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.

1 comment:

Steve D said...

This was definitely a great book; not just correct but well written and fun to read. It certainly took him long enough to write it though, but it is the first Objectivist book since Ayn Rand’s which actually had new ideas; not just a restatement or a new application. His hypothesis in general is undoubtedly right - the application of it to predicting the future; well, he did make a lot of caveats so we’ll have to see what comes.
To be honest, I was never all that impressed with Peikoff in the past but I am now. It seemed all he had done previously was narrowly apply or reiterate Rand’s ideas. With the DIM hypothecs, he far exceeded my expectations (and came up with a cool acronym to boot).
I suppose that makes me an I?