An Emergent Cosmopolis

Educational Projects: Foundations: Jordan Peterson II

Now, the thing about foundations is that the horizon, intentions, concepts, relations, and operations set the initial starting point--the first in a series--that set the parameters for doctrines, systematics, and communications. Keep in mind that this is not the construction of an axiomatic system, but simply the laying down of the capability of discerning between positions and counter-positions. While errors can and will be made by those engaged in the subsequent functional specialties, the really serious ones occur within foundations. There may be found the truly deep blind spots that distort all that is to follow.


These blind spots arise not only from a failure to meet the full demands of intellectual, moral, and religious conversion but a failure to develop a fully differentiated mind that allows for a sound expression of one's foundational stance. So when we inquire into Peterson's foundational stance, we are collecting and weighing evidence found not only in the values he expresses but the way in which he formulates and answers those questions that preoccupy his attention.


This breaks down into seven areas:

  • His basic beliefs about reality, i.e., those fundamental doctrines that in effect set the parameters for his world view;
  • the explanatory theories he uses to understanding these doctrines; and finally
  • the strategies he uses to communicate these doctrines and systematic theories to those he encounters.

Each of these provides evidence for the state of his foundational self. But to review this material is to come to appreciate him as representing an existing world mediated by meaning and not one's own foundational stance. For this we turn to the four prior functional specialties:

  • Research, where we pay attention to the basic taxonomy that Peterson uses to organize his material, i.e., what constitutes significant data, where and when does it exist, and of what type is it.
  • Interpretation, where the focus is on how he interprets this evidence, these artifacts not only as they exists within the originating framework but how he translates them into his current world.
  • History, where we pay attention to the stories that he tells that pull all this prior material into a coherent framework unfolding over time.
  • Dialectics, where we note only note the fundamental conflicts with which he is engaged but find core conflicts within his own thinking.

So, let us play around with this extension of our methodology for objectifying a person's foundational stance, knowing full well that the way in which we carry this out is a function of our own foundational stance. Any blind spots we have will be revealed in our own analysis. In fact, this exercise becomes an encounter at the 3rd reflective level of intelligence.

In this page we deal with examining the evidence collected in part I, weighting what has been accepted as evidence, and finally making a foundational act of discernment that objectifies what this video suggests is Jordan Peterson's foundational stance. There are two parts to this: conversion (intellectual as it relates to a shift away from naive realism and toward Lonergan's critical realism, moral as it relates to putting values over personal satisfactions, and religious as it relates to putting the Divine Mystery as the sole and absolute authority with regard to understanding what is actually going on), and the differentiation of mind, where the person is familiar with different realms of meaning, knows what methods and intentional goals are associated with each, and aware of cross-contamination.