Jordan Peterson and Ad Hominem Attacks

U of T’s faculty association charges Dr Peterson with creating a climate of ‘fear and intimidation’

Nov 14, 2017
1633 Views

Dr Jordan Peterson has gone in the space of 18 months from being a celebrated university lecturer and author at the University of Toronto to being a public figure in the so-called culture wars.

He has become so, however, not by running for political office, but by insisting that the central purpose of the university is the pursuit of truth.  And central to that enterprise is the science of predication, that is naming things correctly.

To be dictated by another what he must say is a pure contradiction of everything sacred to the pursuit of truth.  Dr. Peterson has stood on his convictions, and his stand has been loud and clear because it was principled.  It was logical.

It had of course political consequences, though those were ancillary to his main point.

Nonetheless, in his stance, which surely would have been universally acknowledged until recent times, he also attacked the political correctness that has become almost ubiquitous in Western society and the identity-group politics for which it is both a vehicle and a means of conquest.

It is small wonder then that even the University of Toronto Faculty Association is using fallacious ad hominem and ad verecundiam attacks upon Dr. Peterson, one of their members.  After all, when academics abandon their calling as educators, they embrace the tactics of Sophists.

However, in so doing, they are making Dr. Peterson’s case for him.

Universities have encouraged intolerant speech practices that are not only detrimental to their raison d’etre as institutions, they are stifling free speech, and uprooting the pursuit of knowledge at its most basic level: in calling a spade a spade.

Read Margaret Wente’s article in the Globe and Mail

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