PAUL M. ALLEN
1. David Friedrich Strauss,
Der alte und neue Glaube,
The Old and New Faith, publ. 1872. Born in 1808, appointed professor at the
University of Zurich, Strauss became a center of controversy, the
intensity of which has been likened to that of the Thirty Years' War.
This began with the appearance of his
Life of Jesus (1835),
in which he questioned the sources of the New Testament, and continued with his
Doctrine of the Christian Faith (1840).
From this time until his death in 1874, Strauss became world-famous as one of
the most frank critics of Christianity.
2. Herbert Spencer,
The Principles of Psychology,
Part IV, Chapter ix, par. 219.
Rudolf Steiner consulted the German edition, translated by
Dr. B. Vetter and published at Stuttgart, 1882. Spencer, born 1820,
an engineer by training, sought to explain “the phenomena of
life, mind, and society in terms of matter, motion, and force.”
At first strongly influenced by Coleridge, Spencer placed evolution
as the first and most universal principle, influencing all the
sciences. To him, evolution was synonymous with progress. In his
later development, Spencer championed rugged individualism, and
became an outspoken opponent of socialism, upholding what he
considered the absolute rights of private enterprise against any form
of governmental control. Before his death in 1903, Spencer's
optimistic view of human progress collapsed, and he fell prey to
marked pessimism regarding the future of mankind.
de Spinoza (Baruch de Spinoza), born 1632 in Holland of a Jewish
family that had been exiled from Spain and Portugal. He early showed
great powers as a student, and in 1656 was banned by the Jewish
community at Amsterdam because of his views. His chief work, which
had a lasting influence upon future generations of thinkers, long
after the author's death in 1677, is
which has recently appeared in a new edition titled
The Road to Inner Freedom,
New York, 1957.
4. Eduard von Hartmann,
Phänomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins,
Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness, German ed. p. 451. Born 1842,
von Hartmann was originally an officer in the Prussian army. Because
of an illness, he retired from military service and took up an
intensive study of philosophy. In 1869 his
Philosophie des Unbewussten
(Philosophy of the Unconscious)
appeared, and made him famous almost overnight. Of the many other works
he wrote, this book remained his most famous. Rudolf Steiner describes
a personal impression of von Hartmann, whom he visited in Berlin in
1888 following a philosophical correspondence with him over some years.
This account may be found in Chapter IX of Steiner's autobiography. Steiner's
Wahrheit und Wissenschaft
(Truth and Knowledge),
published in this present volume, was dedicated to von Hartmann. The
latter died in 1906.
5. In his
Atomistik des Willens,
Atomic Theory of Will,
Ger. ed., Hamburg, 1891, 2 vols. p. 213. Robert Hamerling, the Austrian
poet-philosopher was born March 24, 1830. He early showed ability in
poetry, and although from poor parentage, the generosity of friends
enabled him to attend the gymnasium in Vienna, and afterward the
University there. In the revolutionary movements which swept Europe
in 1848, Hamerling joined the student legion in the Vienna revolt.
The collapse of the uprising in 1849 made it necessary for him to
hide for a long time in order to escape arrest. Later he studied
natural science and philosophy. In 1855 he was appointed master at
the gymnasium in Trieste. Many years of ill health caused him finally
to retire on a government pension in 1866. In comparatively
comfortable circumstances, Hamerling spent the remainder of his life
in his home near Gratz, devoting himself to writing until his death
on July 13, 1889. He is referred to as “one of the most
remarkable poets of the Austrian school; his poems are full of life
and color.” His most popular work was
Ahasver in Rom,
Ahasver in Rome (1866),
with Nero as principal character.
Der König von Sion,
The King of Zion, (1869)
is generally considered to be his masterpiece. In 1888 his
appeared, and was reviewed with extensive comment by Rudolf Steiner. His
Amor und Psyche
was published in 1882; his novel
described Greek life in the age of Pericles. In 1870 his
drama concerning the French Revolution,
Danton und Robespierre,
was published. Rudolf Steiner commented on this drama in his Speech
and Drama Course given in 1924, and in fact, many references to
Hamerling and his work appear in books and lectures by Rudolf
Steiner, including the latter's autobiography.
Illusion der Willensfreiheit,
The Illusion of the Freedom of the Will,
by Paul Rée, publ. 1885, p. 5. Paul Rée
(1849–1901) was a German positivist philosopher, known widely
as an editor of the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Rée met
Nietzsche in 1876, as Rudolf Steiner relates in his
Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom,
p. 159–60. Steiner refers
to Rée in the preface to this book, written in Weimar, 1895:
“Such an average brain as that of Paul Rée could make no
important impression on Nietzsche.” (op. cit. p. 40).
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831). A voluminous literature on
Hegel and Hegelian thought exists in English, including biographical
studies, translations, and commentaries on his writings. Consult any
standard encyclopedia for details.
Part I, —
Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Burst,
Die eine will sich von der andern trennen;
Die eine halt, in derber Liebeslust,
Sich an die Welt mit klammernden Organen;
Die andere hebt gewaltsam sich vom Dust
Zul den Gefilden hoher Ahnen.
