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Autumn/Winter 2012, Volume 17 #2: The Philosophical Roots of Waldorf Education, Part One

Download the article: The Philosophical Roots of Waldorf Education, Part One....The Revolution

Kicking away the ladder
This first rubric might be puzzling, but readers who are very well-schooled in Western intellectual history will recognize the allusion right away. It comes from the end of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, from the early twentieth century, which is— or at least seems to be—a severe, very abstract treatise on symbolic logic. At the end of this brief treatise comes an astonishing statement by Wittgenstein: “My propositions are elucidatory in this way: He who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must, so to speak, kick away the ladder after he has climbed up on it.) He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.”

Wittgenstein concludes the treatise with a single, gnomic sentence: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent,” which follows from another very famous passage near the end. There, Wittgenstein draws a distinction between things that can be “said” (meaning, captured in the language of propositional logic) and things that can only be “shown.” By “shown” he means that one can only point someone towards them and then invite that person to go and have that experience on his own, freely. It can’t be delivered; it can’t be demonstrated; it can’t be proved; it can’t be captured in any fixed, propositional form of language. Whoever has attained it herself can only point at it as a transcendent experience that others need to go and have on their own.

And so that’s the keynote I want to sound at the beginning of this series of short articles on the philosophical roots of Waldorf education. It’s about a threshold and about transcendence at that threshold; about reaching a threshold via one route and then “kicking away” what one used to get there, in order to have a fundamentally different kind of experience on the other side of the threshold. And it really is, in that sense, about something revolutionary within cognition. That’s why I have Wittgenstein kicking away the ladder: because that verb captures the revolutionary force of his thought.2 We don’t just gently ease it away; we kick it away. We reject it.

Now, Wittgenstein is talking about something that’s obviously very difficult to express. In fact, he comes right out and asserts that it can’t be said; it can only be shown. What can be said is only the ladder that leads you up to that experience, but that’s precisely the thing that needs to be “kicked away.” There’s no algorithm for this new experience; there’s no prescribed set of steps that one can take; there’s no recipe for it that will guarantee that one gets there. So we’re talking about something that really is revolutionary, something really new.

Let’s move away from Wittgenstein, but please hold on to the spirit of his remarks.
I want to turn now to a different period in intellectual history, to the second half of the eighteenth century. Before moving on to Rudolf Steiner himself, I am going to discuss four figures: Goethe as a scientist, exemplified by his Metamorphosis of Plants; the great German idealist philosophers Hegel and Fichte; and Schiller as the author of the essay, “On the Aesthetic Education of the Human Being.” I think it’s no exaggeration to say, and everyone would immediately agree, that this is a revolutionary period in general. Of course one thinks first of the French Revolution, but this is a period in which there is also a tremendous revolution in philosophy, and there’s likewise a great revolution within aesthetics, which resulted in what we call rather loosely “Romanticism.”

The revolution inside the revolution
Right away I want to complicate that picture, and distinguish two different philosophical revolutions, one of which is nested inside the other; one can picture the relationship as concentric circles, if that helps. So we’ve got a larger revolution, and inside that revolution yet another revolution. This is, of course, far too schematic, but one needs to play a little fast and loose in order to cover such a large terrain in a small space, so forgive me for that. Let’s call the big revolution the Kantian revolution, and then inside this Kantian revolution is the more specific thing upon which I want to focus principally.

Now the Kantian revolution was something that happened with breathtaking speed. One would be hard-pressed to find another moment in history in which human thinking changed so utterly over such a short period of time.
Kant published the first major work in this philosophical revolution, the Critique of Pure Reason, in 1781, and then finished the job, as it were, in 1790 with the publication of his third critique or Critique of Judgment, with a number of other important works along the way. Extraordinary! This great revolution unfolded over a mere ten years. And Kant was right in his claim that a revolution was needed, because the philosophical establishment—let’s call it the ancient regime of philosophy—had reached a double dead-end. We need to recapitulate quickly this well-known story within the history of philosophy.

