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The Philosophy of Freedom: The Basis for a Modern World Conception

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1855840829
ISBN-10: 1855840820
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

RUDOLF STEINER (1861-1925) became a respected and well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, particularly known for his work on Goethe's scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his earlier philosophical principles into an approach to methodical research of psychological and spiritual phenomena. His multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, philosophy, religion, education (Waldorf schools), special education (the Camphill movement), economics, agriculture (biodynamics), science, architecture, and the arts (drama, speech and eurythmy). In 1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which has branches throughout the world.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Rudolf Steiner Press (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855840820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855840829
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is my favorite Rudolf Steiner book! If you were to own one Steiner book, this would be it.

Rudolf Steiner highly recommends this book:

Asked which of his books he would most want to see rescued if catastrophe should come upon the world, Rudolf Steiner replied without hesitation: "The Philosophy of Freedom."

In the first decade of the 20th century, August Ewerbeck got word that there were intimate circles in which Rudolf Steiner gave special esoteric training to those admitted to them. So he asked his teacher, whether he too might be allowed to attend, and received the astonishing reply: "You don't need to! You have understood my Philosophy of Freedom!"

In a conversation with Rudolf Steiner in 1922 Walter Johannes Stein asked,
"What will remain of your work in thousands of years?
Rudolf Steiner replied: "Nothing but the Philosophy of Freedom," and then he added: "But everything is contained in it. If someone realizes the act of freedom described there, he finds the whole content of Anthroposophy".
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I was attracted to this work because Steiner is one of the major influences on Otto Scharmer and 'Theory U'. Steiner is describing the relationship of faith and science in a time where their separation seemed as accepted as "the earth is flat" was once accepted. Not until quantum physics was discovered did the central dogma begun by DesCartes begin to unravel. Steiner was far ahead of his time. We now know that what we cannot see (energy, spirit, consciousness) may be more real than what we can.

Interesting to me as well that a young fascist with the first name Adolph accused Steiner of treason. In all systems of dialectic materialism the poets, the intellectuals and those who believe in spirit must be destroyed because they hold the truth that a mechanistic worldview is a falsification of reality. If I see my neighbor as machine no telling what evil I may do to him. It is not personal because these are not human beings. Steiner's work and later the work of Einstein, Plack, Bohm and others destroy this fallacy.

Scharmer's work builds on all these and helps lead us out of the devastating view of the world that sees all of our current social systems on the brink of collapse. Steiner dismantles the worldview they are built upon. Scharmer takes his work and gives us a very personal, relational, spiritual approach allowing us a life giving sustainable model.

The book is not an easy read as it is a translation from the German and much time is given at first to help us with the translation. However, I believe it is very much worth the effort.
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Format: Paperback
The quintessential book for every anthroposophist to read and re-read. Steiner laid more emphasis on this work than any of his other books - contains all essential anthroposophical concepts in seed form.

It is one of the great tragedies of the 20th century that the anthroposophical society does not lay more emphasis on this work.

If you consider yourself an anthropop - GET IT AND READ IT.

Michael Wilson is far better than Lipson translation (is more faithful to the original german)
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Though I am still half a way through the book, the chapters covered so far demonstrated astonishingly deep understanding of the deepest and most difficult philosophical questions of all times. Even from the stand point of modern philosophy, the criticism (especially, monism vs dualism, naive realism vs critical idealism dichotomies) given in the book retain its validity and actuality even today. The language in which the book is written is quite comprehensible, however it is not an easy task to follow very difficult argumentation covering the extremely difficult issues of perception, cognition, thinking process, the issues that currently are mostly dealt with the philosophy of mind branch of philosophy. The first half of the book grapples with misleading concepts of philosophy with regards to the core epistemological questions, while the second half it seems provides certain solutions and the ethical application of the answers provided in relation to the question of freedom.
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I kept on with the reading because I knew Steiner had something important to say that would be uplifting. He was widening the area philosophers use for arriving at their conclusions. Steiner had been upset by Immanual Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" which he read when he was 15. He wanted to correct what he saw as a limitation in Kant's outlook, whereby, a person can never know the nature of reality, which is unknowable. Steiner disagreed and felt that this pessimisistic orientation would lead to nihilism, which did occur in Satre, Camus, etc.
I found that if I went slow enough I was able to see that involving the thinking process itself as part of nature (as Steiner discribes it); and that Kant's conclusions about the world's unknowability were wrong. Steiner believed that the thinking process has an important role to play in evolution and that it images are not arrived at unconsciously. He claims the whole process from image-thought-concept is conscious, knowable, and unique. When he wrote this book, the thinking process was mostly ignored as part of what shapes reality. The book is not easy to understand, in part, because Steiner is arguing with the current state of philosophy in his own day. wish he had just presented his own thinking.
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