Betsy Speicher

The DIM Hypothesis by Leonard Peikoff

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62 posts in this topic

The rationalizing has been primarily in his attempts to use his theory to make predictions without adequate knowledge of facts. No doubt he can make it sound convincing to others who don't either.

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I will wait till I read what he says in the later chapters to evaluate that.

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One issue that is different, if my memory is correct, is his classification of environmentalism as D2 (nihilist) in the book whereas it was D1 (skeptic) in the recorded session.

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I've finished reading the book. The book is excellent and anything negative I may have said in the past about his theory based upon the tape lectures has been cleared up for me in the book. It was worth the wait.

I'd be curious to know if it's changed anyone else's mind who had negative evaluations.

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Is he still telling you you should have voted for Kerry or you don't understand Ayn Rand?

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Not in the book. The reasons for his predictions about the future are presented in the book and is presented in context and appropriately qualified in many ways.

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That's a long way from his 'theocracy is imminent'. How about his 'theory of induction' which was also part of all this and previously claimed to be an application of Ayn Rand's ideas even though she rejected it for good reason?

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He does say that he thinks that America is moving towards a theocracy within 50 years or so, but he provides the evidence for his conclusion, and qualifies it within the DIM Hypothesis as well as within the historical context he presented while developing this DIM thesis. He doesn't use the word "imminent" Plus, he does acknowledge the destructiveness of the D2 (nihilist) elements within society, such as environmentalism. He does not mean that a political theocracy will actually be established and fully implemented within 50 years, only that the cultural M2 mentality will be established within that time period. And once established, culturally, there would be no way to prevent the political implementation of theocracy.

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Also, he believes that the theocracy will be of the fascist kind in economics.

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I appreciate the fact that posters on this site aren't prepared to accept Leonard Peikoff's edicts without question. But why should it even be assumed that anything LP says/writes automatically has merit. The man has been wrong about many things (homosexuality, voting, etc.). I feel the onus is on him to make some valid points, not for the reader to find them and excuse the rest. Heaven knows Rand's Intellectual Heir hasn't had too many original thoughts.

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I appreciate the fact that posters on this site aren't prepared to accept Leonard Peikoff's edicts without question.

An independent thinker takes nobody on faith and questions anybody whose ideas contradict their own experience and knowledge.

But why should it even be assumed that anything LP says/writes automatically has merit. The man has been wrong about many things (homosexuality, voting, etc.).

While you can never be certain about anything you hear from others until you check it out yourself, it is quite rational to grant potential merit to someone with special expertise and a record of knowing what he is talking about. Dr. Peikoff is probably the most knowledgeable person when it comes to what Ayn Rand's philosophy actually is and he has a track record of being right about thousands of things and of courageously fighting for those ideas against all kinds of opposition. When he has been wrong, his errors have been in areas of application that are hardly self-evident.. That's the kind of errors all of us can make. Greatly to his credit -- and unlike most people -- he has honestly admitted his errors as soon as he has become aware of them.

I feel the onus is on him to make some valid points,

He usually does.

not for the reader to find them

A reader must always independently evaluate everything he reads regardless who wrote it.

and excuse the rest.

One must never excuse an idea that doesn't make sense regardless of who wrote it. The onus on a writer is to make his case, but it is also on the reader to evaluate it. Dr. Peikoff is not someone you should take on faith or whose ideas you can accept uncritically, but neither is Ayn Rand or anybody.

Heaven knows Rand's Intellectual Heir hasn't had too many original thoughts.

I judge a man by how true his ideas are and originality is a minor concern.

Even on that score, Dr. Peikoff has come up with some ideas on his own of tremendous value. His lectures on the philosophy and methods of education have been the basis of several successful private schools that have produced outstanding results for over a decade. Peikoff's educational theories could save the minds of generations of children and ought to earn him a place of honor in intellectual history.

