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Reflections on Kant and John Stewart Mill

It’s interesting to read John Stewart Mill. He is very direct and very clear, a refreshing contrast to Kant. Mill had the advantage of writing well after Kant, and being familiar with his work. Mill appears philosophically and temperamentally opposed to Kant. Where Kant wanted to discard all practical and outer considerations and reason his way directly to morality, Mill quickly discards the very approach and goes at...

Why is Steiner so hard to read?

To answer this question it is helpful to distinguish between Steiner’s written works and his lectures, and among the lectures between those given to a general audience, and those given to Theosophists. The public lectures are actually the easiest to read. The books are difficult because of the philospical language (think Hegel or Kant, both of whom Steiner read extensively). The Theosophical lectures have their own...

How do we know what Steiner said?

The historical sources for analyzing the development of Rudolf Steiner‘s thought have been collected by the Rudolf Steiner Archive in Dornach, Switzerland, and have been published in the 330 volumes of complete works. Additional documents continue to be issued every year, and several important volumes from this time period were first published as recently as 2006. From accounts we have from his listeners, Rudolf...

Can animals possess individual virtue?

I really don’t think virtue can be applied to individual dogs, the key reason being their lack of self-consciousness. While non-human species may have certain rights (a question I don’t really want to get too far into here) I will agree with most traditional thinkers that virtue and morality are not possible to them (Aristotle took this as almost self-evident, going past it rapidly in Book 1, Chapter 13 of his Nicomachean...

Stenography and Steiner

As source material the stenographic records of Rudolf Steiner‘s early lectures are both invaluable and problematic. Stenographic notes are a system of shorthand markings that allow the stenographer to write as fast as people speak. These stenographic notes must then be reconstructed into conventional written sentences. For many of Rudolf Steiner’s early works we have the reconstruction but not the original...