Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are abnormal, social, and personality psychology. Peterson’s first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999), examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and several other topics such as motivation for genocide.
In Paul Thagard’s opinion, his examination of Peterson’s Maps of Meaning reveals a defective work of anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and politics. Its emphasis on religious myth and heroic individuals provides a poor construct for understanding the origins of totalitarianism, and an even poorer guide to advise the way forward to overcoming its evils. Peterson’s ideas are a mishmash of self-help, amateur philosophy, Christian mythology, evidence-free Jungian psychology, and individualistic politics. While Peterson’s book is murky, it is less meandering and disjointed than his videotaped lectures. 
I reviewed three of his taped interactions and came away, wondering if I am only striving to connect with his arguments in reaction to the dominant arguments for postmodernism. Perhaps this is what academics do; they toil to argue against other academics. Perhaps like politicians, they focus on rhetoric and debate as most trial lawyers seem to do, where language becomes but an indispensable lever to win an advantageous position or counter-position, rather than share new understanding to move society forward. I am unsure if what I just illustrated is a modern or postmodern approach. Peterson’s argument against the ruinous influence of postmodernism in politics and universities was probably the most cogent I came across. His main points seem to indicate postmodernism’s view of “there are infinite ways to examine infinite phenomena” falls apart upon closer examination because in reality (e.g., cosmos and biology), infinite ways must be limited to viable ways. Secondly, he equates postmodernism’s political expression as Marxism which historically has proven to be “murderous and tyrannical beyond belief” (e.g., the post-Stalin Soviet Union and Mao China). Thirdly, postmodernism is being propagated by intellectuals in the academy who simply are trying to tear down the hierarchies of power of others out of petty professional jealousy and resentment. Knowing the fallenness of my humanity, his third point, especially, made the most sense to me.
I found Maps of Meaning difficult to access, either in composition or content. His background and journey to understanding were probably the most compelling, including how his study of “comparative mythological material” dispelled his painful demons of religious-based depression and anxiety. Most recently, I came across his health struggles related to several failed attempts to overcome his dependence on an addictive anti-anxiety medication. His family has reported, “The uncertainty around his recovery has been one of the most difficult and scary experiences we’ve ever had.” Peterson has been taking medication for years to alleviate protracted anxiety following a severe autoimmune reaction to food. His dependence reportedly started last spring after doctors increased his dosage to help him deal with stress as his wife battled kidney cancer. Peterson and his family are suffering and merit our prayers and grace. As a fellow spouse of a person living with cancer, this insight into his humanity is perhaps the only connection I can ascertain to him and his work. These insights into his family’s health struggles, in turn, make me wonder how much of his longsuffering bouts with depression and anxiety have informed his perception of his scholarship?
 Paul Thagard, “Jordan Peterson’s Murky Maps of Meaning: Peterson’s Book Is Weak As Anthropology, Psychology, Philosophy, and Politics.”, Psychology Today, March 12, 2018, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hot-thought/201803/jordan-petersons-murky-maps-meaning
 Jordan Peterson, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (New York, NY: Routledge, 1999) XX.