A former clinical psychologist, author, and media personality from Canada, Jordan Bernt Peterson was born on June 12, 1962. In the late 2010s, he gained broad recognition as a public intellectual due to his conservative views on cultural and political matters. Peterson has referred to himself as a traditionalist and a typical British liberal.
Peterson, who was born and reared in Alberta, graduated from the University of Alberta with bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology and from McGill University with a PhD in clinical psychology. After conducting studies and imparting knowledge at Harvard University, he came back to Canada in 1998 to take a permanent position on the psychology faculty at the University of Toronto. The book examines belief and meaning systems by fusing psychology, mythology, religion, literature, philosophy, and neuroscience.
In 2016, Peterson published a number of YouTube videos attacking Bill C-16, an Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code that would have made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of “gender identity and expression.”
The use of specific gender pronouns would become “compelled speech,” according to Peterson’s reasoning, which he connected to a broader critique of political correctness and identity politics. He garnered a lot of media attention, both praise and condemnation.
Peterson made friends with Rachel Notley and her family in junior high school. From the age of 13 to 18, Peterson belonged to the New Democratic Party. Before he met left-wing activists in college, Peterson’s teenage conviction that “religion was for the dumb, weak, and superstitious” persisted. Peterson also believed in a left-wing revolution.
2018 saw the release of his second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, after he had suspended his clinical practise and teaching obligations. Peterson experienced health issues in 2019 and 2020 as a result of a severe benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. He resigned from the University of Toronto in 2021, published his third book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, and started podcasting again. Peterson and the right-wing media outlet The Daily Wire agreed to a content distribution agreement in 2022.
After graduating from Fairview High School in 1979, Peterson enrolled at Grande Prairie Regional College to pursue a career as a corporate lawyer while studying political science and English literature. He read George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier around this time, which had a big impact on his educational priorities and outlook. Later, he changed schools and graduated with a BA in political science from the University of Alberta in 1982. After that, he took a year off to go to Europe, where he started researching the psychological causes of the Cold War and authoritarianism in 20th-century Europe; as well as books by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Peterson later went back to the University of Alberta, where he graduated in 1984 with a BA in psychology. He relocated to Montreal in 1985 to enrol at McGill University, where he graduated in 1991 with a PhD in clinical psychology under the guidance of Robert O. Pihl. From June 1993 to June 1993, he served as a post-doctoral fellow at McGill’s Douglas Hospital, where he collaborated with Pihl and Maurice Dongier.
In 2013, Peterson registered a YouTube channel named JordanPetersonVideos, and immediately began uploading recordings of lectures and interviews. The earliest dated recordings are from Harvard lectures in 1996.
According to Peterson, who has observed the emergence of political correctness on college campuses from the early 1990s, universities are primarily to blame for the wave of political correctness that has erupted in North America and Europe. In particular, sociology, Peterson thinks the humanities have turned corrupt and are no longer as dependent on science. He argues that “post-modernism and neo-Marxism” have damaged “true culture.”