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The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

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Did you bother to read my comment?

You asked what I am arguing for, and I stated very clearly what I am arguing for: Fighting for the future instead of passively resigning oneself to the dialectical progression of the Hegelian “zeitgeist,” as if there’s little or nothing we can do to prevent it from happening.

Great. You set out to explain what you're arguing for, and then all you say about it is that you're "fighting for the future", and spend the rest of your post describing a straw man you're arguing against.

The question stands: What are you arguing for, as an alternative to Peikoff's prediction? What is your prediction?

Exce

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Thanks for the link. I checked yesterday, and I didn't see a Kindle sample, so either this is new or I didn't look carefully enough.

You're welcome. Also there are apps to read Kindle on various devices.

I did purchase it, but have yet to read it. I'm working my way through Tara Smith's Viable Values, not sure when I will get to it, I might read Yaron Brooks and Don Watkins new book out this week first.

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You're welcome. Also there are apps to read Kindle on various devices.

Not to worry, I have a Kindle.

This just showed up on YouTube, but there are already comments saying that it's there without permission. The takeaway is that LP was on Amy Peikoff's podcast today, talking DIM, so even if this gets pulled you can still get it easily enough. I haven't listened to it yet.

Here's a link:

http://dontletitgo.c...-pdt-8-p-m-edt/

Edited by Eiuol

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Not to worry, I have a Kindle.

This just showed up on YouTube, but there are already comments saying that it's there without permission. The takeaway is that LP was on Amy Peikoff's podcast today, talking DIM, so even if this gets pulled you can still get it easily enough. I haven't listened to it yet.

Here's a link:

http://dontletitgo.c...-pdt-8-p-m-edt/

Yes, it is an unauthorized bootleg as can be seen on Amy Peikoff's Facebook page.

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Peikoff’s representation of the method of Einstein’s discovery of special relativity and of general relativity, his representations of the status of their postulates in respect of empirical test, and his representation of their ontology of spacetime and of causality are thoroughly incorrect (115–20). His conclusion that SR and GR are cases of misintegration is false. Quite the contrary.

For correction, concerning special relativity, see my presentation here.

VII. Galilean Invariance (p. 131)

VIII. Ampère (136)

IX. Faraday (139)

X. Maxwell (143)

XI. Einstein: Special Relativity – Kinematics (149)

XII. Einstein: Special Relativity – Dynamics (164)

On method of Newton and general relativity, see here.

See also, Zahar (1989).

Sample of this section of DIM: “In 1908, Hermann Minkowski introduced the concept of space-time, which, purely by mathematical inferences from the light axiom, he proved to be invariant—that is, the same for all observers regardless of their state of motion” (116). Spacetime was proven to be invariant? No. There is a perfectly specific spacetime interval, with specific physical, kinematical meaning that is invariant. See my own presentation linked above. On the interval, I can recommend also Geroch (1978).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The usual caveat applies.

. . .

I certainly did not say that for DIM to be right the intellectual history has to be right. I said the opposite . . . . Now to say, as I said, that getting it wrong need not demolish the DIM hypothesis, to see whether it does, we have to read the book. . . .

Edited by Boydstun

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The usual caveat applies.

At this point I can’t resist a little snark:

“Not bad, not bad at all,” Diotallevi said. “To arrive at the truth through the painstaking reconstruction of a false text.”

Umberto Eco,
Foucault’s Pendulum
, Chapter 83

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Dr. Peikoff invites question on the DIM Hypothesis on his website.

I am working my way steadily through the mode hunts, I am in the Physics section now. I really enjoyed the mode hunting trip through Literature, but I havent taken a good survey of literature myself, but its fair enough for a hypothesis.

Edited by intellectualammo

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Short introductions to DIM are given by Andrew Medworth here and by David Harriman here.

As Greg noted in #34, David Gordon has posted a short critical review of DIM here. Scroll down here to page 135 to read an earlier, more extensive review by Dr. Gordon of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand and therewith his view of the philosophy.

