By Robert McDermott
"Few thinkers from outdoors the us 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 undergo transparent marks of his impact, for people with eyes to work out. but the very breadth of Steiner's impression has possibly 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 often understood when it comes to parallel projects with varied non secular roots, instead of with regards to the wealthy textile of Steiner's worldview. americans commonly think biodynamic agriculture as a extra excessive type of organics and Waldorf colleges as "like Montessori faculties simply 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 consumers at well-being nutrition cooperatives and entire meals supermarkets buy Weleda epidermis 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 through 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 an instructional thinker, editor of the clinical writings of Goethe and writer of a foundational paintings in philosophy, The Philosophy of Freedom: the foundation for a latest Worldview, released in 1894. That e-book expressed in philosophical phrases some of the principles that may later end up vital to the religious technological know-how of Anthroposophy. even though the authors disguise quite a lot of subject matters, so much percentage an elegiac tone. They see nice strength for discussion among Rudolf Steiner and the nice American philosophers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. American philosophy can have taken a unsuitable flip within the mid-twentieth century, while pragmatism gave solution to a practice of analytical philosophy that eschewed metaphysics as inherently meaningless and all in favour of the coherence or incoherence of linguistic constructions. still, many new websites of power 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 suggestion as a part of a undertaking for the Renewal of Philosophy, technology, and schooling backed via Laurance S. Rockefeller. a number of the contributions have been initially released in ReVision: A magazine of attention and Transformation (spring and summer time 1991).
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Extra info for American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner: Emerson, Thoreau, Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey, Whitehead, Feminism
This collection aspires to raise Steiner's profile by digging into just one field of inquiry: philosophy. Before he became known to the world as a transmitter of clairvoyant wisdom, Steiner was an academic philosopher, editor of the scientific writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and author of a foundational work in philosophy, Philosophy of Freedom: The Basis for a Modern World Conception, published in 1894. 1 In that early work, Steiner chose not to make mention of his own extraordinary spiritual experiences, making his case in terms that would be readily accessible to any reader with philosophical training.
In short, listen to Emerson's prophetic voice and you hear Steiner's Anthroposophy. Freedom and Individuality America: land of the free, home of the brave, where individuality rules, not class or tribe. Once the land of endless frontiers and eternal hope, America, it was expected, would provide opportunity for all who seek it, and protection for all who need it. Of course this American dream has not yet materialized. As a dream it inspired generations of pioneers, immigrants, and refugees, but few thinking people today believe that the dream has power any more.
Steiner and the Transcendentalists drew on some important common sources, most notably the work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Transcendentalist movement began, arguably, when a precocious teenager named Frederic Henry Hedge was sent by his father for four years of study in Germany before entering Harvard College. Eighteen years later, the Transcendentalist or “Hedge” club began to meet whenever Hedge travelled from his pastorate in Maine to visit with friends in Boston and Concord. Hedge introduced American thinkers to the German philosophical and literary traditions of idealism and Romanticism.