The translation is that by George Madison Priest:
Faust, Parts One and Two,
publ. Alfred Knopf, New York, 1941, one of the best of
all English translations of this work.
the teaching of one ultimate substance or principle, as mind
(idealism) or matter (materialism), or of something which is neither
of these, but is the foundation of both; the point of view that there
is but one reality.
from a philosophical point of view, the theory which maintains that
there are but two fundamental and irreducible principles, for
example, mind and body.
Rudolf Steiner speaks of spiritualism in a philosophical sense, and
not in the sense of any relationship or communication with the dead
as in mediumism, etc.
the philosophical teaching which sees the entire universe, all
creation and its activities, including the human mind, as the result
of material causes and powers.
Gottlieb Fichte. Born in 1762, Fichte studied at Meissen, Pforta,
Jena, and Leipzig with the intention of becoming a clergyman. After a
teaching position in Switzerland, and enroute to another in Poland,
he met Kant, under whose influence he wrote his
Study for a Critique of All Revelation.
The printer neglected to place his
name on the title-page, and people thought the work had been written
by Kant. When the true identity of the author became known, Fichte
was hailed as a philosopher of outstanding merit. He lectured at
Jena, Berlin and Erlangen. In 1807 he was made Rector of the
University of Berlin. His death in 1814 occurred when he was at the
height of his fame. Rudolf Steiner made extensive reference to
Fichte, basing his doctoral thesis (published in enlarged form in the
present volume as
Truth and Knowledge)
on Fichte's scientific
teachings, but perhaps his most memorable study of Fichte's life and
thought was contained in a public lecture given in Berlin on December
The Spirit of Fichte Present in Our Midst.
See also note 77, below.
Albert Lange (1828–1875), author of
Geschichte des Materialismus,
History of Materialism,
publ. Iserlohn, 1873–5.
When professor at the University of Marburg, 1865, Lange issued his
study on the workers' question. This made him famous in the circle of
students of social problems in Germany at that time. A friend of the
working classes, Lange strove for social justice, betterment of labor
conditions, and for universal education. His life, marked by his
utter sincerity and devotion to his ideals, is an outstanding example
of selfless dedication to the well-being of mankind.
Friedrich Hieronymous, Baron von Münchhausen (1720–97). In
1785 a little book of 49 pages appeared in London, titled
Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvelous Travels and Campaigns in
and an enlarged edition appeared in 1786. A translation
into German by G. A. Bürger was published at Göttingen,
1786. Many editions followed in English, and the book was published
in numerous languages, illustrated by a number of famous artists. For
some time the identity of the author was unknown, but finally it was
established that the book was written by Rudolf Erich Raspe
(1737–1794), traveler, scholar and professor at Cassel. While
at Göttingen, where he was secretary of the university library
(1764–7) he made the acquaintance of Freiherr von Münchhausen
of Bodenwerder in Hanover. The latter had been in the Russian
service, had fought against the Turks, and finally had retired to his
estate in 1760, where he became famous for his “tall stories.”
Later, Raspe, in poverty in London, recalled the Baron's tales, and
wrote the book in English, which appeared in 1785. Tall tales from
other sources were added by publishers of later editions, so that the
stories as we have them today are really a composite work, for which,
however, Raspe provided the original nucleus from his memory of the
evenings spent with his erstwhile friend.
Wolfgang von Goethe, born Frankfurt a.M., August 28, 1749. Poet,
dramatist, scientist, traveler, state minister, etc., author of
and many other works. Died in Weimar,
March 22, 1832. In August 1781 the Grand Duchess Amalia of
Saxe-Weimar founded the
the Journal of Tiefurt,
to which Goethe contributed at her invitation. When Rudolf Steiner
was active as editor of the natural scientific writings of Goethe
at the Goethe-Schiller Archives in Weimar, he published proof that the
Fragment über die Natur,
The Fragment concerning Nature,
which had appeared in the Journal of Tiefurt was definitely
to be attributed to Goethe
(Schriften der Goethe-Gesellschaft,
Publications of the Goethe Society, ed. by Bernhard Suphan, Weimar,
Vol. VII, 1892, article by Rudolf Steiner). Thus, just 110 years
after the Fragment had appeared, Rudolf Steiner showed its importance
and its relationship to Goethe's work. In the edition of Goethe's
works published by Prof. Joseph Kürschner (1853–1902) (the
volumes of Goethe's natural scientific writings edited by Rudolf
Steiner), the Fragment appears at the beginning of the essays
“On Natural Science in General,”
Vol. XXXIV, p. 1. The Fragment appeared in an English translation with
notes by George Adams under the title,
Nature — An Essay in Aphorisms,
Anthroposophical Quarterly, London, Vol. VII, No. 1, Easter, 1932,
pp. 2–5. In his
Goethe's Conception of the World,
Rudolf Steiner describes this Fragment as “the essay in which the
seeds of the later Goethean world-conception are already to be found.
What is here expressed as dim feeling, later developed into clear,
definite thought.” In similar vein, George Witkowski in his
well-known biography of Goethe (Leipzig, 1899) describes this
Fragment as “the seed from which came all of Goethe's great
thoughts about nature.”
17. See Ziehen, Theodore,
Leitfaden der Physiologischen Psychologie,
Guide to Physiological Psychology, Jena, 1893, p. 171 of the Ger. ed.