A running commentary on DIM from Robert Campbell* continues here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was a little surprised to read in his Preface for DIM that at the time of writing Ominous //’s it had not been clear to Peikoff “that materialists, just as much as idealists, are not secular at all, but rather are supernaturalists and thus essentially akin to religionists” (xiv). In Fountainhead Toohey says mysticism and dialectical materialism “are two superficially varied manifestations of the same thing. Of the same intention” (HR VI 600). In Atlas Rand called materialism “mysticism of muscle” (AS 1027, 1035–39, 1042–47). So I was a little surprised by the Preface remark.

I’m looking forward to chapter eight of DIM, where Peikoff says he gives his mature analysis of materialism (xiv). It will be interesting to see in what ways he goes beyond Rand (and Nietzsche*) on this linkage.

Edited by Boydstun

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"I can find no I (or any other) approach to education in the modern era." "So I must suggest my own, Objectivist projection of an I approach"

While he acknowledges her in the Acknowledgments, where she really should be acknowledged, is in regards to this Objectivist projection of an I approach to education.

Who am I talking about?

Why, Lisa Van Damme. Her application of such an Objectivist approach to education goes completely unacknowledged by him. No mention of her own writing, techniques, lecturings, courses, even her school VanDamme Academy- no quotes, nothing at all about her.

I am definately firing off questions to Peikoff in regards to that.

I think it could have been presented in a better way.

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Peikoff writes:

The Critical philosophy [Kant’s philosophy], though it bears a seeming resemblance to skepticism, must not be confused with it. Skepticism is an ancient view-point that has come and gone repeatedly in the West, mainly on the fringes of philosophy; it has never defined any period of Western culture.

The skeptic holds that knowledge of reality is impossible to man, a conclusion that leads him to retire from intellectual pursuits, except to act as a gadfly exposing the illusions of other men. . . .

On every fundamental integrative issue, such a viewpoint clashes with Kant’s. The skeptic seeks to gain knowledge of reality, then bewails the failure of his quest; Kant scorns the very attempt, rejecting reality because it is reality. The skeptic prizes the awareness of facts, but they elude him; Kant rejects awareness because it is awareness. The skeptic would welcome the discovery of connections among things, but cannot find any; to Kant, integration is the cognitive villain because it is integration. (37)

No. Scratch a skeptic and you’ll find a mystic. He wants the connections to be what he wants and must undermine reason and the senses to get that comfort. Because mysticism has never been vanquished by philosophy, skepticism stays, and by its efforts, it has the positive value to which Peikoff alludes: it exposes defects in particular rational accounts of how rational knowledge comes about.

Peikoff is elliptical in some of the true statements he makes. When he says Kant rejects reality (things as they are in themselves), he does not mean Kant is in league with Georgias, who held that nothing exists. Peikoff requires the reader to know that existence is identity and that for Kant to reject the idea that things in themselves are and have identity is to reject their reality. Actually, this claim is not that straightforwardly right for Kant, as Kant says expressly that noumena are whatever they are and have whatever character they have, but that what that comes to is unknown to us and unnecessary for us to know. To reject, however, as Kant does, the consciousness-free fact of space and time and to reject identity, causality, and other fundamental principles as true independently of consciousness is to reject mind-independent existence with any identity, for the notion that there is identity outside such as those constitute is without any rational foundation.

I say the outside-those notion has a foundation. It is only the ancient mystical foundation of the negative way to the One or to God. In this sort of ploy, Kant is in league with the skeptics and their mystical aspirations. Kant puts God in the noumenal. That is no accidental coincidence. That such a thing be devoid of substantial identity is ancient hat.

Kant’s bifurcation between things as they are in themselves and things as perceived and comprehended by the human being served to protect faith (of a watered-down sort) from reason, especially from science. Then too, it was to protect science from worldly suppression by fideists in positions of power, by assuring them science cannot endanger faith. They weren’t entirely assured, and the battle between reason and faith, in men’s souls and in society’s laws, continues today.

