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A feminist philosopher makes the case against Jordan Peterson

Kate Manne:

His idea (in chapter six of his book) that what leads to mass shootings in general, and school shootings in particular, is a kind of ahistorical, existential angst, or a "crisis of being" -- that's the phrase he uses! -- about the despair and misery and suffering of human beings.

Peterson thereby takes on a huge burden of explaining why white women, people of color, nonbinary folks, and so on, almost never act on our existential angst and despair in this way. Because, as you know, the vast majority of school shooters have been white men.

I also think the way Peterson cherry-picked the few more dignified-sounding sentences from the diary of one of the Columbine killers, Eric Harris, was downright dishonest. As I wrote in my review, he failed to mention the fact that the majority of Harris's diary was a virulently racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and ableist screed.

Harris, like many other mass killers, was obsessed with the very hierarchies whose importance or validity Peterson never really challenges or offers an alternative to.

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The Alt-Right's Discourse of "Cultural Marxism" : A Political Instrument of Intersectional Hate

Key words | existential angst, or a "crisis of being" |


Scholar @Duke University - by Owen Flanagan.


Existentialism is a concern about the foundation of meaning, morals, and purpose. Existentialisms arise when some foundation for these elements of being is under assault. In the past, first-wave existentialism concerned the increasingly apparent inability of religion, and religious tradition, to provide such a foundation, as typified in the writings of Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche. Second-wave existentialism, personified philosophically by Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir, and in literature by Mann and Hesse, developed in response to the inability of the polity to serve as such a foundation. There is a third-wave existentialism, a new existentialism, developing in response to advances in the neurosciences that threaten the last vestiges of an immaterial soul or self. With the increasing explanatory and therapeutic power of neuroscience, the mind no longer stands apart from the world to serve as a foundation of meaning. This produces foundational anxiety. This collection of new essays explores the anxiety caused by this third-wave existentialism and some responses to it. It brings together some of the world's leading philosophers, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and legal scholars to tackle our neuroexistentialist predicament and explore what the mind sciences can tell us about morality, love, emotion, autonomy, consciousness, selfhood, free will, moral responsibility, law, the nature of criminal punishment, meaning in life, and purpose.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 17th, 2018 at 08:37:21 PM EST

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