How Jordan Peterson cheats to win arguments with the help of lobsters!

Natalie Wynn (Contra Points) deconstructs the infamous Cathy Newman interview in which Peterson seems to ‘win.’

She talks fast so if you’re like me – new to Peterson, text is below

“Petersons’ rhetorical strategy involves saying something that’s more or less uncontroversially true, while at the same time implying something controversial. For instance, Jordan Peterson will make a claim like, “There are some biological differences between men and women,” which is obviously true. But he’ll say it in the context of a conversation about the underrepresentation of women in government. Which implies what exactly? So how do you respond to this? Fall into the trap of arguing against the obviously true statement, or you have to guess what he’s implying, in response to which he can accuse you of misrepresenting him, which is exactly what happens with the Cathy Newman interview.

The most famous moment where Peterson does this is the notorious lobster argument. So he starts by saying: there’s this idea that hierarchical structures are a sociological construct of the western patriarchy. And then he goes on to say that lobsters exist in hierarchies, and lobsters predate western patriarchy by millions of years, so, checkmate postmodern neo-Marxists [Peterson’s pet hate.]

CN: You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?

JP: I’m saying that it’s inevitable that there will be continuity in the way that animals and human beings organize their structures.

The problem with that is that no one has ever said that every hierarchy is the product of ‘western patriarchy.’ This is such a massive strawman that it overshadows any uncharitable interpretation of Peterson suggested by Cathy Newman in this interview. No one on the left denies that there are some natural hierarchies. Even the anarchists, whose whole thing is abolishing hierarchies, limit themselves to the abolition of unjust hierarchies. No one wants to abolish lobster hierarchies, the hierarchies we’re interested in are those of gender, race, and economics within our own society, to which the lobster case is a complete non sequitur. I mean, you could use Peterson’s lobster argument in the same way he uses it to justify literally any hierarchy or authority, no matter how unjust. You could be an 18th-century republican arguing against the monarchy, and the monarch could turn around and say, ‘Well, hierarchies are inevitable.’ God save the lobster queen.”

I would love to see Jordan Peterson interviewed by ContraPoints Natalie Wynn. Channel 4 give Natalie a talk-show NOW!

#Channel4News #CathyNewman #ContraPoints #JordanPeterson @ContraPoints

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