Maps of Meaning Vocabulary – Part One

Genesis: The origin or mode of formation of something.

  • “I should tell you first about the genesis of this theory I suppose is the right way of putting it…”

Thereabouts: Used to indicate that a date of figure is approximate.

  • “When I was about your age, that was back in the early eighties or thereabouts…”

Thought-Provoking: Stimulating careful consideration or attention.

  • “There was a very, I would say magical object (for lack of a better word) and that was the nose cone for the ICBM and it was quite big, about that big, about that high, pointed like the point of a bullet, about 3/4’s of an inch thick plastic. You know the kind of resin and it was designed to melt on re-entry. So that was just sitting there. So that was fairly thought-provoking, let’s put it that way.”

Jarring: Incongruous in a striking or shocking way; clashing.

Portentous: Done in a pompously or overly solemn manner so as to impress.

Surreal: Having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre.

  • “They were happy to be in the museum, and it was like going to visit your grandma’s nuclear missile silo and so it was jarring you know, because it was obviously a portentous place, and yet it was conjoined with hospitality and welcoming. It was surreal in that manner.”

Proclivity: A tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing.

  • “The idea of natural rights, right there is something about you that is so valuable that even the law has to bow to it even if you are reprehensible, even if you are convicted and reprehensible. The people that came up with that idea, that’s a bloody miracle you know? Because the general human proclivity is that if someone is just being accused of doing something terrible that’s enough so that you can stone them to death or do whatever you are going to do with them.”

Presupposition: A thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.

  • “The Russians set themselves up under Marxist presuppositions and tried to equalize the distribution of property and to call that catastrophic barely scratches the surface.”

Vocabulary From “Maps of Meaning 1: Context and Background”


This is an attempt to collect a variety of words used in Jordan Peterson’s 2017 “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief” course taught at The University of Toronto. The following vocabulary words come from “Maps of Meaning 1: Context and Background“. Definitions come from http://www.dictionary.com/.