Edited by Boydstun

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Boydstun said:

"I say the outside-those notion has a foundation. It is only the ancient mystical foundation of the negative way to the One or to God"

Would you mind elaborating on such proposed "negative way to the One or God" and are you here advocating such a way?

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Hi Plas,

I am against the “negative way” to God or to any other proposed existent. I am with Rand: Existence is identity.* If no identity, then nothing. I concur, furthermore, with Rand’s atheism entirely.

Concerning the negative way (via negativa), from a composition of mine on the purported faculty of intuition in the history of philosophy:*

Another strand in Christianity fortified by its assimilation of Plotinus was the tradition of negative theology* (Rist 1996, 391). The negative way (via negativa) is associated most famously with the Christian Pseudo-Dionysus (c. 500), whom Bonaventure called “the prince of mystics” (a compliment). Negative theology had been developed prior to Plotinus by Middle Platonists, such as second-century Alcinous in The Handbook of Platonism (10.4; see also commentary of Dillion 1993, 107–9). Its entry into Christianity was evidently through Clement of Alexandria (150–219),* who held we only know truly what God is not. Positive predications such as the perfections said of God are inadequate to the object.

Plotinus, the Hellene, would reason: Because the One transcends all realms of multiplicity and is their prior, “there is ‘no concept or knowledge’ of it” (E V.4.1). Because the One is the principle of all particular things, “it is impossible to apprehend the One as a particular thing” (E V.5.6). Because the One is none among particular things, “it can only be said to go beyond them. But these things are beings, and being: so it is ‘beyond being’. This phrase ‘beyond being’ does not mean that it is a particular thing—for it makes no positive statement about it—and it does not say its name, but all it implies is that it is ‘not this’” (E V.5.6; also V.3.13, VI.2.3).

We can speak about the One, though we cannot speak it. We can have it, though we do not have it in knowledge. “We say what it is not, but we do not say what it is: so that we speak about it from what comes after it” (E V.3.14).

Readers of Rand have heard of ideas close to those in the preceding two paragraphs. “The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive—a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence” (AS 1027).

“They claim that they perceive a mode of being superior to your existence on this earth. The mystics of spirit call it ‘another dimension’, which consists of denying dimensions. . . . To exist is to possess identity. What identity are they able to give to their superior realm? They keep telling you what it is not, but never tell you what it is. All their identifications consist of negating: . . . soul is non-body, . . . perception is non-sensory, knowledge is non-reason. Their definitions are not acts of defining, but of wiping out” (AS 1035).

Perhaps Rand had known of the negative way of Eastern Orthodox Christianity* or of Latin Christianity (such as in Aquinas) when she wrote those lines. Then again, perhaps it had been only a pattern she had discerned among mystics of spirit. In the non-Christian Plotinus, we have seen he did not suppose his negative characterizations of the One were definitions; he conceded that no definition could be given. He thought of the One as not having being or existence or identity, yet not as nothing (E VI.8.20, 9.3; see further Bussanich1996, 57–63; Schürmann 2002). Rand’s direct address is to more pedestrian mystical talk, although her points in the preceding quotations do tell against Plotinus and Christian theologians. Aquinas, I should say, embraced a moderated version of the negative way. He took God to exist and reason capable of proving that. But he took God to belong to no genus, so no univocal positive differentiations with other existents is possible in characterizing rationally what God is (ST IQ12, 13; CG I.26, III.51).

Notice the consonance of negative-way theologies with these scriptures:

“It is true that no one has ever seen God at any time. Yet the divine and only Son, who lives in the closest intimacy with the Father, has made him known.” (John 1:18)

“This will be, in his own time, the final dénouement of God, who is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters, the only source of immortality, the One who lives in unapproachable light, the One whom no mortal eye has ever seen or ever can see.” (I Timothy 6:16)

(Phillips)

Stephen

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Given the dynamics of cultural change, probably pretty much the same. Although, if religion was openly ridiculed at the formation of these United States of America, and the publication and widespread adoption of Immannual Kant as an influence, the dynamics probably depend on how readily a set of ideas can be implemented as well.

