Jordan Peterson | Clinical Psychologist, Professor and Author


Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist and psychology professor at the University of Toronto who become a controversial figure in late-2016 for his critiques of political correctness.

Peterson grew up in frigid Northern Alberta, giving him plenty of opportunities to find time for reading and thinking. Following graduation from the University of Alberta with a political science degree, he spent a year in Europe, during which he fell into a love for psychology that was catalyzed by an interest in the Cold War and 20th-century European totalitarianism. He returned to Canada, ultimately completing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at McGill University.

Peterson went on to teach and conduct research at Harvard University as an assistant professor before returning to Canada as a professor at the University of Toronto. Peterson has published more than a hundred scientific papers. He has also published two books, the most recent of which, 12 Rules for Life, has sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

Most recently, Peterson has suffered from health issues stemming from anti-anxiety medication and COVID-19 that necessitated a year-long reprieve from the public eye. He has recently (October 2020) announced that his health is returning to a more manageable state and that he expects to begin working again soon.

Jordan Peterson Quotes

“Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities.”

“Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care with yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose your destination and articulate your Being. As the great nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche so brilliantly noted, ‘He whose life has a why can bear almost any how.'”

“I don’t think that you have any insight whatsoever into your capacity for good until you have some well-developed insight into your capacity for evil.”

“The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it.”

“You’re going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don’t do. You don’t get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you’re going to take. That’s it.”

“When you have something to say, silence is a lie.”

“You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don’t know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself.”

Jordan Peterson Posts

Jordan Peterson Books

  • 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: In his latest book, Peterson provides self-development advice by interweaving psychology, mythology, and personal anecdotes from his career as a professor and clinical psychologist. The book has sold over 3 million copies globally. 
  • Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief: Jordan Peterson’s first book, published in 1999 and still used in his classrooms today, looks at how individuals find meaning through an examination of multiple disciplines in a way that ties back to our understanding of the human brain. Compared to 12 Rules for Life, Maps of Meaning is a more academic read.
  • The Gulag Archipelago [Abridged to single volume]: Jordan Peterson wrote a forward for the 50th Anniversary edition.

Jordan Peterson Reading List

  • For a reading list of books frequently recommended by Peterson, please see here.

Jordan Peterson Online