Jean George Cabanis (1757–1808), French physiologist. A
precocious child, Cabanis was enrolled at the age of 10 in the
College of Brives. Later studied in Paris, afterward traveled widely
in Poland and Germany. In 1789 he was appointed administrator of
hospitals for Paris, and in 1795 became professor of hygiene and
history of medicine in the medical school of that city. In 1799 he
was made professor of legal medicine and history of medicine. He was
an intimate friend of Mirabeau, and attended him as physician in his
last illness. He had a deep interest in medical and psychological
problems. Active in the cause of the French Revolution, Cabanis was a
member of the Council of Five Hundred. Though Napoleon Bonaparte
repeatedly offered him governmental positions, Cabanis declined them,
since he was a foe of the former's policies. Cabanis died at Meulan
on May 5, 1808, principally honored for his contributions to medical
science, and especially for his main work,
Rapports du physique et du moral de l'homme,
a series of papers read to the Institute in
1796–97. The sentence quoted is probably from Cabanis' book,
written in 1802, translated into German, 2 vols., 1808, under the
Verhältnis der Seele zum Körper, Relationship
of the Soul to the Body. The thought has also been paraphrased: “Just
as the stomach and intestines receive food and digest it, so the
brain receives impressions, digests them, and has as its organic
Cartesius, Rene Descartes (1596–1650). The father of modern
rationalism, soldier of fortune, scholar, pilgrim, traveler, and firm
adherent of the Roman Catholic faith. His philosophical work, which
has often been summed up in his words,
J pense, donc je suis (Cogito ergo sum),
“I think, therefore I am,” was
given significant impulse by a dream he had on November 10, 1619.
This revealed to him the method of philosophical speculation he was
to follow, and his subsequent work is said to have stemmed from this
experience. An extensive literature on Descartes and his teachings
exists in English translation. See any standard encyclopedia for
Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775–1854). Often referred to as
the Proteus among philosophers, Schelling was noted for his
ever-changing alertness and brightness of mind and expression. Goethe
(see note 16, above) had a very high regard for him,
and spoke of him as “the most congenial philosopher I know.”
Schelling had a profound influence among the thinkers of his time, including
philosophers of France and England. His last years were dedicated to
what he termed “positive philosophy,” radically different
from the philosophy of identity, the transcendental idealism, and the
pantheistic tendencies of his earlier time. Rudolf Steiner made
extensive reference to Schelling in his writings and lectures, on
various occasions praising that philosopher's “important
inspirations and suggestions for what must afterwards be said by
Anthroposophy, directly out of spiritual vision, on many points of
Christianity.” Steiner further spoke of Schelling, “who
really always made a significant impression whenever he appeared in
public — the short, thick-set man, with the extremely
impressive head, and eyes which even in extreme old age were
sparkling with fire, for from his eyes there spoke the fire of Truth,
the fire of Knowledge.” (From a lecture given at Dornach,
Switzerland, Sept. 16, 1924) Perhaps Steiner's greatest study of
Schelling is to be found in his
Die Rätsel der Philosophie,
The Riddles of Philosophy, Vol. I, Ch. 7.
For English translations of Schelling and further details on his life,
see any standard encyclopedia.
Pascal (1623–1662). Known as one of the greatest of
mathematicians and physicists, Pascal's tame long ago spread far
beyond the confines of his native France. His contributions to the
establishment of the mathematical theory of probability, to the
science of hydrodynamics, to the study of gravity and the vacuum, and
his elaboration of the theory of conic sections have given Pascal a
lasting place among the great men of science. As a Christian thinker,
his devotion to truth and piety, and his acceptance of mystical
experience have made his name revered. His philosophical speculations
and deep psychological insight, as well as his remarkable gifts as a
writer of French prose have secured him a leading position among
philosophers and literary historians. Pascal's
Thoughts, is one of the great books of the world. For details on
Pascal's very eventful and highly interesting life, as well as an
account of his fundamental ideas, see any standard encyclopedia.
(c 287–212 B.C.) Greek mathematician and inventor. He was born
at Syracuse in Sicily, and studied at the famous university in
Alexandria. Archimedes spent the remainder of his life at Syracuse,
where he engaged in constant mathematical research. He is noted for
his many mechanical inventions, but his first love was mathematics.
His work as a pioneer in mechanics is illustrated by his famous
remark, “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the earth!”
During the sack of Syracuse by the army of the Roman general,
Marcellus, Archimedes was discovered drawing a mathematical figure in
the sand beside his garden bench. Deep in meditation upon the problem
before him, Archimedes was instantly killed when he was run through
the body by a sword in the hand of a Roman infantryman. For details
on the life of Archimedes, see Plutarch's Life of Marcellus. A
complete, standard edition of the Works of Archimedes with valuable
notes by T. L. Heath was issued by Cambridge University Press, 1897.
note 2, above.
First Principles, Part I, Par. 23.
by the Translator: Just as in English one generally means by
“perception” not only the perceived object but also the
act of perceiving it, so too, in German the word Wahrnehmung
covers both these meanings. Rudolf Steiner, however, as stated
in the text, uses this word in the specific sense of meaning the
object that has been perceived, and NOT the process of
perceiving it. When he refers to the activity, the word used
in the original is Wahrnehmen, here translated as perceiving.
Christoph August Franz, M.D., eye surgeon, born 1807, took his
medical training at the University of Leipzig. From Germany he
emigrated to England, establishing his practice at Brighton, where
he worked for some 30 years. He was the author of writings on
medicine, particularly on the use of baths in treatment of illness.
Two of his works were written for the public:
The Eye and a Critique on the Art of Preserving the Organ,
London, 1839, and
Memoirs of the Case of a Gentleman Born Blind and Successfully
Operated at the Eighteenth Year of His Age. Physiological
Observations and Experiments.
The latter appeared in
Philosophical Transactions, Vol. VI, 1841, pp. 59–68.
It is probable that Rudolf Steiner's reference to the man who had
been born blind is taken from this second work of Dr. Franz.
Berkeley, (1685–1753), Irish bishop and philosopher. Made a
Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, 1707, he was strongly influenced
by the philosophical writings of Descartes, Newton, and Locke. In 1709 his
New Theory of Vision
appeared, and in 1710 his great work.
The Principles of Human Knowledge,
was published. In 1712 he visited England and the following year was
presented at court by Dean Swift, shortly before the publication of his
most popular work,
The Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous.
Berkeley's literary fame rests upon this latter work, which has been
described as “among the finest philosophical writings in the
English language” on the basis of its “exquisite
facility of style.” In 1728 he emigrated to America, where he
lived in Rhode Island for three years, hoping for a government grant
of funds for the establishment of a college in Bermuda. His hopes
disappointed, he returned to Ireland and shortly afterward was
raised to the bishopric of Cloyne. In 1752 he moved with his family
to Oxford, where he died suddenly in January of the following year,
and was buried in Christ Church.
reference quoted by Steiner is from Berkeley's
Principles of Human Knowledge, Part I, sec. 6.
Kant, German philosopher, was born in Königsburg April 22,
1724. He entered the university there in 1740, enrolled for the
study of mathematics and physics. His studies were interrupted by
the death of his father, which left him in poverty. After he
supported himself by tutoring for 9 years, the kindness of a friend
enabled him to resume his studies, to graduate as a doctor and to
qualify as a privatdocent. He occupied this position for 15 years.
His lectures widened from physics to include much philosophy.
Finally, after unsuccessful attempts, in 1770 he was given the chair
of logic and metaphysics at Königsburg. In 1781 his
Kritik der reinen Vernunft,
Critique of Pure Reason
appeared, and in 1783, his
After the appearance of the 2nd edition of the
in 1787, Kant became famous everywhere
in German intellectual circles, and his views were regarded as those
of an oracle. From 1792–97 he was engaged in a struggle with
the government concerning his religious views. In 1794 he withdrew
from society, and gave up all teaching except for one public lecture
course on logic. In 1797 Kant terminated a teaching activity that
had extended over 42 years. He died in Königsburg on February
12, 1804 near the end of his 80th year. Little more than five feet
tall, deformed in his right shoulder, his chest almost concave, Kant
had a weak constitution. He never married, and followed an
unchanging program of activities from youth to old age. For example,
he never failed to rise at 5 o'clock, studied for 2 hours, lectured
for 2 more, and spent the rest of the morning at his desk. He dined
at a restaurant and spent the afternoon in conversation with
friends. He then walked for about an hour — a walk which for
years followed exactly the same course — studied for 2 hours
more, and retired between 9 and 10. He was a prolific reader,
especially in history, science, travel, and philosophy. He knew
English history and literature intimately, especially in the period
of Queen Anne. He read little of Goethe or Schiller, but often
re-read Voltaire and Rousseau. He had little interest in nature, and
in 80 years never traveled more than 40 miles from his native
Königsburg. For further biographical details, works and
translations, consult any standard encyclopedia.
28. Otto Liebmann,
Zur Analysis der Wirklichkeit,
Contribution to the Analysis of Reality, Strassburg, 1880, p. 28.
Otto Liebmann (1840–1912) was well known for his writings on
Kant's philosophical world-view.
29. Johannes Volkelt (1848–1930),
Immanuel Kant’s Erkenntnistheorie,
Immanuel Kant's Theory of Cognition, Hamburg, 1879.
note 4, above.
Das Grundproblem der Erkenntnistheorie,
The Fundamental Problem of a Theory of Cognition,
Leipzig, 1889, p. 16–40.
Peter Müller, German physiologist and comparative anatomist,
born in Coblentz, July 14, 1801. He studied at the University of
Bonn, and was appointed to a professorship in physiology there in
1826. In 1843 he accepted the call to the chair of anatomy and
physiology at Berlin University, which position he held with great
honor until his death, April 28, 1858. He did much research in
physiology, particularly in relation to human speech and hearing.
His great work was the
Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen,
1833–40. (The English translation was made by Dr. William
Baly, publ. London 1842). This work opened a new period in the study
of physiology, and Müller is considered the main figure in the
developments in this field in the mid-19th century. In his Handbuch
Müller developed an entirely new principle which he called
“the law of specific energy of sense substances.” This
he expressed as follows: “The kind of sensation following
stimulation of a sensory nerve does not depend on the mode of
stimulation, but upon the nature of the sense organ. Thus, light,
pressure, or mechanical stimulation acting on the retina and optic
nerve invariably produces luminous impressions.” It is to this
law that Steiner refers at this point.
Das Grundproblem, p. 37.
Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung
The World as Will and Representation,
Four Books, publ. 1819 by Brockhaus, Leipzig. (English translation by Haldane
& Kemp, 1883) Ref. Book I, par. 1, Ger. ed. Biographical data and
translations of Schopenhauer's works, as well as extensive
commentaries on his ideas have been published in English
translation. Consult any standard encyclopedia for details. Rudolf
Steiner edited a collected edition of the writings of Schopenhauer,
12 vols. with introduction by Steiner, publ. 1894.
35. J. G. Fichte,
Die Bestimmung des Menschen,
The Vocation of Man,
Berlin, 1800, “a book which for richness of content, beauty of style,
elevation of thought reminds one of Descartes' Meditations.”
(For data on Fichte, see note 13, above.)
by Rudolf Steiner: Transcendental knowledge, in the sense of
this world-view, is a knowledge by means of which — although
no direct insight into the thing-in-itself is believed to be
attainable — indirect inferences are drawn from the subjective
which is known, to the unknown which lies beyond the subjective
(Transcendental). The thing-in-itself, according to this view, is
beyond the sphere of the directly recognizable world, that
is, it is transcendent. However, our world can be transcendentally
related to the transcendent. Hartmann's view is called realism
because it goes beyond the subjective, the ideal, to the
transcendent, the real.
37. See Weygandt,
Entstehung der Träume,
Appearance of Dreams, 1893.
(Reference given by Rudolf Steiner.)
note 34, above.
op. cit. supra, Book II, par. 18.
by Translator: The reader's attention is called to the fact that
the word Erfahrung is in this context translated as
“practical experience” to emphasize the activity
of thinking implicit in it, as distinct from the word erleben
which also is usually rendered as “experience.”
note 27, above, on Kant.
DuBois-Reymond, German physiologist and educator. Born Berlin,
November 7th, 1818, in 1836 he entered the University of Berlin,
where his teacher was Johannes Müller (see note 32,
above). In 1840 he became the latter's assistant in physiology. His great work
was the study of animal electricity, and his famous book was
Researches on Animal Electricity,
1848–84. For many
years he exerted great influence as a teacher. In 1858, upon the
death of Müller, he was appointed to the latter's chair in
physiology. In 1851 he had been admitted to the Academy of Sciences
in Berlin; in 1867 he became its permanent secretary. His closest
friend after Müller's death was von Helmholtz, who also had
been a student of Müller. DuBois-Reymond died in Berlin on
November 26, 1896. Rudolf Steiner makes many references to his work
in lectures and writings.
by Translator: The reader's attention is drawn to the fact that
the word experience, in relation to the kind of mysticism and
philosophy of will referred to in this chapter, is translated from
the word erleben (as distinct from Erfahrung, see note
40, above) Therefore, what the mystic experiences in feeling
and the philosopher of will in the will-element, are
experiences which have not been formed into clear
representations by the activity of thinking.
— Voluntarism, i.e., any theory which conceives will to be the
dominant factor in experience or in the constitution of the world.
44a. Ger. Erlebnisse.
by Rudolf Steiner: The passage from page 161 to this point was
added, or rewritten for the Revised Edition, 1918.
note 4 — on von Hartmann.
German text here reads Faktor der Erfahrungen. — Tr.
by Rudolf Steiner: A complete catalogue of the principles of
morality (from the point of view of metaphysical realism) may be
found in Eduard von Hartmann's
Phänomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins,
Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness.
Welterfahrung. — Tr.
48. Immanuel Kant:
Theory of Ethics, transl. by Abbott, p. 180.
The Critique of Practical Reason,
Ch. III. On Kant, see note 27, above.
by Rudolf Steiner: Ziehen, Theodore,
Leitfaden der Physiologischen Psychologie,
Guide to Physiological Psychology, 1st ed., p. 207 f.
the way “materialism” is spoken of here, and the
justification for doing so, see the Addition at the end of the
Phänomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins,
Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness, p. 871.
Atomistik des Willens,
Atomic Theory of Will, Vol. II, p. 201.
On Hamerling, see note 5, above.
System der Ethik,
System of Ethics, 1889, partial English
transl. 1899. Friedrich Paulsen (1846–1908), German
philosopher and educator. Educated at Erlangen, Bonn, and Berlin,
where he was made extraordinary professor of philosophy and
pedagogy, 1878. In 1896 he followed Zeller as professor of moral
philosophy at Berlin. He was a pupil of G. T. Fechner, developing
his teaching of panpsychism in his
Einleitung in die Philosophie,
Introduction to Philosophy, 1892, English transl. 1895. His
German Education, Past and Present
(English transl. 1907) is well
known, as are his writings relative to the philosophy of Kant.
by Rudolf Steiner: When Paulsen (p. 15 of his
System of Ethics) says, “Different natural dispositions and
different conditions of life demand not only different bodily diet
but also a different spiritual-moral diet,” he is very near
recognition of the truth, but misses the decisive point. Insofar as
I am an individual, I need no diet. Dietetic means the art of
bringing a particular example of the species into harmony with the
general laws. But as an individual I am not an example of a species.
The original form of the innermost of the embryonic or fetal
membranes of reptiles, insects, birds, and mammals. This membrane
forms a closed sac surrounding the embryo and contains the amniotic
Kant-Laplace primordial nebula. On Immanuel Kant,
see note 27,
above. Pierre Simon Marquis de Laplace (1749–1827), was a
French mathematician and astronomer who, at the age of 24 was named
“the Newton of France” for certain of his discoveries.
In the years 1799–1825 his great work, the
which, as its author stated, “offers a complete solution of
the great mechanical problem presented by the solar system,”
appeared in 5 volumes, published in Paris. In his second great work, the
Exposition du système du monde,
appeared his statement of his famous “nebular hypothesis,”
the origins of which he seems to attribute to Buffon, apparently
unaware that Immanuel Kant had at least partially anticipated him in his
General History of Nature,
published in 1755. Rudolf Steiner's criticism of the Kant-Laplace
theory of the primordial nebula may be found in various places in
his lectures and writings.
Heinrich Haeckel (1834–1919), German biologist, originally a
physician in Berlin, became Privatdozent at Jena, afterward
extraordinary professor of comparative anatomy, later professor of
zoology, a chair established for him at Jena. This position he
occupied for 43 years with intervals for zoological travels to
various parts of the world. When Darwin's
Origin of the Species
appeared in 1859, Haeckel was deeply influenced by it, so that he
became “the apostle of Darwinism in Germany.” Among
Haeckel's famous books are his
General Morphology (1866),
Natural History of Creation (1867)
(1899), English title,
The Riddle of the Universe,
publ. 1901. By his 60th birthday Haeckel had published 42 works of some
13,000 pages, plus many monographs. Rudolf Steiner knew Haeckel
personally, and in his autobiography. Chapter 15, Steiner recorded a
very interesting and perceptive impression of the great scientist.
The “genealogical tree” of Haeckel to which Steiner
refers is set forth in its original form in Haeckel's
and developed in his later writings.
Robert Darwin (1809–1882), English naturalist, whose voyage on the
to the Southern Seas, recorded in his
Journal of a Naturalist (1837)
prepared the way for his famous work
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the
Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life,
published November 24, 1859. Next in importance among his books.
The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,
appeared in 1868.
The Descent of Man,
published in 1871, dealt with “the
origin of man and his history” in the light of
The Origin of the Species.
Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671–1713) and
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz (1646–1716). For data on their
lives and philosophical ideas, consult any standard encyclopedia.
data on Schopenhauer, see note 34, above;
on von Hartmann, see note 4, above.
58. See von Hartmann's
Phänomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins.
The Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness, p. 866 f.
of the German edition.
59. See von Hartmann's
Philosophie des Unbewussten,
Philosophy of the Unconscious, 7th German ed., Vol. II, p. 290.
op. cit. supra. Vol. II, p. 332.
derived from a Greek word which indicates the condition
of being under the protection of a benign spirit, or a “good
genius.” In ethics, this name is applied to those theories of
morality according to which the main good of man is to be found in
some form of happiness. Eudaemonia was one of the keywords in
the ethical teachings of Aristotle.
62. German, Erfahrung.
letzten Fragen der Erkenntnistheorie und Metaphysik,
Ultimate Problems of Epistemology and Metaphysics,
publ. in Vol. 108, pp. 55 seq. of the
Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik,
the Periodical for Philosophy and Philosophical Criticism.
data on Hegel's “universal panlogism,” see any standard
Hume (1711–1776), Scottish philosopher and historian. Albert
Einstein wrote, “If one reads Hume's books, one is amazed that
many sometimes highly esteemed philosophers after him have been able
to write so much obscure stuff and even to find grateful readers for
it. Hume has permanently influenced the development of the best
philosophers who came after him.” Among those influenced by
Hume may be numbered Immanuel Kant, William James, George Santayana,
and Bertrand Russell. Hume's writings and biographical and critical
works concerning him and his ideas can be located by consulting any
note on page 71 of the
Zeitschrift für Philosophie
(Periodical for Philosophy) Vol. 108.
Rehmke, 1848–1930, philosopher. His principal works are
Logik oder Philosophie als Wissenslehre
(Logic or Philosophy as Theory of Knowledge)
Die Welt als Wahrnehmung und Begriff
(The World as Percept and Concept), Berlin, 1880.
Julius Schröer was born in Pressburg in 1825. In 1867 he was
made professor of Literature in the Technical College of Vienna. In
addition to his lectures on the history of German poetry as such, he
lectured on Goethe and Schiller, on Walther von der Vogelweide, on
German Grammar and Speech, etc. Rudolf Steiner was a pupil of
Schröer, and refers to him in detail in his autobiography and
in lectures. It was Schröer who recommended Steiner to Prof.
Kürschner for the position of editor of Goethe's natural
scientific writings. (See note 16, above)
Schröer died in Vienna in 1900, and Rudolf Steiner has left an
unforgettable word portrait and estimate of him in his
Riddles of Man, publ. Berlin, 1916.
July 1884 to September 1890, Rudolf Steiner was active as tutor in
the home of Ladislaus (1834–1905) and Pauline (1846–1916)
Specht at Kolingasse 19, Vienna IX. He taught their four sons,
Richard, Arthur, Otto, and Ernst. Richard Specht (1870–1932)
became a well-known author of many works including biographical
studies of Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Franz Werfel, Brahms, and
Beethoven. Steiner gives details of this pedagogical activity in his
autobiography. Chapter VI.
Mayreder (1858–1938), Austrian writer, also known as a
painter. Her entire life was passed in Vienna and surroundings. She
was the author of a number of popular novels. In addition, she was
active in the movement for woman suffrage in Austria, at one time
sharing in the direction of the movement itself, and editing its
periodical. She wrote the libretto for Hugo Wolf's only opera,
Der Corregidor (1896).
Rudolf Steiner refers to Rosa Mayreder in his
autobiography. Chapter IX.
71. See Johannes Volkelt's
Erfahrung und Denken. Kritische Grundlegung
Experience and Thinking. Critical Foundation for a
Theory of Cognition. Hamburg and Leipzig, 1886.
(Johannes Volkelt 1848–1930, philosopher, professor at
Leipzig.) See also note 29, above.
einer Erkenntnistheorie der Goetheschen Weltanschauung, mit
besonderer Rücksicht auf Schiller,
publ. in English translation by Olin D. Wannamaker, New York, 1950,
under the title,
“The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception — Fundamental Outlines with Special Reference to Schiller.”
The first German edition published Berlin and Stuttgart, 1886,
revised ed., Stuttgart, 1924, with new Foreword by the author. Other
editions: Dornach, 1924; Dresden, 1936; Freiburg i. Br., 1949;
On Nature as Cause and Change, and the
General Principles of Natural Science.
Lull (Raymond Lully), (0.1235–1315) Catalan author, mystic and
missionary. Born Majorca. In 1266 a series of visions led to a
marked change in his life and purpose. Spent 9 years studying Arabic
in order to refute the heretical teachings current in his time. At
Ronda he wrote his famous
He made many journeys in France, Italy, North Africa in a burning
crusade against the teachings of Mohammedanism. At Bougie, North
Africa he was stoned outside the city walls and died on June 29,
75. biogenesis, the teaching
that living organisms come from other living organisms, as opposed
to abiogenesis. The author of the modern formulation of “the
fundamental law of biogenesis” was Fritz Müller (1864).
Haeckel (see note 54, above) called Müller's
formulation “the biogenetic fundamental law,” which can
be stated briefly as the teaching that in its development from the
egg to adult stage, the animal tends to pass through a series of
stages which recapitulate the stages through which its ancestry
passed in the development of the species from a primitive form. In
other words, the development of the individual is a condensed
expression of the development of the race.
earliest statement of the law of mechanical theory of heat was
formulated by the French physicist, Sadi Nicholas Lèonhard
Carnot (1796–1832) in notes written about 1830, published by
his brother in the latter's
Life of Sadi Carnot, Paris, 1878.
Further work in this direction was done by Ségun, Paris,
1839, by Julius Robert Mayer, c. 1842, and by J. P. Joule, who
(1840–43) placed the mechanical theory of heat on a sound
Robert Mayer (1814–1878), German physician and physicist, is
the discoverer of the law of conservation of energy, which —
within limits of the data he obtained from experiments and reasoning
— he applied “with great power and insight to the
explanation of numerous physical phenomena.”
77. On Fichte,
see note 13, above. Rudolf Steiner's Inaugural
Dissertation for his doctoral degree before the Faculty of Philosophy at the
University of Rostock (Defense, beginning of May, 1891; Promotion,
October 26, 1891) was titled
Die Grundfrage der Erkenntnistheorie mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Fichtes Wissenschaftslehre, usw.,
The Fundamentals of a Theory of Cognition with Special Reference
to Fichte's Scientific Teaching.
When the thesis was published in
book form, as it appears here in English translation, a Foreword and
one chapter were added to the original by Rudolf Steiner. These
latter are included in the present translation.
Locke (1632–1704), English philosopher, scholar, chemist,
student of meteorology, practicing physician, political advisor,
traveler, and author. For details on his life and thought, consult
any standard encyclopedia.
reference to Volkelt's book in note 71, above,
note 27, on Kant, above.
61 ff. of Kirchmann's German edition of Kant's
Critique of Pure Reason,
Introd. to 2nd edition. Sec. vi.
p. 53 f. of the German ed. Introduction, Sec. iv.
84. Rehmke, Johannes:
Die Welt als Wahrnehmung und Begriff, usw.,
The World as Percept and Concept,
etc., Berlin, 1880, p. 161 ff. of the German ed.
to title given in note 28, above.
by Rudolf Steiner: This attempt, incidentally, is one which the
objections of Robert Zimmermann
(Uber Kant's mathematisches Vorurteil und dessen Folgen,
On Kant's Mathematical Notions and their Results)
show to be, if not altogether in error, at least
highly questionable. (Robert Zimmermann, 1824–1898, was
Professor of Philosophy in the University of Vienna, 1861–95.
His book on Aesthetics was published in 2 volumes, Vienna, 1870.
Rudolf Steiner attended lectures by Zimmermann on fundamentals of
ethics at the University of Vienna. Steiner's impressions of this
great interpreter of Herbart's aesthetics are contained in the 3rd
chapter of the former's autobiography.)
Introduction to 2nd edition. Sec. ii.
88. See Kant's
Theorie der Erfahrung,
Theory of Experience, pp. 90, ff. of the German ed.
p. 58, Sec. v.
90. Hermann Cohen (1842–1918),
Kants Theorie der Erfahrung,
Kant's Theory of Experience, Berlin, 1871, pp. 90 ff. of the German ed.