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One of the lecture from ARI that I have makes the analogy of integration to a puzzle. As the various pieces are put together, a picture begins to emerge. If random pieces from another puzzle are present, it doesn't really matter because one you have the puzzle fully assembled, the errant pieces are easily discarded as irrelevant to the completion of the now completed puzzle.

If I were to extrapolate that analogy to DIM, the example given would be applicable to the (I) method or approach.

The (M) approach would be to start assembling the various pieces on some preconceived notion of what the picture ought to look like while ignoring that the two edges of some of the adjoining pieces do not fit correctly together, in essence, forcing the pieces together to create the preconceived picture. When the puzzle is finally completed, any extra pieces are discarded as before, whether or not the discarded pieces were part of the (I) puzzle or not.

Mixing the (M) approach with elements of the (I) method, the disagreements come down to a combination of "these edges don't appear to align properly" against "this is how I imagined the picture should be".

The (D) approach prefers to leave the pieces unassembled. Even if you could put all the pieces together, they counter, you can't know if that is what the picture actually looks like and even so, each puzzle piece is a picture within itself.

Mixing the (D) approach with aspects of the (M) method, a few pieces that fit together are discovered here and there, Once you've put these 2 or three pieces together, they are no longer individual pieces. If these groups of pieces happen to fit with another group of pieces, you're no longer trying to assemble a puzzle, you're just trying to assemble groups of pieces. You may be able to determine how two adjoining edges fit together, but once they're together, those adjoining edges are no longer available for adjoining with other edges.

Rationalization, from this standpoint, is so much easier to grasp and in many ways see the errors therein. The "floaters", as Peikoff refers to them in DIM, miss reality. The empiricists miss understanding.

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I've about 16gig of ARI lectures. Objectivism Thru Induction comes to mind, but it's been awhile since I listened to it. I do have a deeper analogy involving Generalities as a puzzle, the pieces comprised of Concepts being a puzzle within a pieced together from pieces of the puzzle that form the "pictures" of Percepts, but it's still pretty crude.

What timeframe are you seeking this under? I can point my listening back to OTI if a positive confirmation would be of benifit.

Edited by dream_weaver

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I've about 16gig of ARI lectures. Objectivism Thru Induction comes to mind, but it's been awhile since I listened to it. I do have a deeper analogy involving Generalities as a puzzle, the pieces comprised of Concepts being a puzzle within a pieced together from pieces of the puzzle that form the "pictures" of Percepts, but it's still pretty crude.

What timeframe are you seeking this under? I can point my listening back to OTI if a positive confirmation would be of benifit.

LOL! Thats exactly the direction Im going with it. No time frame,, just a personal project id like to maybe put on youtube.

Edited by Plasmatic

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On disc 18, track 3 starting at 7:45 transcribed;

"A better analogy is solving a jigsaw puzzle. Suppose that among the pieces of your puzzle, someone has added a few pieces from a different puzzle. As you go about solving the puzzle, the extra pieces will make the process more difficult, but they won't ultimately stop you from reaching a solution. Nor will the addition of outside pieces lead to a false solution of the puzzle that incorporates these pieces because the outside pieces just won't fit. This analogy illustrates the process of induction is one of classification and integration, not of computation
(eluding to an earlier analogy in the letter)
or deduction."

Read from a letter by Paul Blair(sp?) who thought this analogy may have come from Harry Binswanger.

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A little thinking out loud. DIM looks at four areas, education, literature, science and politics, yet what seems to establish the base and foundation is education. How we choose to educate ourselves casts the mold, if you will, for what will be written, how science will be approached, and how the political agendas are shaped. What gets taught, ultimately filters up accordingly through these different disciplines.

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