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The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity
GA 4


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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.

3.Benedictus 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 The Ethics, 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 Homunculus appeared, and was reviewed with extensive comment by Rudolf Steiner. His Amor und Psyche was published in 1882; his novel Aspasia (1876), 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.

6.Die 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).

7.Georg 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.

8.Goethe's Faust, 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.

(Lines 1112–1117)

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.

9.monism: 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.

10.dualism: from a philosophical point of view, the theory which maintains that there are but two fundamental and irreducible principles, for example, mind and body.

11.Here 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.

12.materialism: 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.

13.Johann 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 16, 1915: The Spirit of Fichte Present in Our Midst. See also note 77, below.

14.Friedrich 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.

15.Karl 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 Russia, 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.

16.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, born Frankfurt a.M., August 28, 1749. Poet, dramatist, scientist, traveler, state minister, etc., author of Faust, Wilhelm Meister, and many other works. Died in Weimar, March 22, 1832. In August 1781 the Grand Duchess Amalia of Saxe-Weimar founded the Tiefurter Journal, 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.

18.Pierre 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 title, 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 secretion, thought.”

19.Renatus 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 further details.

20.Friedrich 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.

21.Blaise 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 Pensées, 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.

22.Archimedes (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.

23.See note 2, above.

24.Spencer, First Principles, Part I, Par. 23.

25.Note 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.

25a.Johann 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.

26.George 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.

The reference quoted by Steiner is from Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge, Part I, sec. 6.

27.Immanuel 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 Prolegomena. After the appearance of the 2nd edition of the Kritik 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.

30.See note 4, above.

31.Hartmann, Das Grundproblem der Erkenntnistheorie, The Fundamental Problem of a Theory of Cognition, Leipzig, 1889, p. 16–40.

32.Johannes 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.

33.Hartmann, Das Grundproblem, p. 37.

34.Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), 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.)

36.Note 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.)

38.See note 34, above.

39.Schopenhauer, op. cit. supra, Book II, par. 18.

40.Note 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.”

41.See note 27, above, on Kant.

42.Emil 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.

43.Note 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.

44.Thelism—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.—Tr.

44b.Note by Rudolf Steiner: The passage from page 161 to this point was added, or rewritten for the Revised Edition, 1918.

45.See note 4—on von Hartmann.

46.The German text here reads Faktor der Erfahrungen.—Tr.

46a.Note 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.

47.Ger. 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.

49.Note by Rudolf Steiner: Ziehen, Theodore, Leitfaden der Physiologischen Psychologie, Guide to Physiological Psychology, 1st ed., p. 207 f.

Concerning the way “materialism” is spoken of here, and the justification for doing so, see the Addition at the end of the chapter.

50.Hartmann, Phänomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins, Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness, p. 871.

50a.Hamerling, Atomistik des Willens, Atomic Theory of Will, Vol. II, p. 201. On Hamerling, see note 5, above.

51.Paulsen, 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.

51a.Note 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.

52.proto-amniotes: 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 fluid.

53.The 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 Mėcanique cėleste, 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, Paris, 1796, 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 Allgemeine Naturgeschichte, 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.

54.Ernst 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) and Die Weltraetsel (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 General Morphology and developed in his later writings.

55.Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882), English naturalist, whose voyage on the Beagle 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.

56.Anthony 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.

57.For 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.

60.Hartmann, op. cit. supra. Vol. II, p. 332.

61.Eudaemonism, 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.

63.Die 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.

64.For data on Hegel's “universal panlogism,” see any standard encyclopedia.

65.David 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 standard encyclopedia.

66.A note on page 71 of the Zeitschrift für Philosophie (Periodical for Philosophy) Vol. 108.

67.Johannes Rehmke, 1848–1930, philosopher. His principal works are Logik oder Philosophie als Wissenslehre (Logic or Philosophy as Theory of Knowledge) and Die Welt als Wahrnehmung und Begriff (The World as Percept and Concept), Berlin, 1880.

68.Karl 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 Vom Menschenrätsel, Riddles of Man, publ. Berlin, 1916.

69.From 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.

70.Rosa 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 der Erkenntnistheorie, 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.

72.Grundlinien 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; Dornach, 1960.

73.Aristotle (384–322 B.C.): Physica Auscultatio, On Nature as Cause and Change, and the General Principles of Natural Science.

74.Raimon 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 Ars Major and Ars Generalis. 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, 1315.

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.

76.The 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 experimental basis.

Julius 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.

78.John 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.

79.see reference to Volkelt's book in note 71, above, (p. 20)

80.see note 27, on Kant, above.

81.p. 61 ff. of Kirchmann's German edition of Kant's Kritik. See Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Introd. to 2nd edition. Sec. vi.

82.Kant, Prolegomena, Sec. v.

83.Kant, Kritik, 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.

85.Refer to title given in note 28, above.

86.Note 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.)

87.Kant, Kritik, Introduction to 2nd edition. Sec. ii.

88.See Kant's Theorie der Erfahrung, Theory of Experience, pp. 90, ff. of the German ed.

89.Kant, Kritik, 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 Kantschen Philosophie, The Principles of the Pure Theory of Cognition in the Philosophy of Kant, Leipzig, 1876, p. 76 f. of the German ed.

92.Volkelt, op. cit., p. 21, see note 71, above.

93.Otto Liebmann (1840–1912), Analysis, 1880, p. an ff. (see note 28, above); A. Holder, Kantischen Erkenntnistheorie, 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).

94.Note 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 Erkenntnistheorie, 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), Aenesidemus, Helmstädt, 1792.

96.On Schopenhauer, see note 34, above.

97.On von Hartmann, see note 4, above.

98.Kritische Grundlegung, by Hartmann, Berlin 1875, Foreword, p. 10 of the German ed.

99.Liebmann, Zur Analysis, p. 28 ff. of the German ed. See note 28, above.

100.Kant's Erkenntnistheorie, Theory of Knowledge, Sec. 1.

101.A. Dorner, Das menschliche Erkennen, usw., Human Cognition, Berlin, 1887.

102.Julius 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.

105.Johannes Müller (1801–1858), see note 32, above.

106.Hartmann's Grundproblem, p. 37 (see note 4, above).

107.A. Döring, article in Philosophische Monatshefte, Vol. XXVI, 1890, p. 390. publ. Heidelberg. Philosophical Monthly.

108.Hartmann, Grundproblem, p. 1. See note 4, above.

109.John 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 encyclopedia.

110.Fichte, Sämtliche Werke, Collected Works, Berlin, 1845, Vol. I, P. 71.

111.For 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.

116.Fichte, Sämtliche Werke, Collected Works, Berlin, 1845, Vol. I, p. 94.

117.Ibid. Vol. I, p. 98.

118.Ibid. Vol. I, p. 422.

119.J. G. Fichtes nachgelassene Werke, 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.)

120.Note by Rudolf Steiner: See his Christliche Dogmatik, 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.