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

By Robert McDermott

"Few thinkers from open air the USA have touched American tradition in as some ways as Rudolf Steiner. Agriculture, schooling, spirituality, and medicine-or extra accurately, substitute practices in those fields-all undergo transparent marks of his impact, for people with eyes to work out. but the very breadth of Steiner's influence has maybe made him tougher, now not more uncomplicated, for observers of yank tradition to note. The phrases Waldorf schooling and biodynamic agriculture are extra well known than Rudolf Steiner himself or Anthroposophy. Anthroposophic tasks are generally understood on the subject of parallel projects with assorted religious roots, instead of relating to the wealthy cloth of Steiner's worldview. americans often think biodynamic agriculture as a extra excessive kind of organics and Waldorf faculties as "like Montessori faculties merely extra so." whilst I describe the Camphill circulation, such a lot interlocutors reply with "Is that just like the L'arche movement?" And hundreds of thousands of customers at healthiness nutrition cooperatives and full meals supermarkets buy Weleda dermis lotion, diaper cream, or homeopathic treatments with little feel of connection to Steiner's imaginative and prescient of spirit energetic 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. ahead of he turned recognized to the realm as a transmitter of clairvoyant knowledge, Steiner used to be a tutorial thinker, editor of the medical writings of Goethe and writer of a foundational paintings in philosophy, The Philosophy of Freedom: the root for a contemporary Worldview, released in 1894. That publication expressed in philosophical phrases a number of the rules that will later come to be necessary to the religious technology of Anthroposophy. although the authors disguise a variety of issues, 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 could have taken a fallacious flip within the mid-twentieth century, while pragmatism gave approach to a practice of analytical philosophy that eschewed metaphysics as inherently meaningless and fascinated with the coherence or incoherence of linguistic constructions. still, many new websites of capability 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 proposal as a part of a venture for the Renewal of Philosophy, technological know-how, and schooling subsidized through Laurance S. Rockefeller. the various contributions have been initially released in ReVision: A magazine of recognition and Transformation (spring and summer season 1991).

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But whatever we do not completely comprehend goes against the individual element in us that wants to experience everything in its deepest inner core. The only knowing that satisfies us is the kind that submits to no outer norm, but springs from the inner life of the personality. Nor do we want the kind of knowing that has become frozen once and for all in academic rules preserved in encyclopedias valid for all time. We consider ourselves justified in proceeding from our intimate experiences, our immediate life, and ascending from there to apprehension of the whole universe.

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.

I am grateful to Jurgen Kremer, editor of ReVision, and to The Society for the Study of Shamanism, Healing, and Transformation, for permission to republish these essays. In spring 1992 a second seminar, directed by Arthur Zajonc, met to discuss Goethean science. The proceedings of the third seminar, directed by Douglas Sloan, and devoted to society and education, were published in ReVision (1993). I invited to this seminar eleven professors who I knew would be able to explore collaboratively the relationship between the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner and major American thinkers, including: five professors and authors committed to Anthroposophy—Gertrude Reif Hughes, Robert Sardello, Douglas Sloan, and Arthur Zajonc, and six colleagues well-schooled in American thought—David Ray Griffin, Patrick Hill, Frank M.

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