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... Dr. Peikoff has come up with some ideas on his own of tremendous value. His lectures on the philosophy and methods of education have been the basis of several successful private schools that have produced outstanding results for over a decade. Peikoff's educational theories could save the minds of generations of children and ought to earn him a place of honor in intellectual history.

Those accomplishments were his presentations and organizations, not necessarily his original ideas. He has said, with characteristic honesty, that Ayn Rand was responsible for the philosophical ideas, including through their numerous and lengthy discussions while he was a philosophy graduate student continuously going back to her to make sense out of what he was being taught and what was wrong with it. But the organization and presentations were no small accomplishment.

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He has said, with characteristic honesty, that Ayn Rand was responsible for the philosophical ideas, including through their numerous and lengthy discussions while he was a philosophy graduate student continuously going back to her to make sense out of what he was being taught and what was wrong with it.

"Step infront of a bus."

;)

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I appreciate the fact that posters on this site aren't prepared to accept Leonard Peikoff's edicts without question. But why should it even be assumed that anything LP says/writes automatically has merit. The man has been wrong about many things (homosexuality, voting, etc.). I feel the onus is on him to make some valid points, not for the reader to find them and excuse the rest. Heaven knows Rand's Intellectual Heir hasn't had too many original thoughts.

How many "original" thoughts have any of us had? I can't say that I've discovered "new" philosophic principles in my life. But grasping and applying Objectivism to my life is certainly original: no one else has done that. Perhaps you need to read Peikoff's books a little more closely to find his originality. Perhaps you need to look at it from the correct perspective. Why should I assume that a new book by LP has merit? It has been his presentations of Objectivism and its applications since I took the 1973 course on Logic in NYC that has helped me live my life and achieve my happiness. I'd say 40 years of intellectual association is a safe assumption. To put such value in the same sentence as his views on homosexuality, voting, or theocracy would be insulting to my life, no matter how much I voice disagreement with him in any issue.

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But the DIM theory and book have been questioned precisely because it was used to justify a rationalistic approach to making those ridiculous controversial statements, predictions and moral denunciations (which continued in his more recent bizarre accusations and demands concerning John McCaskey and the Peikoff "theory of induction" explicitly included as part of DIM). Being wary about his theory has nothing to do with what any of us learned from him in his earlier superb organization and presentations of Ayn Rand's ideas.

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But the DIM theory and book have been questioned precisely because it was used to justify a rationalistic approach to making those ridiculous controversial statements, predictions and moral denunciations (which continued in his more recent bizarre accusations and demands concerning John McCaskey and the Peikoff "theory of induction" explicitly included as part of DIM). Being wary about his theory has nothing to do with what any of us learned from him in his earlier superb organization and presentations of Ayn Rand's ideas.

Not sure if this is addressed to my comments. All i can say is none of that controversy is in the book. This doesn't mean I agree or accept everything in the book but the book is very well written. How anyone uses the ideas (outside of the book) is another issue.

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But the DIM theory and book have been questioned precisely because it was used to justify a rationalistic approach to making those ridiculous controversial statements, predictions and moral denunciations (which continued in his more recent bizarre accusations and demands concerning John McCaskey and the Peikoff "theory of induction" explicitly included as part of DIM). Being wary about his theory has nothing to do with what any of us learned from him in his earlier superb organization and presentations of Ayn Rand's ideas.

And one more point. Not sure what you mean by "and book". The book just came out. It was the taped presentation of the theory that was questioned. And he repudiates the tapes in the book.

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Peikoff does not discuss his theory of induction in the DIM book.

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But the DIM theory and book have been questioned precisely because it was used to justify a rationalistic approach to making those ridiculous controversial statements, predictions and moral denunciations (which continued in his more recent bizarre accusations and demands concerning John McCaskey and the Peikoff "theory of induction" explicitly included as part of DIM). Being wary about his theory has nothing to do with what any of us learned from him in his earlier superb organization and presentations of Ayn Rand's ideas.

