Noam Chomsky On Jordan Peterson 

Despite sharing many similarities, Noam Chomsky has been critical of Clinical Psychologist Jordan Peterson. In an otherwise unbearable interview,  Noam was asked about Jordan Peterson. He responded: “Frankly I’ve paid very little attention but if you want to know about Jordan Peterson…the best thing I can refer you to is an article by Nathan Robinson.” He would go on to say that “There are probably things I would agree with Hitler on.”

It’s a biting comment from one of the world’s most famous intellectuals. Though I’m sure he would hate to hear it, Noam and Jordan share more than one thing in common. While they were in overlapping social science fields, spaced just miles apart from each other in Cambridge (Jordan at Harvard and Noam at MIT), the similarities don’t stop there.

The international celebrity that is Jordan Peterson has been seen as a rise to stardom unparalleled in academia. It might be more accurate to say that the rise of Jordan Peterson is unlike anything the western world has seen, since Noam Chomsky. The linguist was among the first critics of the Vietnam war at a time when he was renowned for his breakthrough work in linguistics. His 1967 article The Responsibility of Intellectuals would bring Chomsky into the national spotlight. A position he would remain for more than four decades.

However there’s at least one more way the two intellectuals overlap.

Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules For Life was famously left off the New York Times Bestseller List despite being the best selling book in the world. For most of Noam Chomsky’s five decade career he has been a figure whose 100+ books are way to controversial to be given serious merit or review in mainstream journals.

 

The Nathan Robinson Take Down Article of Jordan Peterson

The article referenced by Noam Chomsky, written by Nathan Robinson, is another in a line of long form deconstructions of public intellectuals who seem to have found themselves in the crosshairs of his self run magazine “Current Affairs.” In the piece, Robinson takes Peterson to task for playing fast and loose with metaphor and symbolism. While Robinson may be overly aggressive from the outset, the last two thousand or so words are well reasoned and thorough critiques of the Peterson book “Maps of Meaning.”  

How does one even address material like this? It can’t be “refuted.” Are we ruled by a dragon of chaos? Is the dragon feminine? Does “the ‘state’ of preconscious paradise” have a “voluntary encounter with the unknown”? 

Noam vs Jordan’s Popularity In The United States

While Noam Chomsky has continued to remain relevant despite turning 91 in December of 2019, the intellectual has been surpassed (if only momentarily) in popularity. We’ll include the map internationally as well for those that are interested in that sort of thing. If you are having trouble viewing the graph on desktop, try viewing on your mobile device or adjusting your browser so that it’s as small as a mobile device. 

 

As always, should we become aware that Noam has changed his mind, or updated his position, we will make the necessary changes and make note of it on this page. 

Ben Shapiro on Marijuana

The conservative commentator has changed his tone recently about the de-criminilzation of Marijuana. 

Sam Harris on Eckhart Tolle

Though the two have never sparred in person, they haven’t be shy about offering an opinion on each other’s work. 

Noam Chomsky on Jordan Peterson

The linguist isn’t particularly fond of his fellow social scientist. 

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