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Reaction: Jordan Peterson and Stephen Hicks Misunderstand Postmodernism

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Published on Jun 11, 2019

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My reaction to a discussion between Jordan Peterson and Stephen Hicks, author of EXPLAINING POSTMODERNISM, throughout which I offer commentary/criticism in which I seek to elucidate the aspects of Postmodernism either misunderstood or ignored by either or both scholars. The original video, located at the Peterson YouTube channel, is called "Stephen Hicks: Postmodernism: Reprise."

00:00 In this video I explore my sense of the essence of first-wave Postmodernism
01:15 Is Postmodernism a monolithic movement?
02:13 How does it serve Peterson and Hicks to portray it as such?
02:51 Which group of people is most critical of Hicks's book, Explaining Postmodernism?
03:46 Peterson asks Hicks to define the "tricky" term Postmodernism.
04:54 Before trying to define "Postmodernism," Hicks points out the difficulty of doing so.
05:16 My take on the paradox of insisting on "Postmodernism" to yield a definition.
05:51 Hicks: before you can define Postmodernism you have to define modernism.
05:59 My take on what I see as Hicks's mistranslation of the English prefix post.
06:23 Hicks misidentifies the Modernism that Postmodernism is referring to.
07:16 Me: Hicks should be focusing instead on this other manifestation of it.
10:12 Peterson interrups Hicks to confuse Modernism with Rationalism.
10:48 I explain why this is wrong. I go deeper into the spirit of Modernism.
13:53 Again, Peterson confuses Modernism with Rationalism. I get into it again.
14:56 Peterson goes even further, labels his Age-of-Reason Modernism a "movement"
15:51 Peterson inadvertently uses the "we're better off now" argument against himself
16:30 Hicks inadvertently uses the "judge philosophies by their fruits" argument against himself
17:08 My take on Lyotard's notion of skepticism toward metanarratives
18:31 I correct Hicks's Peterson-like confusion between Modernism and Rationalism
19:25 I correct Hicks's mischaracterization of Postmodernism as nihilistic
20:50 Why Peterson is wrong in his dismissal of Derrida as a "trickster."
22:12 Hicks: "Who writes the dictionaries?" Wrong question. What is the right one?
22:33 Peterson shows his Postmodernist chops, does his best impression of Derrida.
23:07 Peterson accuses Postmodernism of smuggling in "a Nietzschean power-striving"!
23:54 The desperation mounts: Nietzsche is a Marxist!
24:04 Hicks doesn't want us to be "skeptical about any sort of a knowledge claim."
24:36 Hicks confuses superficiality with subjectivity
24:47 Me: Postmodernism sees the Newtonian paradigm not as subjective but as superficial
25:17 The paradoxically life-affirming spirit of Existentialism, (first-wave Post)modernism
26:31 Hicks's antidote to Postmodern nihilism: advocacy of "advancing genuine values in the world"
27:29 Hicks echoes Peterson's notion of Nietzsche as a later manifestation of Marx vis-a-vis power
27:50 Peterson wants to blame everything on Marx despite portraying his beloved Nietzsche as neo-Marxist!

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