One great, longstanding tradition within Western thought, Rationalism, goes back to Plato and arguably beyond. Kant was trained as a rationalist, and it bothered him deeply that with regard to the great problems of metaphysics—“God, freedom and immortality” (one can trace the history of those speculations back through the Middle Ages to Plato and beyond)—that in metaphysics, unlike the sciences, there seemed to be no progress. We debate these questions over and over again, but nobody ever seems to win in some definitive way; we seem never to move on. Kant was deeply troubled by this and started to wonder whether there was something about this rational way of doing philosophy as such that was problematic. So Kant decided to come to terms with this issue once and for all, and the result was his performing one of the greatest intellectual feats in human history. I don’t care how one feels about Kant: one has to admire this moment. What Kant actually did was distill all the great questions in the history of this ongoing rationalist project into a short list of archetypal uber-questions, if you will, and then he proceeded to mount airtight, logical defenses of both sides of all these questions.

To his own satisfaction and to the satisfaction of just about everyone since, Kant proved that it’s possible to mount equally valid, rational arguments on both sides of every major issue in the history of metaphysics. Kant called these conflicting demonstrations “the antinomies of reason,” and he drew from them what seemed to him the only possible conclusion: the game’s up. It turns out that the ancient regime of the rationalist project cannot solve these problems in principle, and this was a devastating realization. Thus, Kant famously referred to the antinomies as one of the “three alarms that awakened him from his dogmatic slumbers.” The other great project in the history of philosophy is that of modern empiricism, going back to Hobbes and Bacon. Of course the great modern empiricists were mostly British: Locke and Hume represent the culmination of the movement. Hume, who was a contemporary of Kant, decided to push the empiricist project to its logical conclusion: he took deeply seriously the empiricist dictum that there’s “nothing in the mind that was not previously in the senses.” The mind itself is a tabula rasa—a blank slate upon which the senses write their data. Hume wanted to know: what are the full and final consequences of that position? So he cross-examined his own presuppositions and came to a startling conclusion. He came to the realization that one can never find relations of any kind, notably causality or identity, in this way. One can find atomistic events, which certainly have arrived as data through the senses, but causal relationship is not a possible sense experience. So then Hume sat back and asked: well, if not through the senses, then how do I know about causality and identity? Causality is not an experience in the world. Finally, Hume decided that, in fact, he didn’t know about causality; our feeling of causal necessity is really what he termed a “habit of perception”; it’s more like biting one’s nails than knowing something. We’re just accustomed to certain things happening after other things, and we call that causality, but we have no right to do so. And even worse, the same conclusions apply to personal identity.

All of those ramshackle, atomistic things that seem to happen to you or me as a person, are just that: ramshackle events, because the personal identity that seemingly binds them all together—we can call it your proper name or my proper name—has never been experienced. And so, personal identity turns out to be nothing but a habit of perception, and that conclusion is devastating to, for example, ethics. How can one have science without causality? How can one have ethics without personal identity? And any number of other problems follows. In this way, Hume ended up in a position of total skepticism, and said that very openly.

Kant read Hume and was persuaded that the empiricist project had likewise run up against a dead-end. There were two “games that were being played” (as some philosophers would put it), and now both showed themselves to be impossible. So it was that philosophy really needed at this point to be placed upon a completely new foundation. That’s what Kant proceeded to do, and that’s what I want to call “the Kantian Revolution.”

Let’s try to specify, if only in a few words, what that revolution was and what makes it so revolutionary. Kant himself (who was not a modest man) called it a “Copernican revolution,” and he surely was right at least as to the magnitude of the event. Moreover, Kant’s revolution was “Copernican” in the sense that it involved a fundamental reversal of the polarities: what had seemed to be peripheral was now at the center, and what had seemed to be at the center was now at the periphery. In the ancien regime, something extra-human or supra-human—the material world of empirical experience that arrives as data, or the supra-individual, overarching metaphysical structures of a rational cosmos—had been primary. In those models, the human mind reflects one or the other. But Kant realized that neither of those models worked, so he substituted for them a radically different model in which experience is not a reflection of some supra-personal structure that one discovers or posits, but rather, human experience is something that’s actively constituted by the perceiving subject. The great revolutionary moment, at which Kant launched the revolution, is in an early chapter—the first full chapter—of Critique of Pure Reason.3 It’s called “The Transcendental Aesthetic,” but it’s not about art; it’s about perception. That chapter ends with an important passage in which Kant says (imagining a rainy day): not only the raindrops, but the spherical shape of the raindrops, and indeed, even the very space within which they fall—all these seeming “things” are actually representations. That means they are constituted actively in the form in which they are experienced by a perceiving subject.

