By Robert McDermott

"Few thinkers from outdoors the us 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 impression, for people with eyes to determine. but the very breadth of Steiner's impression has might be made him more durable, now not more uncomplicated, 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 quite often understood in terms of parallel tasks with diverse religious roots, instead of with regards to the wealthy cloth of Steiner's worldview. americans usually think biodynamic agriculture as a extra excessive type of organics and Waldorf faculties as "like Montessori colleges purely extra so." whilst I describe the Camphill stream, so much interlocutors reply with "Is that just like the L'arche movement?" And millions of customers at healthiness meals cooperatives and full 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 by means of digging into only one box of inquiry: philosophy. ahead of he turned recognized to the area as a transmitter of clairvoyant knowledge, Steiner was once 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 contemporary Worldview, released in 1894. That e-book expressed in philosophical phrases some of the rules that might later grow to be essential to the non secular technology of Anthroposophy. even though the authors conceal a variety of subject matters, such a lot percentage an elegiac tone. They see nice capability for discussion among Rudolf Steiner and the good American philosophers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. American philosophy could have taken a unsuitable flip within the mid-twentieth century, whilst pragmatism gave solution to a practice of analytical philosophy that eschewed metaphysics as inherently meaningless and curious about 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 proposal as a part of a undertaking for the Renewal of Philosophy, technology, and schooling subsidized by way of Laurance S. Rockefeller. the various contributions have been initially released in ReVision: A magazine of awareness and Transformation (spring and summer time 1991).

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Extra resources for American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner: Emerson, Thoreau, Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey, Whitehead, Feminism

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Here I will mention a few. I invite the reader to explore these—and the publisher to consider devoting a second volume of essays to their elucidation. Most noteworthy is the rise of a significant “neopragmatist” philosophical tradition. 5 Another cluster of recent American philosophers, drawing on European philosophies of practice, have revitalized the ancient Greek understanding of philosophy as a form of spiritual practice intended to transform the self of the practitioner. 6 The sharp ethical and political differences between Butler and MacIntyre suggest that there may be room in this dialogue for Steiner's equally distinctive understanding of the transformative power of spiritual exercises, especially as these are outlined in How to Know Higher Worlds.

6. , The Judith Butler Reader; Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, 3d ed. , The Essential Foucault; and Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, trans. Michael Chase. 7. Maxwell Bennett, Daniel Dennett, Peter Hacker, and John Searle, Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language; Ann Taves, Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building-Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things; Thandeka, “Future Designs for American Liberal Theology,” American Journal of Theology & Philosophy 30 (January 2009): 72-100.

The pragmatists aspired to be “radically empiricist”—attentive exclusively to experience, but open to its full richness and variety. Steiner certainly shared the pragmatists' yearning for a third way between idealism and materialism. But the pragmatists likely would have rejected Steiner's philosophical approach on the grounds that it tilted too close to the idealist stance. Like the nineteenth-century Transcendentalists, Steiner believed that the practice of intuition, or thinking about thinking, allows us to transcend the opposition of subject and object, building a bridge between our individuality and universal spirit.

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