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The Boundaries of Natural Science

Boundaries of Natural Science: Translators' Notes

On-line since: 31st July, 2007

Translators' Notes

  1. “... that social renewal must begin with the renewal of our thinking.” The original German (“... dass die soziale Erneuerung vom Geiste ausgehen musse”) might be translated alternately “that social renewal must proceed from the spirit.” The German word “Geist” — bane of all who would translate German into English — embraces two meanings that remain in English quite distinct “mind” and “spirit.” The translator must choose one, even though the German always implies both. If he chooses the former, he runs the risk of seriously distorting the author's intentions (as did the man who translated Hegel's Phanomenologie des Geistes as The Phenomenology of Mind). If he chooses the latter, he flies in the face of the dubious connotations that “spirit” and “spiritual” convey — no doubt as a result of the basically empirical cast of English thought. Although “Geist” as Steiner uses it should almost invariably be translated “spirit” (which of course comprehends “wind”), here the context has led us to choose the more restricted meaning.
  2. Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der hoheren Welten?, Berlin, 1909 (Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment. Anthroposophie Press, Spring Valley, N.Y., reprinted 1983).
  3. Die Philosophie der Freiheit, Berlin, 1894 (The Philosophy of Freedom, Anthroposophic Press, Spring Valley, N.Y., 1964). Earlier translations of this book (1922, 1938, and 1963) bore the title The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, following a suggestion given by Steiner himself. The English word “freedom” connotes a passive state; the German “Freiheit” (as is clean from the following lecture), an objective basis for moral action achieved through intense inner activity.
  4. Grundlinien einer Erkenntnistheorie der Goetheschen Weltanschauung, Berlin and Stuttgart, 1886 (A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethes World Conception, Anthroposophic Press, Spring Valley, N.Y.,1968).
  5. Die Rätsel der Philosophie in ihrer Geschichte als Umriss dargestellt, Berlin, 1914 (Riddles of Philosophy, Anthroposophie Press, Spring Valley, N.Y, 1973).
  6. “Astraphobia” = morbid dread of storms; “agoraphobia” = morbid dread of crossing, or being in, open spaces.
  7. Theosophie. Einfuhneng in ubersinnliche Welterkenntnis und Menschenbestimmung, Berlin, 1904 (Theosophy. An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man, Anthroposophie Press, Spring Valley, N.Y., 1971).
  8. The German edition gives “claustrophobia” here, which seems to be a mistake.




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