Maps of Meaning

Maps of Meaning

The Architecture of Belief

Book - 1999
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"Why would people in different places and times formulate myths and stories with similar symbols and meanings? Are groups of people with different religious or ideological beliefs doomed to eternal conflict? Are the claims of science and religion truly irreconcilable? What might be done to decrease the individual propensity for group-fostered cruelty? Maps of Meaning addresses these questions with a provocative new hypothesis that explores the connection between what modern neuropsychology tells us about the brain and what rituals, myths and religious stories have long narrated. Peterson's ambitious interdisciplinary odyssey draws insights from the worlds of religion, cognitive science and Jungian approaches to mythology and narrative. Maps of Meaning offers a critical guide to the riches of archaic and modern thought and invaluable insights into human motivation and emotion."
Publisher: New York ; London : Routledge, [1999]
Copyright Date: ©1999
ISBN: 9780415922210
Branch Call Number: 150.1 PETERSON
Characteristics: xxii, 541 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


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Mar 08, 2019

This is a tough slog, I couldn't finish it so I didn't rate it. For someone so well read he can't write, it's a verbose convoluted bunch of nonsense. To put it in Petersonesque terms: This voluminous treatise attempts to transcend the dichotomy between CHAOS and What SHOULD BE but fails to reach its aforementioned goal in light of the fact that despite its erudite language it is devoid of objective elucidation and arguments that delineate a defensible position.

Feb 18, 2019

Absolutely dreadful schlock that melds bromides about goal-setting, dubious bastardizations of myth scholarship, fretting about gulags, hilarious autobiography ripe for Freudian plucking, transmutations of the rich complexity of existentialism into simplistic glosses on basic points from Nietzsche & Dostoevsky that reactionaries love to cite, & numerous, repetitious diagrams as Peterson lacquers one diagram atop another to quilt a safety blanket to protect him from the feminine (presented alternatively as Chaos, a dragon, Nature, group identity, Stalin, & the devil).

Major columnists proclaim Peterson the west's most prominent public intellectual in a serious indictment of North America's decadent, imperial culture. The book itself & the burbling of it by the chair of Harvard's psychology department & 2 other Harvard & U of Toronto psych professors (along w/ Steven Pinker's position at Harvard) raise serious questions about academic psychology (Robert Samuels's book on the new brain sciences pursues some of these).

Moreover, Peterson completely misreads Freud in his contemptuous offhand references (a serious problem for a Jungian analyst trying to kill the father). His discussion of alchemical symbolism quotes Ben Jonson's immortal satire *The Alchemist* as if it were a serious document of that practice.

Nathan Robinson & Harrison Fluss have penned admirable takedowns of Peterson: &

Still, if you have to have reactionary archetypal criticism, I'd recommend Camille Paglia's *Sexual Personae*, which accomplishes the same ends as *Maps* but in a more readable style & w/ a more interesting archive (C19 romantic & decadent literature).

If you're a lonely male incel, I'd suggest treating women as fellow individuals not winnable objects.

If you just want to read writers who synthesize psychoanalysis, pop culture, & politics w/o treating femininity as a unified, threatening whole, there is Slavoj Žižek, Jodi Dean, Nina Power, Helen Hester, Mark Fisher, Laura Kipnis, & Alfie Bown.

I will say one nice thing about the book, however. It has the most metal illustrations of any non-art history academic book I've read. Scantily-clad deities, dragons, & devils abound.

Aug 13, 2018

This is a comprehensive book delineating what is meaning (i.e. what motivates people to act), how meanings come about from homo sapiens to possibly humanity in the future before humanity migrates to cyborg (my projection). I enjoyed the supporting evidences from neuroscience and the level of abstractions that Professor Jordan Peterson put together. He puts the use cases in the range of dramas, stories, dramas, religions, philosophies through these levels of abstractions to show how meanings come about for humanities around the world for as long as there were written records. A scholarly work!

Having read this book, I can understand how he has been able to put so many of his attackers in their places while he shares his wisdom in his popular book, The 12 Rules of Life.

Nov 13, 2017

I heard Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan podcast, and have been working through all of the books on his reading list. I requested the library buy his book, and I can't wait to read it. For those who have not heard it, it's Joe Rogan #877. It really is a must listen for reasonable people that are concerned about both the far left and far right in the Western world.


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