Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, became arguably the most impactful public intellectual in the present-day online media sphere after speaking out against impediments to free speech in the fall of 2016. While the “father figure” of the YouTube world is revered as a conservative warrior against “social justice”—and for inveighing against activists, postmodernists, neo-Marxists and those he labels “radical leftists”—closer inspection of his ideas suggests that, significant shortcomings aside, there are lessons even those of us who disagree politically and philosophically with Peterson can still learn from his public pedagogy.
The abundance of moral concepts at play in the parable of the Vineyard Workers makes it a favorite among moral philosophers.
Not only do Jesus’s moral values make sense when applied to socioeconomic issues, but there is reason to believe they were intended to do so as part of a political call to solidarity with the poor.
People from opposing ends of the political spectrum claim Jesus as their own. But is Jesus’s moral philosophy broad in scope, such that it includes a political morality, or narrower, consisting only of private virtues?
A look at some of Pope Francis’s ideas about care for the environment, which have been obscured by sensationalist criticism from conservatives.
What is it to say that a rapist should be treated with compassion?
On “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” (1982), mostly ch. 1 & 4. Classical liberalism from Locke to Rawls focuses on rights as primary: a good government is one that protects people from violations of their rights, and that’s what social justice amounts to. Sandel thinks that there’s a idea about the self behind this picture: we are selves that have interests, but are not itself composed of those interests. In other words, on this view, you are in your essence just a choosing being, not a member of your family or community. Sandel thinks that is bunk. It doesn’t allow for real introspection, or even real freedom. Learn more.
End song: “Wonderful You,” from Mark Lint and the Fake Johnson Trio (1998).
On “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” (1982) where Sandel critiques Rawls’s version of liberalism as based on a bogus picture of us as purely choosing beings.