American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner: Emerson, Thoreau, by Robert McDermott

By Robert McDermott

"Few thinkers from outdoors the USA have touched American tradition in as many ways as Rudolf Steiner. Agriculture, schooling, spirituality, and medicine-or extra accurately, substitute practices in those fields-all endure transparent marks of his impact, for people with eyes to determine. but the very breadth of Steiner's effect has maybe made him more durable, now not more straightforward, for observers of yankee tradition to note. The phrases Waldorf schooling and biodynamic agriculture are extra widely known than Rudolf Steiner himself or Anthroposophy. Anthroposophic tasks are ordinarily understood relating to parallel tasks with assorted religious roots, instead of on the subject of the wealthy cloth of Steiner's worldview. american citizens more often than not think biodynamic agriculture as a extra excessive type of organics and Waldorf colleges as "like Montessori colleges basically extra so." whilst I describe the Camphill flow, so much interlocutors reply with "Is that just like the L'arche movement?" And millions of consumers at well-being foodstuff cooperatives and entire meals supermarkets buy Weleda dermis lotion, diaper cream, or homeopathic treatments with little experience of connection to Steiner's imaginative and prescient of spirit lively within the world." -Dan McKanan (from the foreword) American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner aspires to elevate Steiner's profile by way of digging into only one box of inquiry: philosophy. sooner than he turned identified to the realm as a transmitter of clairvoyant knowledge, Steiner was once a tutorial thinker, editor of the medical writings of Goethe and writer of a foundational paintings in philosophy, The Philosophy of Freedom: the foundation for a contemporary Worldview, released in 1894. That e-book expressed in philosophical phrases a few of the principles that may later become fundamental to the non secular technology of Anthroposophy. although the authors hide quite a lot of subject matters, such a lot proportion an elegiac tone. They see nice capability for discussion among Rudolf Steiner and the nice American philosophers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. American philosophy can have taken a incorrect flip within the mid-twentieth century, while pragmatism gave solution to a practice of analytical philosophy that eschewed metaphysics as inherently meaningless and all for the coherence or incoherence of linguistic constructions. still, many new websites of strength discussion exist among Steiner and American philosophy. 5 of the articles during this quantity have been written as a part of a seminar on Rudolf Steiner and American idea as a part of a venture for the Renewal of Philosophy, technological know-how, and schooling backed by means of Laurance S. Rockefeller. many of the contributions have been initially released in ReVision: A magazine of cognizance and Transformation (spring and summer season 1991).

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Extra resources for American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner: Emerson, Thoreau, Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey, Whitehead, Feminism

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To perceive your own self, or anyone else's, you have to intuit it. 7 He is pondering “the infinitude of the private man,” his favorite paradox, which holds that the one way all humans are alike is that each of us is unique. ” To “think this” meant, of course, to intuit this. Intuitive understanding underlies Emerson's whole principle of Self-Reliance, the radical individualism for which he is most famous. The very first paragraph of his essay on self-reliance (1839–1840) says that your own thinking is the unobserved element in your life of thought and that this deficiency needs correction.

Steiner describes the phenomenon this way: Those who find it necessary to explain thinking as such by appealing to something else—such as physical processes in the brain or unconscious mental processes lying behind observed, conscious thinking—misunderstand what the unprejudiced observation of thinking provides. …We shall then see in what appears in consciousness as thinking, not a shadowy copy of reality but a spiritual essence that sustains itself. Of this spiritual essence we can say that it becomes present to our consciousness through intuition.

Smith offers “three dominant or focal beliefs through which our philosophic spirit can be articulated”: First, the belief that thinking is primarily an activity in response to a concrete situation and that this activity is aimed at solving problems. Second, the belief that ideas and theories must have a “cutting edge” or must make a difference in the conduct of people who hold them and in the situations in which they live. , the natural and human, in contrast to the divine] can be civilized and obstacles to progress overcome by the application of knowledge.

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