A tremendously revolutionary moment! It’s hard to overstate just how revolutionary this moment was. And I think it’s partly because we all live in this philosophical world now that we don’t always appreciate or understand the magnitude of Kant’s accomplishment. We live in that world now because Kant made it. But the young people who were alive at that time understood; they felt tremendously liberated by this new Kantian philosophy. When one looks at those old engravings of them wearing their wigs, it’s hard to imagine them as Young Turks running around with their hair on fire, but that’s what they were, a bunch of Young Turks who were totally turned on by Kant. Fichte read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, gave up his job—which admittedly wasn’t a great job (it was the eighteenth-century equivalent of driving a taxi), but nevertheless, he gave up his job—on the spot, and then proceeded to walk, on foot, all the way across what’s now Poland to knock on Kant’s front door. Fichte’s hair was on fire.

But, as we all know, famously, the revolution remained incomplete because Kant got stuck and ended up in a dualism that is deeply unsatisfying. In fact, let’s call it a “double dualism”—sorry, we have to write a kind of shorthand here. Kant is a whole world!—a dualism within epistemology or theory of knowledge, and a dualism within ethics. Kant ended up deciding that, whatever that faculty is that’s actively constituting human experience—from the inside out now, not from the outside in!—it’s something that we can’t know directly; it’s what Kant called, notoriously, the thing-in-itself, meaning something apart from what we’re able to construct and constitute. As a case in point: Kant is the one who invented the term produktive Einbildungskraft, translated into English as “imagination” or “productive imagination.” He kept talking about it, initially with surprise at the discovery. First in the footnotes, then around the edges of his argument, and then eventually in the main argument of his text, he marveled out loud that, wherever he tried to go, he kept stumbling upon the “productive imagination.” But he didn’t have a way of talking about it yet: it’s a “thing-in-itself.” And then he had even stranger and more difficult locutions for it. For example, the subject that must be actively synthesizing the coherent world of our knowledge but can’t be seen doing that, he called “the transcendental unity of apperception.” That’s very puzzling and obscure, but what’s clear enough is that it’s just a name for a kind of a blank. “The transcendental unity of apperception” is a description of the results of something’s activity, that’s all. But because that “something” is a thing-in-itself, I can’t experience it, name it, or describe how it works: I can only see the results of its activity. So that’s very unsatisfying: the foundation of this exciting new way of doing philosophy is, oh, by the way, behind a locked door. Or, as Kant described that hidden synthetic activity so memorably: “The secret Masonic handshakes are exchanged behind a curtain.”

And then in ethics we end up in a dualism, because Kant as the consummate rationalist decided that, if we’re going to be autonomous, if we’re going to be free, we need to be the ones who give ourselves our own maxims, who dictate the norms of conduct to ourselves. Then what’s the criterion for morality? It’s conformity to our own maxims. So what we need is a kind of bare, formal principle, which he famously termed “the categorical imperative,” whereby we impose upon ourselves the same duties that we expect other people to impose upon themselves. So the basis of ethics is a purely formal principle, which may sound disappointing in retrospect. But what’s easy to forget is how exciting this was at a time in which customary morality, or religious revelation, or any number of other patriarchal, hierarchical structures—tradition, custom, “the authorities” in all their guises—had been dictating morality. None of that! None of that survived the acid test. .. .We’re going to be the lawgivers, and we’re going to give the moral law to ourselves.

But then how do we protect ourselves against our own subjectivity, against our own “inclination,” or Neigung, as Kant called it? By making ethics a purely rational enterprise and by rigorously subduing affect and will; they are the enemy. As a result, we end up with a very stark ethical dualism in which we’re divided against ourselves. Our “inner Prussian,” if you like, suppresses affect—the world of sentiment—and will. In fact, Kant became really quite perverse, and everybody noticed it right away. Kant went so far as to claim openly that the most dangerous thing in ethics is—love for the moral deed! Love turns out to be the enemy of morality! You know something’s wrong when you end up in that place. It’s because Kant saw love as nothing more than affect, nothing more than selfish, subjective inclination. Many of his readers saw immediately that there was something dreadfully wrong with Kant’s ethics.

It became clear to at least a small circle of people that another revolution was needed. Kant had been profoundly revolutionary, but not revolutionary enough. He had not transformed his thinking; Kant had thought new thoughts, but he had not actually transformed the faculty of thinking in his epistemology. And in his ethics, he saw no way to actually transform the faculties of feeling and willing, which is why he felt he could only suppress them in favor of rationality. What was needed was a revolution inside the revolution, that smaller concentric circle I invited you to imagine earlier.

