


by EnderWiggin1984   2019-11-17

I've discussed this in more detail elsewhere in the subreddit, but the crux of what went wrong is somewhere in the difference between "art" and "propaganda." The problem in distinguishing the two is that both have a point of view; propaganda isn't special in that regard. The criteria for defining propaganda has something to do with the approach to the subject-object problem; you can't really say that the difference between art and propaganda is "Truth." "Truth" is the very thing explored or questioned by art, so it's circular to evaluate art vs propaganda on an assumption about truth.

Two individuals can take the same set of facts and spin opposite "truths" with the use of narrative framing. Perhaps propaganda tells lies with intent to persuade, whereas art tells lies by human fallibility. The problem is that framing is a deliberate (and necessary) choice on the part of the artist, and when the critic comes from a different worldview, he is likely to consider art from his interlocutor as being propaganda, and vice versa.

The difference between propaganda and art is something like the difference between a good and bad faith argument, and an artist's willingness to be proven wrong with a better argument. In science, Popper refers to this as falsification of hypothesis rather than seeking confirmation. Getting into philosophy and sociology of science is a deep rabbit hole; I can go there, but we'll never get back on topic. Suffice to say, I tend to think of art as being science that hasn't been understood well enough to be defined yet, or ever. But that's something else that could be hotly debated.

In any case, "Maps of Meaning," a college textbook, is a cross-cultural study of Ancient myth, and 20th century political ideology, through the lens of evolutionary psychology in an attempt to explain the origins of ideology and why it drives people to war and genocide. The author of that book is extremely qualified to analyze and discuss the psychology of belief systems, in spite of his critics' claims to the contrary. He might be wrong (I don't think he is), but he's certainly not unfounded or ignorant as some have suggested.

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

by EnderWiggin1984   2019-11-17

Also, "Maps of Meaning," by Jordan Peterson, if you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes on the 12 Rules.

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

by heybrendan   2019-05-26
> Western corporations have done as much harm as they could get away with to make a quick buck as well.

I'm in agreement (for the most part)--historically speaking. I never said that this was purely relegated to China, although the topic of the article is indeed China.

I'll also take this opportunity to remind you about HN commenting guidelines [1], specifically when disagreeing to try to "reply to the argument", as opposed to calling names--or in your specific case implying emotional states or assumptions on worship.

I will share that I find it unfortunate that you seem generally opposed to Dr. Peterson's works: his Maps of Meaning (1999)[2], for instance, contains powerful ideas that cannot be easily dismissed.

Finally, humans are complex creatures. We can easily find an argument intrinsically stimulating and academically fascinating whilst simultaneously not feeling disillusionment.

[1] [2]

by jlehman   2018-07-23
I find that history is best viewed as a phenomenon of consciousness—the mind's awareness of itself. With awareness of oneself comes awareness of the eventuality of death, the discovery of the "future" and its opposite, the past. In this sense history is a discovery of conscious beings of which humans are the most advanced by probably orders of magnitude (which is a difficult thing to quantify to say the least).

It's not so much that history is "about" humans; it only really applies to humans in the first place. To have a history of "elephants" is just to have a history of elephants as understood by humans—unless it's elephants that are communicating it.

The best explanations I've heard of this concept are in Jordan Peterson's Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories lecture series, available on Youtube here: