#5 – Dr. Jordan Peterson On the Importance of Reading Great Books

He is a man who, in this day and age, needs no introduction. Dr. Jordan Peterson joined the Online Great Books podcast to share his thoughts on the Great Books and the importance of our mission to get people to read and discuss the greatest works of literature.

As Dr. Peterson advises in rule #9 of his 12 Rules for Life, “assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.” The rule can easily be applied to reading as well as listening. In order to live a good life, that is, to avoid a life of suffering and evil, we must be able to critically think about our world and communicate our thoughts and beliefs to ourselves and others. One of mankind’s unique tools for this kind of work is a capacity for reason. That reason, however, must be earned through study, critical thought, reflection, and discussion. We’re not born with a command of it. Difficult books, like the Western Canon that we keep harping on about, are the portal.