Now, it’s important to understand that this was a sympathetic revolution. The story is a little more complicated with Goethe, but even in the case of Goethe, these people considered themselves Kantians, and what they decided was that Kant had been basically right, but that he had not executed his program correctly. And so what all of these people now in this second, inner revolution felt they were doing—and in the case of Fichte and Schiller, said very openly—was rewriting the letter of Kant in the spirit of Kant.

And this second revolution went even faster! The main development unfolded in the quick succession of three works that I think constituted this second revolution within German Idealism. The first was published in 1790, the same year as Kant’s last—his third—critique, the Critique of Judgment: Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants.4 Then in 1794, Fichte published a very difficult work of philosophy, written at lightning speed (three months at the most), that has been translated into English as The Science of Knowledge.5 Right on the heels of Fichte’s book—in fact using a key insight from it—Friedrich Schiller published his Letters on the Aesthetic Education of the Human Being.6 Within four years, this “inner revolution” had been accomplished. And then, a little over a decade later, Hegel gave it full, systematic expression in his Phenomenology of Spirit of 1807.7

Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants

Let’s begin with Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants. Goethe had been very taken with Linnaeus. He wanted to become a good botanist, so at a certain point he began carrying around Linnaeus’ massive textbook on botany everywhere he went, like a kind of Bible. And he tried to use Linnaean taxonomy to understand the plant kingdom but gradually became disappointed by it.

Goethe came to feel that there was something very arbitrary and superficial about Linnaean taxonomy because it involved, basically, counting organs of various kinds and then grouping species according to the number of organs they exhibited. He came to feel that this approach really did not penetrate at all into how the plant lives in its essential nature, especially because—and here’s the second point—if you really think about it, the plant is, above all, dynamic. Plants are perhaps the most dynamic thing in all of nature.

Plants are pure movement and growth, pure metamorphosis, so it’s especially problematic to try to capture the plant within such a static structure. Moreover, when Goethe actually tried, empirically—not just with his senses, but with his mind’s eye—to follow very closely and precisely the stages in the growth of the plant, he didn’t find that the organs of the plant were neatly separate from each other. He found many ambiguous organs; one would flow into the other and so forth. So he really wanted to develop a radically new way of understanding the plant, but then understanding the plant as a stepping-stone toward understanding life—understanding how living creatures function as living organisms. So plants were for Goethe the key to understanding organic form as such, not just in nature but in the arts as well. (The latter is a big topic for another day.)

Thus it was that Goethe began looking at plants in a very different way—as suites of leaves, graded series of leaf forms that are generated in the course of the plant’s growth. The accompanying diagram attempts to represent a generalized schema of the typical sequence in the growth of annuals. Within this archetypal sequence, Goethe identified seven stages: the cotyledons, the stem and leaves, the calyx, the corolla, the sexual organs, the fruit, and the seed. So we have here a kind of ideal sequence. When Goethe studied this suite of ideal forms, one of the most important things that he noted was a certain pattern that one saw replicated over and over again: a theme with lots of different variations. One can see it intuitively in the drawing (Fig. 1). Goethe used Greek terms for that: systole and diastole.

(In monitoring blood pressure, there are two registrations, the “systolic” and the “diastolic” pressure. Systolic is the higher number, because it’s the pressure when the heart contracts; the other is lower because it’s when the heart is relaxing.) Like the human heart, the plant contracts and expands, contracts and expands, over and over in a rhythm. But in the plant, the process intensifies as the plant grows. The relatively contracted cotyledons give way to the expanded stem leaves, which contract sharply into the calyx (typically very small and green, right up underneath the blossom). What follows is even more intense: the colored blossom bursts forth—a real qualitative leap and an expansion into a new realm of color. Then a powerful contraction into the sexual organs,

NOTE:Please see pdf of full article to view diagram

7. Seed
6. Fruit
5. Androecium, Nectaries, Style (sexual organs)
4. Corolla
3. Calyx 2. Stem, Leaves
1. Cotyledons
Figure 1

which are typically filament-like, as though the plant had to sacrifice the efflorescence of the previous stage in order to reproduce. But again something of a higher order is being called forth—a whole new plant—in another qualitative leap. Then what can be a huge expansion into the fruit (think of a pumpkin or a watermelon or even a tomato), and then contraction into a seed, which can be tiny (as in the mustard seed of the Biblical parable). And so one finds a living, breathing rhythm of expansion and contraction accompanied by what Goethe called Steigerung, “heightening” or “intensification.” It’s as though the plant moves through a series of polar oppositions, repeatedly internalizing its forces so that it can then leap forth at a higher level that resolves the polarity through “heightening.”

