Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism: On the Ideas of Jordan Peterson

Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic (2020)
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Jordan Peterson has attracted a high level of attention. Controversies may bring people into contact with Peterson's work, but ideas are arguably what keep them there. Focusing on those ideas, this book explores Peterson’s answers to perennial questions. What is common to all humans, regardless of their background? Is complete knowledge ever possible? What would constitute a meaningful life? Why have humans evolved the capacity for intelligence? Should one treat others as individuals or as members of a group? Is a single person powerless in the face of evil? What is the relation between speech, thought, and action? Why have religious myths and narratives figured so prominently in human history? Are the hierarchies we find in society good or bad? After devoting a chapter to each of these questions, Champagne unites the different strands of Peterson’s thinking in a handy summary. Champagne then spends the remaining third of the book articulating his main critical concerns. He argues that while building on tradition is inevitable and indeed desirable, Peterson’s individualist project is hindered by the non-revisable character and self-sacrificial content of religious belief. This engaging multidisciplinary study is ideal for those who know little about Peterson’s views, or for those who are familiar but want to see more clearly how Peterson’s views hang together. The debates spearheaded by Peterson are in full swing, so Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism should become a reference point for any serious engagement with Peterson’s ideas.

Author's Profile

Marc Champagne
Kwantlen Polytechnic University


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