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Some thoughts about how to define the word “anthroposophist”

An interesting diversion along the way in making the site were some thoughts about how to define the word “anthroposophist“. It might seem odd, but in such intellectual disputes as I have had with critics of anthroposophy (among others, Peter Staudenmaier) hair-splitting definitions has been an issue. Peter likes to use words loosely, even as he pretends to use them precisely. So he will call Rudolf Hess an “anthroposophist – without any supporting evidence – and never clarify what this claim is supposed to mean. The reader is left to imagine Hess at the Goetheanum paying tribute to Steiner’s genius, and perhaps pouring over Steiner’s printed work in his free time. As the article I translated shows, Hess hadn’t a clue about any of the content of Steiner’s work, talked to only two anthroposophists in his life, and showed an interest in biodynamic farming as a practical endeavor only inasmuch as it could be separated from actual anthroposophy. Staudenmaier ought to know this, after all he cited the source material from which it was taken. But accuracy is not what he is aiming for, and as he frequently does, he ignores the facts in order to make a compelling argument.

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