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Jordan Peterson’s Last Trial
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Jordan Peterson’s Last Trial

While Ontario's College of Psychologists have been censorious and discriminatory, Peterson’s online behavior is worthy of criticism.

· 7 min read

Hippocrates cured many illnesses—and then fell ill and died. The Chaldeans predicted the deaths of many others; in due course their own hour arrived.
~Marcus Aurelius

There are a couple of ironies in the recent threat by the College of Psychologists of Ontario to revoke the occupational license of psychologist and author Jordan Peterson, unless he submits to a course of social media retraining.

The first is that Peterson no longer derives direct economic or personal benefit from the license. He has not practiced clinical psychology for several years, since around the time he skyrocketed to fame in 2016, and at this point, he is unlikely to do so again. The revocation of his mostly superfluous license could symbolize a final severance with his former private life, similar to his voluntary resignation from his professorship at the University of Toronto last year. Peterson is fighting the revocation on principle because he recognizes that words and symbols matter a great deal.

The second irony is that while the College of Psychologists’ decision was undoubtedly punitive, censorious, and discriminatory, Peterson’s online behavior is worthy of criticism.

Jordan Peterson is not a doctrinaire conservative, but a complex, nuanced thinker. But one would not guess this from his current Twitter presence. It is as full of irascible and simplistic discourse as that of many other users of Twitter, a platform which is notoriously full of anger and tendentiousness, and which is potentially addictive.

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