Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Jean Paul Sartre

Jordan Peterson is a Garden Variety Christian Existentialist

A few people have asked me lately–what do I think of Jordan Peterson? Peterson is a Canadian psychologist who has written a book called 12 Rules for Life. He’s become very popular on YouTube and generated something of a following. I can see why–the particular kind of philosophy he’s advocating is unfamiliar to many people and feels transgressive in a modern context. But it’s an old kind of philosophy which dates back to the 19th century and takes its inspiration from Soren Kierkegaard. It’s called “Christian Existentialism”. Here’s how it works.

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Scumbag Babies

A new study reveals that babies can be scumbags. This may seem like an interesting bit of popular psychology, but if the study’s results are true, it contributes to one of the central debates of political theory and philosophy, one which is too often considered in isolation–nature versus nurture, the question of the malleability of man’s nature, if he has a nature at all. This nature versus nurture question is as pivotal in our political discourse as liberal versus conservative, capitalist versus socialist, any of the various supposed dichotomies in our theory. But first, let me explain this study, because it’s really cool.

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A Critique of Existentialism

There’s a problem with existentialism, specifically Jean Paul Sartre’s concept of “existence precedes essence”. Today I’d like to talk about that concept, why it is flawed, and what implications all of this has for our wider society and political structure.

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