From Goethe to Hegel
If one has studied Hegel, one might recognize this progression as a picture of—surprise!—thinking. That’s Hegelian dialectic. Polarities are generated in a living way, and then they are overcome by rising above the polarity. In German, the antithesis is aufgehoben, a verb that conveys perfectly through its two basic meanings how the opposition is “cancelled” by being “raised up.” What Hegel described purely in terms of thought, Goethe saw as a transparent set of formative activities in the plant. More on that in a minute.

Goethe began to see and to think that, actually, the plant is never in any of these particular forms. Rather, it’s an activity that moves between the forms. My late and great colleague, the philosopher Ronald Brady, has written brilliantly on this. In an essay on Goethe’s morphology, he came up with a formulation that I always want to quote at this point: Goethe realized that the plant is the music moving between the notes.8 A beautiful metaphor! What is a musical melody? A melody isn’t the first note plus the second note, and so forth, and certainly it doesn’t reside in any one of the notes. Music is something that moves through and between the notes. In the same way, for Goethe, the plant is the music that moves through the notes.

Another analogy for this is Zeno’s paradox about the flying arrow that actually never moves. And Zeno’s right about that! When I teach this at the University, I toss a tennis ball across the room in a shallow arc, and then I ask the students: What did you see? Of course, they answer: “I saw the ball move.” But then I ask them, holding the ball at various points along the arc it had traced when thrown: Was it moving here? Here? Here? And so forth. With a little bit of reflection, what gradually comes out is that, if you look at the ball solely in terms of our sensory experience, it never moves; every time you look at the ball, it’s standing still. As a sensory experience, Zeno’s arrow never moves. What moves is in our thinking. Movement is something ideal that we intuit within the real.

If one wants to get really radical, one can say: none of us has ever heard music with our ears because music is what moves between the audible tones. Music is also something ideal that we intuit within the real. Goethe says the same thing about the plant: the plant is (in the language of phenomenology) an intentional experience; it is something that we humans intuit inside the real and that never appears outside of our own cognitive activity, the activity that we bring to bear upon it.

So what Goethe did was to write a revolutionary study of botany, selecting certain species in which the gap—the space between the tones, as it were—is as small as possible. One example is the tulip, in which the calyx actually runs fluidly right into the corolla—what poets call “the streaks of the tulip”—painted, as it were, right onto the blossom petals. Hence, Metamorphosis of Plants is really a kind of workbook in which we can practice this kind of intuition of the ideal within the real. The all-important thing to realize here is that the ancien regime of empiricism had been fundamentally transformed by the time Goethe did this. What Goethe has given us is actually a workbook that teaches us how to engage the energy of our intentional faculty. It teaches us how to engage in a controlled way the constructive activity that Kant had talked about which allows us to intuit the ideal within the real. Goethe has given us a workbook that helps us to develop a kind of pure thinking—ideal, pure, not contingent—within perceiving. So what Goethe has actually done,

I would argue, is create a school for a certain kind of thinking. At the empirical pole, Goethe has utterly transformed sense-perception by turning it inside-out, if you will, and then giving us a place to practice—meditatively! That’s what “meditation” means; it comes from the Latin verb meaning “to practice”—Goethe has given us a set of exercises we can use to engage meditatively a certain kind of synthetic thinking.

Let’s revisit Hegelian dialectic now in this light. Hegel went on and rehearsed that kind of thinking in purely philosophical terms, inside of pure thought. Hegel got it! Hegel understood what Goethe was trying to do. There is a very important and revealing moment early on in Hegel’s revolutionary masterpiece, the “Preface” to his Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), in which he described a radically new way of doing philosophical thinking: “The more that conventional opinion gets fixated on the antithesis of truth and falsity, the more it tends to expect a given philosophical system to be either accepted or contradicted; and hence it finds only acceptance or rejection.”

