Download the article: Thinking and the Sense of Thinking: How We Perceive Thoughts
Concepts, thoughts can be perceived only where they actually occur, where they are brought forth; otherwise they are not present. And that is through current thinking by a human being.
- Dietrich Rapp1
How Does Reality Arise?
Reality is supposed to exist somewhere beyond the realm of human cognition. We are said to take cognizance of this reality through sense perception only. Our cognition is said merely to mirror this sense world. In modern times, the tendency has developed to view cognition in this way. How do human cognition and reality relate for Rudolf Steiner? Of what significance is this for us today?
In his foundational works, Rudolf Steiner intensively pursued the question of how reality arises in the process of cognition. Rather than devising erudite academic theories, he breached a willed pathway into thinking, from which he sensitively observed the activity of cognition, exploring the role of thinking in the process of cognition through introspective (soul) observation. He describes the process of acquiring concepts through intuitive thinking in his Philosophy of Freedom from increasingly comprehensive vantage points, only to concede one exception on the next to last page of the last chapter in which we "bring concepts over into our own spirit in a pure form," unmixed with conceptual content won through intuition.
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