Controversial speaker to talk at Linfield

Alex Gogan , Staff Writer

Linfield College will host free speech activist, philosopher and psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 24, in Ice auditorium for a talk and Q & A session.

Peterson is a clinical psychologist currently teaching at the University of Toronto, a penchant for great Q and A and is a rising star in the free speech movement, according to the Linfield Speak Freely Series Facebook page.

“He’s an incredible teacher and great at conversation,” senior Parker Wells said, who received a grant from Students for Liberty to bring Peterson to campus.

“His message is about preventing conflict with dialogue,” Wells said.

Various news articles have reported that Peterson has refused to use genderless pronouns. His employers have received complaints from students and faculty that his comments are “unacceptable, emotionally disturbing and painful.”

Many colleges and universities have refused to allow him to speak at their campuses.

Linfield professor of philosophy Kaarina Beam is the faculty sponsor for the talk.

“If we disagree with him and others who hold similar views, the best way to address that is to listen to him carefully and critically and to develop well-wrought questions in response to his talk,” Beam said in an email.

Beam understands that Peterson is a controversial figure. “It is not about agreeing with him; it is about getting to the truth in these matters, and about educating ourselves in relation to the complexity of an extremely important set of issues and perspectives.”

Beam will be present for the talk.

“I certainly would not advocate for this talk at Linfield if I thought that Peterson advocated views that encourage violence or set out to create an unsafe space for any of our students.”