12 January 2013

Review of The DIM Hypothesis

(I submitted the following review of Leonard Peikoff's The DIM Hypothesis to Goodreads and Amazon.)

Apart from Ayn Rand's body of work itself, this is the single most remarkable feat of integration (i.e. of methodical, hierarchical conceptualization from innumerable particulars) I have ever encountered. It will take me years to fully digest it, but my estimate after my first careful reading is that Dr. Peikoff's hypothesis is exactly--profoundly--correct.

Having just read the final chapters in one big gulp, I am astonished to find that my mental state is one of agitation and reeling, exhibiting the persistent, soul-quaking urgency that I have found only in the rare work of literature (or, even more rarely, in certain essays). I hardly expected to find my pulse rate quicken in response to a work of technical philosophy that reads like a university text book. But there it is.

Ironically, having just praised this book, I am led by my grasp of the material to suspect a certain futility in recommending it to a general reader. To use Dr. Peikoff's terminology (and I apologize for having to resort to terms that requires reading the book to understand), only an "I" mentality would accept the task: to a "D" the reasoning is bootless, to an "M" inimical. Despite this sense of futility, though, I wholeheartedly--no, wholemindedly--recommend this to anyone who is even remotely interested in ideas and their role in history. Who knows? Occasionally, sparks ignite what might have seemed to be unlikely tinder.