The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out

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With his groundbreaking and controversial DIM hypothesis, Dr. Leonard Peikoff casts a penetrating new light on the process of human thought, and thereby on Western culture and history.
 
In this far-reaching study, Peikoff identifies the three methods people use to integrate concrete data into a whole, as when connecting diverse experiments by a scientific theory, or separate laws into a Constitution, or single events into a story. The ...

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The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out

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Overview

With his groundbreaking and controversial DIM hypothesis, Dr. Leonard Peikoff casts a penetrating new light on the process of human thought, and thereby on Western culture and history.
 
In this far-reaching study, Peikoff identifies the three methods people use to integrate concrete data into a whole, as when connecting diverse experiments by a scientific theory, or separate laws into a Constitution, or single events into a story. The first method, in which data is integrated through rational means, he calls Integration. The second, which employs non-rational means, he calls Misintegration. The third is Disintegration—which is nihilism, the desire to tear things apart.
 
In The DIM Hypothesis Peikoff demonstrates the power of these three methods in shaping the West, by using the categories to examine the culturally representative fields of literature, physics, education, and politics. His analysis illustrates how the historical trends in each field have been dominated by one of these three categories, not only today but during the whole progression of Western culture from its beginning in Ancient Greece.
 
Extrapolating from the historical pattern he identifies, Peikoff concludes by explaining why the lights of the West are going out—and predicts the most likely future for the United States.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451234810
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard Peikoff is universally recognized as the pre-eminent Rand scholar writing today. He worked closely with Ayn Rand for 30 years and was designated by her as her intellectual heir and heir to her estate. He has taught philosophy at Hunter College, Long Island University, and New York University, and hosted the national radio talk show "Philosophy: Who Needs It."

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Part 1 Epistemology

1 Integration 3

2 The Three Archetypes 23

3 The Two Mixtures 44

4 DIM and the Hypothesis 64

Part 2 Dim in Modern Culture

5 Literature 81

6 Physics 106

7 Education 131

8 Politics 153

Part 3 Dim in Pre-Modern Culture

9 Greece 185

10 Rome 210

11 The Middle Ages 230

Part 4 The Future

12 Identifying a Culture's Essence 251

13 The West's Modal Progression 266

14 Secular Modes in the United States Today 287

15 The Anti-Secular Rebellion 308

16 What's Next 333

Endnotes 349

General Index 367

Index of DIM Terms 377

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2012

    "Breaking new ground." Ayn Rand's longest-tenured and

    "Breaking new ground."

    Ayn Rand's longest-tenured and most deeply devoted student, Leonard Peikoff breaks into entirely untrodden ground in this, his life's masterwork. There is an ease in his introductory walk-through the philosophy of Objectivism's theory of concepts and their relationship to human survival and thriving that is distinctive in the literature of this most distinct (and newly controversial) philosophy. That groundwork is extended through unexpected connections and insights in a contrapuntal fashion throughout. Dr. Peikoff sounds telling warnings against the Scyllae and Charybdii of the modern and post-modern fallacies of thought: misintegration, and disintegration.

    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.

    Well-recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Excellent book

    The author seems a bit too self-conscious throughout the text and it reads a little too autobiographically. However, this makes it more readable and it's genuinely philosophical. I love the philosophy presented and do not consider it entirely "Objectivistic".

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  • Posted October 13, 2012

    A milestone in the history of ideas

    An important book by one of the world's greatest living philosophers. As Peikoff states in the introduction, if you're not too familiar with the philosophy of Objectivism, originated by Ayn Rand, you're better off learning more about that, before reading this book.

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    Posted October 23, 2012

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    Posted December 9, 2012

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