The ancient regime thought of philosophy as a set of thought-edifices; we say “yes” to them or “no” to them; we build on them, or we attack them, and so forth. That’s false, said Hegel. Such a way of thinking “does not comprehend the diversity of philosophical systems as the progressive unfolding of the truth”—note the morphological language that is starting to emerge—“but rather sees it in its simple disagreements.” Typical Hegel now, no transition, just a qualitative leap:

“The bud disappears in the bursting forth of the blossom,” Hegel wrote, “.. .And one might say that the former is refuted by the latter.” That’s the old way of thinking Hegel rejected, because, of course, that’s not how we look at a living organism. We say: this particular organ is just another moment within a continuous development. “Similarly, when the fruit appears, the blossom is shown up in its turn as a false manifestation of the plant, and the fruit now emerges as the truth of it instead.” These forms are not just distinguished from one another; they also supplant one another as mutually incompatible—if one looks at the plant in the wrong way. But if one looks at these forms in the right way, then “their fluid nature makes them moments of an organic unity in which they not only do not conflict, but in which each is as necessary as the other.” So, for Hegel, real thinking is an organism that unfolds like a plant. “And this mutual necessity alone constitutes the life of the whole.”9 Where did Hegel learn to think in this new way? Surprisingly, he learned it not on his own and not from other philosophers, but from Goethe’s plant morphology. Some Hegel scholars know this and have confirmed it.

Let’s now recall what was dissatisfying about Kant: we ended up in a stark dualism. Goethe overcame this dualism within epistemology by finding a pure, archetypal thinking inside of perceiving. Goethe found within perceiving a pure, ideal, synthetic activity that Kant had presupposed but declared unknowable. Goethe replied: it is knowable if one intensifies one’s cognitive activity to such a degree that what for Kant had been a limit is turned into a threshold.

So the result of Goethe’s studies is an experience that simply can’t be captured in propositional language. One can’t say what the plant is in a logical way, but one can point to it as an experience and give people a set of exercises that, if they’re willing to do the work, will lead them to that experience. In Wittgenstein’s terms, the experience cannot be said, but it can be shown. So the result is a new, integral, holistic way of thinking. Our meditative contemplation of the phenomena—that concept is not a stretch at this point; we’ve gotten there on our own—meditation has transformed our thinking into a new kind of higher perceiving. Referring to the Romantics and building upon them, Rudolf Steiner called this new kind of intuitive thinking “Imagination.” Through Imagination, we are able to intuit the ideal within the real.

In light of the genealogy we have traced, it should not surprise us to recall that one of the first meditative exercises that Steiner suggests in his “basic book” How to Know Higher Worlds10 is to watch attentively the process of a plant growing and dying. So there also, Steiner is taking us up to a threshold where our faculties are transformed, and I submit that Steiner is getting at exactly the same thing as Goethe and Hegel. By contributing so centrally to Rudolf Steiner’s epistemology, Goethe and Hegel formed two of the deepest roots of Waldorf education.   

to be continued

1.The first two articles in this four-part series are based on lectures originally presented at Esalen and the California Institute of Integral Studies. In many places, the original, oral style has been retained.
2.A more literal translation of wegwerfen is “throw away.”
3.Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) is the standard English translation.
4.J.W. von Goethe, The Metamorphosis of Plants (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009). This splendid and affordable edition has gorgeous color photos by Gordon Miller of the plants Goethe discusses.
5.Trans. Heath and Lachs (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).
6.Here the translation of choice (the only one even to consider) is the Oxford University Press edition translated by Wilkinson and Willoughby. Unfortunately, they chose to translate Mensch in the title as “man” rather than “human being,” but it is otherwise a magnificent edition.
7.Trans. A.V. Miller (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977).
8.“Goethe’s Natural Science: Some Non-Cartesian Meditations,” in Towards a Man-Centered Medical Science, ed. Karl E. Schaefer, et al. (Mount Kisco, NY: Futura, 1977), pp. 137-165.
9.G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), p. 2.
10.Rudolf Steiner, How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation (Anthroposophic Press, 1994).

Frederick Amrine is Arthur F Thurnau Professor in the field of German Studies at the University of Michigan, where he teaches literature, philosophy, and intellectual history. He is a lifelong student of anthroposophy and, together with his wife Margot, is deeply involved in Waldorf education at a variety of levels.


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