Decoding Jordan Peterson’s ’12 Rules for Life’

Date(s) - August 5, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport

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Jordan Peterson is perhaps one of the most admired and controversial psychologists alive today. Ironically, the more people attack him, the more popular he becomes.

The Peterson phenomenon reveals not only a deep political polarization within society, but also a serious existential crisis in the West.

Given these intense feelings around Peterson’s stance, the International Network on Personal Meaning (INPM) has decided to offer a dispassionate, measured and critical review of Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: Ana Antidote to Chaos as a part of their Biennial Meaning Conference.

Dr. Paul T. P. Wong and Dr. Gordon E. Carkner will answer questions such as: Why is Peterson’s book a runaway bestseller? How can these 12 rules transform a life and improve society? In an age of accelerated change and uncertainty, why are Dr. Peterson’s views a promising and hopeful way to build resilience amidst life’s inevitable challenges?

Dr. Gordon Carkner will elucidate Peterson’s claim that spiritual truth, rooted in enduring ancient myths and wisdom literature, is just as important for wellbeing as scientific truth. Dr. Carkner will explain why a spiritual worldview is critical to grappling with Peterson’s project.

Dr. Paul Wong will explain the 12 rules and introduce psychological exercises based on these rules. He will also examine Peterson’s radical view that one cannot flourish without embracing the reality of suffering and aiming high towards a better future.

Brief Biographies

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., C.Psych., is Professor Emeritus of Trent University and Adjunct Professor at Saybrook University. He is a Fellow of the APA and the CPA, and President of the International Network on Personal Meaning and the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute Inc. Editor of the InternationalJournal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, he has also edited two influential volumes on The Human Quest for Meaning. A prolific writer, he is one of the most cited existential and positive psychologists. The originator of Meaning Therapy and International Meaning Conferences, he has been invited to give keynotes and meaning therapy workshops worldwide. He is the recent recipient of Carl Rogers Award from Div.32 of the APA and a member of a research group on Virtue, Meaning, and Happiness funded by the Templeton Foundation.

Gordon E. Carkner holds a Ph.D. in philosophy of culture (University of Wales, 2006). Dr. Carkner works at the University of British Columbia as a meta-educator and campus chaplain, where he seeks to both complement and engage the regular discourse among graduate students and faculty. Gordon is a visionary, passionate about dialogue on salient questions of meaning and identity, faith and culture.  His project extends to his role as team leader in the interdisciplinary UBC Graduate and Faculty Christian Forum Lecture Series—a dialogue on faith and academic concerns. His recent publication, The Great Escape from Nihilism (2016), thematically parallels Peterson’s book, offering a critique of Western culture amidst the search for identity in late modernity. His research and writing interests lie in questions concerning freedom, identity and the good, secularity, worldviews, and philosophical anthropology.

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