91. August Stadler (1850–1910),
Die Grundsätze der reinen Erkenntnistheorie in der
The Principles of the Pure Theory of Cognition in the Philosophy of Kant,
Leipzig, 1876, p. 76 f. of the German ed.
op. cit., p. 21, see note 71, above.
93. Otto Liebmann (1840–1912),
p. an ff. (see note 28, above); A. Holder,
Kant's Theory of Cognition,
Tübingen, 1874, p. 14 ff.; Wilhelm Windelband (1848–1915)
Phasen der Kantschen Lehre,
Phases of Kant's Theory, p. 239; F. Ueberweg,
System der Logik,
System of Logic, p. 380 f.; Eduard v. Hartmann (1842–1906),
Kritische Grundlegung, Berlin, 1875, p. 142–172 of the
2nd German ed. (see note 4, above).
by Rudolf Steiner: Geschichte der neueren Philosophie,
History of More Recent Philosophy, 1860, Vol. 5, p. 60. Volkelt is mistaken
about Fischer when he says
Kant's Theory of Cognition, p. 198 f.) that “it is not clear from the
account by K. Fischer whether, in his opinion, Kant takes for
granted only the psychological fact of the occurrence of universal
and necessary judgments, but also their objective validity and
truth.” For, in the passage cited above, Fischer says that the
main difficulty of the
Critique of Pure Reason
is to be found in the fact that “its basic points rest on certain
presuppositions,” which “must be allowed if the
remainder is to be valid.” For Fischer, these presuppositions
consist in that “first the fact of knowledge is affirmed,”
and then analysis reveals the cognitive faculties “by means of
which the fact itself is explained.”
95. Gottlob Ernst Schulze (1761–1833),
Schopenhauer, see note 34, above.
von Hartmann, see note 4, above.
by Hartmann, Berlin 1875, Foreword, p. 10 of the German ed.
p. 28 ff. of the German ed. See note 28, above.
Theory of Knowledge, Sec. 1.
101. A. Dorner,
Das menschliche Erkennen, usw.,
Human Cognition, Berlin, 1887.
Heinrich v. Kirchmann (1802–1884),
Die Lehre vom Wissen,
The Theory of Knowledge, Berlin, 1868.
103. E. L. Fischer,
Die Grundfragen der Erkenntnistheorie,
Basic Questions of the Theory of Cognition, Mainz 1887, p. 385.
104. C. Göring,
System der kritischen Philosophie,
System of Critical Philosophy,
Leipzig, 1874, Part I, p. 257.
Müller (1801–1858), see note 32, above.
Grundproblem, p. 37 (see note 4, above).
107. A. Döring, article in
Vol. XXVI, 1890, p. 390. publ. Heidelberg. Philosophical Monthly.
p. 1. See note 4, above.
Stewart Mill (1806–1873). A stern parent, James Mill taught
his son Greek at the age of three, and at seven he studied Plato's
dialogues. When he was eight he had to teach his sister Latin. His
introduction to the utilitarian teachings of Bentham (the greatest
happiness to the greatest number) at the age of fifteen was decisive
for his life. His great work,
System of Logic,
1843, is the analysis of inductive proof. He was a great champion of human
rights, and in the second half of the i9th century his influence
throughout Europe was very great. Today it is recognized that —
to use Mill's description of Bentham — “He was not a
great philosopher but a great reformer in philosophy.” For
details on Mill's life and thought, consult any standard
Collected Works, Berlin, 1845, Vol. I, P. 71.
fundamentals of the scientific teaching of Fichte, see his Collected
Works, Berlin, 1845, Vol. I, p. 97.
112. Ibid. Vol. I, p. 91.
113. Ibid. Vol. I, p. 178.
114. Ibid. Vol. I, p. 91.
115. Eduard Zeller (1814–1908),
Geschichte der deutschen Philosophie seit Leibnitz,
History of German Philosophy Since Leibnitz,
Munich, 1871–75, p. 605. Eduard Zeller studied and taught at
Tübingen, later (1847) becoming professor of Theology at Bern,
later (1849) professor of Theology, afterward of Philosophy at
Marburg. In 1862 he was made professor of Philosophy at Heidelberg,
afterward at Berlin to his retirement in 1895. His masterwork is the
Philosophie der Greichen,
Philosophy of the Greeks, 1844–52.
He was recognized throughout the academic world for his learning and
contributions to scholarship, and received many distinctions and honors. His
Philosophie der Greichen
has been transl. into English by S. F. Alleyne, 2 vols. 1881. In addition,
an abridged version prepared by Zeller (1883) also appeared in English in
1896, as did a number of his other writings.
Collected Works, Berlin, 1845, Vol. I, p. 94.
117. Ibid. Vol. I, p. 98.
118. Ibid. Vol. I, p. 422.
119. J. G. Fichtes
J. G. Fichte's Posthumous Works,
Edited by J. H. Fichte, Vol. I, Bonn, 1834, p. 4 and 16.
(Einleitungsvorlesungen in die Wissenschaftslehre,
Introductory Studies in the Scientific Teachings.)
by Rudolf Steiner: See his
Christian Dogmatics, and edition, 1884–85, the epistemological
arguments, Vol. 1. A complete discussion of his point of view has
been provided by Eduard von Hartmann; see
Kritische Wanderungen durch die Philosophie der Gegenwart,
Critical Survey of Contemporary Philosophy, p. 200 ff.
121. opus cit.,
see note 120, above.