And one more point. Not sure what you mean by "and book". The book just came out. It was the taped presentation of the theory that was questioned. And he repudiates the tapes in the book.

Leonard Peikoff previously stated that his theory of induction arose as part of his development of his DIM theory and was part of it, but decided that Dave Harriman should describe its applications to physics. Dave Harriman's book excerpted Leonard Peikoff's taped induction lectures almost verbatim in the chapter on induction. Does Leonard Peikoff also repudiate the chapter on induction in the Harriman book based on it, his claims to have solved the problem of induction, and his bizarre moral denunciation of John McCaskey and demands that he be removed from the ARI Board for questioning the Harriman book?

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But the DIM theory and book have been questioned precisely because it was used to justify a rationalistic approach to making those ridiculous controversial statements, predictions and moral denunciations (which continued in his more recent bizarre accusations and demands concerning John McCaskey and the Peikoff "theory of induction" explicitly included as part of DIM). Being wary about his theory has nothing to do with what any of us learned from him in his earlier superb organization and presentations of Ayn Rand's ideas.

And one more point. Not sure what you mean by "and book". The book just came out. It was the taped presentation of the theory that was questioned. And he repudiates the tapes in the book.

Leonard Peikoff previously stated that his theory of induction arose as part of his development of his DIM theory and was part of it, but decided that Dave Harriman should describe its applications to physics. Dave Harriman's book excerpted Leonard Peikoff's taped induction lectures almost verbatim in the chapter on induction. Does Leonard Peikoff also repudiate the chapter on induction in the Harriman book based on it, his claims to have solved the problem of induction, and his bizarre moral denunciation of John McCaskey and demands that he be removed from the ARI Board for questioning the Harriman book?

Not in DIM. He doesn't mention his theory of induction.

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Where did he repudiate his induction lectures? He's still selling the recordings at his web site.

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A long time ago, someone closely associated with ARI and LP (I won't name them) said to me, in a discussion about my CD-ROM, that he was one of the few that LP had "cast into the darkness" to have gotten back into his good graces.

I don't see LP changing his mind about the (abominable) way that he treated McCaskey, especially given this taken from his site, before he removed the page (I saved it):

-----

[...]

McCaskey is free to advocate in any medium whatever he wishes and even to regard himself as an Objectivist, which indeed he may in some form be, for all I know; I have no interest in finding out. My interest is not to ferret out disagreements with Ayn Rand, but to strip them of the imprimatur of the Institute, and thus to diminish the practical consequences of such viewpoints. In other words, my role in this connection is to remove from the existential center of the movement any influence which I evaluate as harmful in practice to the spread of Objectivism. To sneer in a public setting at an epochal Objectivist book qualifies, in my judgment, as harm.

When McCaskey was appointed to the Board, I said nothing, just as I have not objected to the fact that a few longtime Board members and I are on terms of personal enmity, and do not speak to each other. In all these cases my personal dislike was irrelevant. It is only when I perceived harm in practice that I have taken action. And I have set the requirements for such action high. In the 25 years of ARI’s existence, I have vetoed only two individuals prior to McCaskey.

If any of you believe that this makes me a dictatorial opponent of independence or free speech, then God help you, because reality obviously hasn’t. And if, as seems possible, my detractors in this issue represent a sizable faction within the Objectivist movement whose spokesmen include magazine founders and PhDs with podcasts– then God help Objectivism, too.

[etc. - bold mine]

-----

I've seen very few people even wonder about the fact that Peikoff isn't even on speaking terms with "a few longtime Board members" (of ARI), and the implications of that. But you can't read the above and conclude that he would ever change his mind about McCaskey, because it wasn't decided on a logical basis in the first place, and he isn't interested in spending any time in discovering more about McCaskey's character ("I have no interest in finding out.")

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Where did he repudiate his induction lectures? He's still selling the recordings at his web site.

He repudiates his DIM lectures, as I referred to in the opening of this post. Sorry if I was misleading.

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