Betsy Speicher

The DIM Hypothesis by Leonard Peikoff

Rate this book   1 vote

  1. 1. Rate this book

    • 10
      1
    • 9
      0
    • 8
      0
    • 7
      0
    • 6
      0
    • 5
      0
    • 4
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
    • 0
      0

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

62 posts in this topic

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):

[excerpt]

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.")

You can still see the whole page of Leonard Peikoff's statement at the Nov. 5, 2010 Wayback Machine internet archive, plus his email to ARI attacking John McCaskey, who published it, all of which has been discussed here on the Forum previously.

Nowhere has Leonard Peikoff given any evidence for his accusations against John McCaskey, but his public attacks on him -- for supposedly "denouncing" and "attacking" Dave Harriman's book "and thus, explicitly or implicitly, my intro praising it as expressing Ayn Rand's epistemology, and also my course on induction, on which the book is based"; for "criticizing" it with "disagreements [that] often go to the heart of the philosophic principles"; and for supposedly "sneering in a public setting at an epochal Objectivist book [which] qualifies, in my judgment, as harm" -- are directed at John McCaskey for questioning statements in Leonard Peikoff's own theory and its presentation in David Harriman's book. That is not "The Philosophic Principles" if that is supposed to mean Ayn Rand's philosophy and the purpose of ARI, and John McCaskey only raised questions, in a scholarly fashion and in private, about predominantly matters of the history of science, i.e., the record of what actually happened, which nonetheless managed to offend Leonard Peikoff's theory of what must be according to "The Philosophy".

There are many good aspects of Dave Harriman's book, but it's explicit use of Leonard Peikoff's venture into the theory of induction in physics with grandiose claims to have solved the age old problem of induction is not one of them -- it is both wrong and contrary to Ayn Rand's own statements on her epistemology, not an "application of Objectivism". Ayn Rand said that she did not have a theory of induction, but she ruled that one out -- in its equation of propositional generalization with the process of generalization in concepts -- for good reason.

Leonard Peikoff is not supposed to be "vetoing" -- in the name of "morality" or anything else -- anything on behalf of his own projects in the actions and selection of the board of directors of a legally independent 501[c]3 tax exempt organization, and is not supposed to be declaring his own work to be the "Objectivism" that he has previously insisted means only Ayn Rand's philosophy.

He has done this again in the preface of his book on his DIM theory where he knows he isn't supposed to claim Ayn Rand's agreement but impishly declares how he is almost certain what she would think, implying that he knows she would agree with his theory. (The preface has been removed from the amazon page for the book since it was last cited here on the Forum.)

Leonard Peikoff's concerned about harm to the reputation and understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophy should be directed more at his own actions and theorizing in his assumed role of de facto personal representative. It ought to be clear enough why people should be wary of his book on his DIM theory regarding its objectivity and its relation to Ayn Rand's ideas, particularly with regard to representations made in it for which readers are not already familiar with either the facts of history he employs or relevant aspects Ayn Rand's ideas. That the book is reportedly well written, as a consequence of, as he stated, the fact that he put extraordinary effort into many revisions to improve only the "smoothness of the writing", can have consequences for good or ill. Some readers, especially those not familiar with the technical aspects of the subject matter, were also swayed by his theory of induction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be more interested in discussing the current book rather than rehashing arguments from years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are reasons of reputation for being wary of his DIM theory, which included his theory of induction even though he split that off into the previous book by Dave Harriman. I can't discuss the DIM book directly until I have read it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are reasons of reputation for being wary of his DIM theory, which included his theory of induction even though he split that off into the previous book by Dave Harriman. I can't discuss the DIM book directly until I have read it.

Let me encourage you to proceed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will, but not right away. I have been emphasizing reading math and physics books that have been waiting for a long time. It would take several lifetimes to get through all I want to. Politics, which I have been dragged into by necessity despite despising it, has already consumed too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will, but not right away. I have been emphasizing reading math and physics books that have been waiting for a long time. It would take several lifetimes to get through all I want to. Politics, which I have been dragged into by necessity despite despising it, has already consumed too much.

Well, it's not strictly speaking a book about politics. It's about applying epistemology to interpreting Western civilization in light of its philosophic tradition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know, but it's not science either. I followed it from his first lecture on DIM at Ford Hall Forum and listened to his recorded lectures (that he apparently now withdraws). The details of his final presentation are not a top priority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of more philosophical interest than describing how various movements have gone wrong with bad "integration", i.e., mistakes (which came about due to much more than that), would be the epistemology of proper integration picking up where Ayn Rand's theory of concepts left off, but he can't do that. That is what his theory of induction was supposed to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leonard Peikoff's DIM Hypothesis Q&A

I had to give up after 14 minutes. His speech is so slurred that I struggle to make out what he is saying. He needs lessons in speaking clearly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leonard Peikoff's DIM Hypothesis Q&A

I had to give up after 14 minutes. His speech is so slurred that I struggle to make out what he is saying. He needs lessons in speaking clearly.

He is no youngster. What is his current physical condition. Slurring could have serious physical or neurological causes.

ruveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many decades ago he did have training in public speaking, with proper breathing etc.

In the 1990s he had heart surgery, but doesn't generally publicize such things. In more recent interviews he has, sadly, sometimes tended to slowly ramble or even panic. To hear him at his best, download the old recorded lectures now available at much lower prices.

I still haven't read the DIM book or heard this latest question and answer session so I can't comment on content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites