Jordan Peterson and Stephen Hicks discuss Postmodernism

Our 90-minute conversation about the philosophy, psychology, and politics of postmodernism is embedded below or viewable at at YouTube. Dr. Peterson’s introduction:

“On August 17, I spoke with Dr. Stephen Hicks, professor in the philosophy department at Rockford University. Dr. Hicks is the author of the influential and courageous 2004 book Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, which is perhaps even more relevant and important now than it was when it was published.
“We spoke in depth about the history of philosophy as it has developed since medieval times, trying to understand and describe the processes that led to the rise of postmodern theory.
“The book itself can be purchased here at Amazon. Dr. Hicks has also made it available in pdf form here. A useful review/overview, written by Dr. Steven Sanders, can be found here. An audiobook also exists, and can be found here.
“Why is this all relevant? Because our culture finds itself currently embroiled in a war of ideas, and those ideas must be understood.”

9 thoughts on “Jordan Peterson and Stephen Hicks discuss Postmodernism

  • August 20, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Rich people, oligarchs and political establishment have to feel real danger for their political power, money and wealth. Only in this case Marx will not be right. After communism everything is according to Marx- fewer wealthy, middle class disappears and participate with lower class.

  • August 21, 2017 at 10:06 am

    The synopsis given by Prof. Hicks of the post-modernist critique of the Darwinian support for rational cognition is reminiscent of one of the traditional Creationist arguments against evolution. When confronted by rocks of evident antiquity or starlight that has been traveling for millions of years, the young-Earth Creationist says that the universe was created with the starlight already in transit and the rocks appearing to be ancient. The answer to this is that this version of Creation is non-falsifiable. You may believe Creationism if you like, but science is the study of what the evidence tells us. Maybe that is artificial and maybe Creationism is a higher truth, but the study and arguments of science are irrelevant to this species of Creationism and vice versa. Perhaps the post-modernists can develop a new paradigm of argumentation and then convince us that they have a higher truth, but their rejection of human cognition simply removes them from intellectual inquiry.

  • August 22, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Thank you both! This was a brilliant discussion and I look forward to more!

    I think the moniker “anti-Enlightenment” is a much preferable name for this anti-individual, anti-self, anti-freedom, anti-civil movement. “Post-Modernism” does not get across the essence where anti-Elightenment does.

    I find it significant that Marx and Nietzsche take up on the false alternative historically presented to man: that either one must sacrifice one’s SELF (altruism), or one must sacrifice others to one’s self. This meta-ethical false alternative — of who should be the beneficiary of a man’s moral actions — is at the core of the agenda of those who oppose the Enlightenment — be they secular (Marx & Nietzsche) or religious (preeminently the Catholic Church).

  • August 22, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I agree about this false alternative too, Brishon. There’s a whole suite of them between to two of them, Marx and Nietzsche. Thanks.

  • August 22, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Hello Dr. Hicks,

    At about minute 54 into the conversation the question of the state of nature comes up and JP makes the point that the nature/nurture dichotomy is false and overlooks a 3rd aspect, etc. It seems that nature/nurture debates treat the individual as the puppet-like object of external “causes”. JP seems to take his lead from C.G. Jung’s ideas. I wonder, looking for the invisible third hand, if the question of independent will is relevant here. Is independent will considered as a possible active agent, or concrete entity, in attempts to describe the condition that allows the human range of action?

  • August 22, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Great interview! Thank you Stephen for addressing these complicated issues in such instructive and non-polemic manner. I really enjoyed reading your book and I was very happy to hear that you’re working on a sequel; how about ‘Enlightenmentality’ (an allusion to Foucault’s ‘Governmentality’) as title?

  • August 22, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you, Josh. I am charmed by “Enlightenmentality.”

  • August 29, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Empiracality? Objectivistic? Knowability? Self-Govermentality? (I could do this all day.😉)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *