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The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The theme of The DIM Hypothesis is that just as men have a moral character, so they also have a conceptual character, a learned, automatized approach to using the instrument of their mind. You could also think of conceptual character as "cognitive personality" or "style of thinking".
For example, a man may hear Ayn Rand's principle that "Man's basic means of survival is reason" and his mind will automatically begin to range over such concretes as a doctor learning to perform life-saving surgery, or the invention of agriculture, or the internet, or electric power lines heating a home in the dead of winter, or a computer controlled robotic factory, or internal combustion engines, or the fact that education - the systematic training of the rational faculty - is crucial to human life. His mind will automatically go to real, concrete examples to be integrated under the principle that "Man's basic means of survival is reason." This automatized approach to thought is Integration, the I in DIM.
Another man hearing the exact same principle will have a completely different approach.Read more ›
Eons ago the ancient Greeks attempted to provide many answers to the problems of their era: What are the causes of wars; what is the best way to live; what is the best way to form a society? The Greeks were trying, in their words, to bring order to chaos, to understand a world in which everything seems disconnected and disorderly. In their attempt they created literature, democracy, science, historical analysis, and more. With few exceptions, this rigorous attempt to bring order to our world has ceased.
One such exception is Dr. Leonard Peikoff's new book "The Dim Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West are going out."
He brings order to the most paradoxical and seemingly unconnected concretes spanning the millennia. Is there, for instance, any relationship "between Roman schools and Louix XIV, medieval teleology and the theory of everything [in science], Gertrude Stein and John Rawls, Stoic physics and Stalinist literature, Demosthenes and [Victor] Hugo, Virgil and Einstein, FDR and quantum mechanics"? Each of these examples is what Dr. Peikoff calls a cultural product, whether they are a work of literature (e.g., Victor Hugo's Les Miserables), a scientific school of thought (e.g., quantum mechanics), an education system (e.g., Roman schools), or a political system (e.g., the Greek Polis). In this new work, DIM, we are given a new theory in which to order the world of our past, our present, and project into the future.Read more ›
An intriguing theory and one that will not only be debated, but may - and should - prompt a new way of looking at history and the influence of ideas in historical development.
This reader was reminded of the words of Dionysius of Helicarnassus: "History is philosophy, teaching by examples."
For those who mistake Objectivism for arrogance, the striking modesties of the author's Introduction - they were almost too much - will provide food for thought, if not reconsideration.
Peikoff is a very unpretentious, careful and clear writer. You will not find in this book any assertions -- he is not asking you to take anything on faith. Instead there is clear exposition along with a consistent understanding of both the theory's and the writer's limitations. The essence of his idea are the three attitudes to integration: An Aristotelian, reality-based approach that integrates the facts in a given field into higher level conceptual products is Integration or "I". The Platonic approach denies the facts or concretes in favor of ideals (supernatural or secular) but either way not of this world, and is termed Misintegration or "M". Finally, the Kantian approach which denies all ideal or conceptual knowledge, termed Disintegration or "D". Thus the three modes form the acronym DIM.
Peikoff's takes the reader through the essentials of his hypothesis which he derives from the epistemology of the three major philosophers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this copy to reread the book, and then i plan on gifting it to a co-worker. Read more
The concept was interesting but i couldnt understand exactly what he meant by the various modes of intergration, for example a one without a many, a one from a many, etc. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon customer1
A thoughtful analysis of the current state our world is in and where it is possibly heading.Published 6 months ago by The Federal Reserve is a Scam
I offer three stars because this book is chock full of fascinating information from history to education to physics. Leonard Peikoff dazzles with the breadth of his knowledge. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Joseph McHugh
Insightful, give a new understanding to the why of a whole country descending into genocide. You will need an understanding of Objectivism to get the most out of this book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Travlin Man
The book is a very insightful view into history (how history should be taught in schools, but isn't) - looking at the patterns, the changes, and the causes of the changes (the big... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Eric Kassan
If you care to save the Western Civilization then read this book. This is the only guide available.Published 15 months ago by Mr. Suresh Patel