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Old And New Moral Concepts

Alte und neue Moralbegriffe
Rudolf Steiner, The Future, II. Volume, No. 16, January 14, 1893
Google translate: German to English

OLD AND NEW MORAL CONCEPTS

The word "modern" is on everyone's lips today. Every moment an "all-newest" is discovered on this or that area of ​​human creativity, or at least a promising start to it is noticed. Most of these discoveries, however, do not lead the discerning mind to something really new, but simply the inadequate historical education of the discoverers. For those who are currently influencing public opinion through speech and writing, knowledge equates to the same degree of judgment as the assertions of hubris and audacity in ninety-eight out of a hundred cases. Where now the words "new" and "modern" must help out, they should set terms that have something to do with the thing itself.

I do not want to tune into the wild cries of the unthinking and immature banner bearers of the "modern age" when I speak here of a "new" morality in opposition to the old one. But I have the conviction that the imperative of our time demands of us an acceleration of the change in the views and ways of life that has been taking place very slowly for a long time. Many branches of culture are already saturated with the spirit that speaks out in this demand, but a clear awareness of the main characteristics of the change is not common.

In the following sentence I find a simple expression for the basic feature of a truly future-oriented endeavor: Today, we seek to replace all otherworldly and extra-worldly motive forces with those that lie within the world. In the past people were looking for transcendent powers to explain the existence of phenomena. Revelation, mystical vision, or metaphysical speculation were supposed to lead to knowledge from higher beings. But at present, we seek to find the means to explain the world within ourselves.

One always needs to interpret these propositions in the right way, and one will find that they indicate the characteristic trait of a spiritual revolution that is in full swing. Science is turning more and more from the metaphysical point of view and seeks their explanatory principles within the realm of reality. Art strives to offer in its creations only that which is borrowed from nature and refrains from embodying supernatural ideas. With this endeavor, however, there is a danger of a departure in science as well as in art. Some of our contemporaries did not escape this danger. Instead of pursuing within themselves the traces of the spirit that one had erroneously sought outside of reality, they have lost sight of everything ideal; and we must see how science is content with mindless observing and registering facts, and art often with mere imitation of nature.

But these are abuses that must be overcome by recovering from what lies in the whole school of thought. The significance of the movement lies in the departure from that view of the world which regarded mind and nature as two completely separate entities, and in the recognition of the proposition that both are but two sides, two manifestations of one entity. Replacement of the two-world theory by the unitary world-view, that is the signature of the new time.

The area where this view appears to respond to the most severe prejudices is that of human action. While some naturalists already committed wholeheartedly to her, some aestheticians and art critics are  steeped in her, more or less, the ethicists want to know nothing about it. Here there is still the belief in norms that are supposed to dominate life like an otherworldly power, laws that are not created within human nature, but those that are finished

Guidelines are given to our actions. If one goes a long way, one admits that we owe these laws not to the revelation of a supernatural power, but that they are innate to our soul. They are not called divine commandments but categorical imperatives. But in any case, one thinks of the human personality as consisting of two independent entities: of the sensual nature with a sum of instincts and passions, and of the spiritual principle, which penetrates to the knowledge of the moral ideas, by which then the sensory element is controlled and restrained. The sharpest expression of this fundamental ethical view has been found in Kantian philosophy. Just think of the well-known apostrophe of duty! "Mandatory! you exalted great name, in whom you do not grasp anything beloved, what ingratiation with you, but demand submission, 'which you' establish as law, which finds its way into the mind itself, and yet acquires veneration against his own will, where all inclinations are silenced, yet in secret they counteract it." 

In these words an independence of the moral commandments lies in a special power, to which everything individual in man simply has to submit. If this power also announces itself within the human personality, then it has its origin outside. The commandments of this power are the moral ideals that can be codified as a system of duties. He is considered by the followers of this direction to be a good person who puts these ideals as motives for his actions. One can call this doctrine the ethics of motives. It has numerous followers among German philosophers.

In a very watered form, she meets us at the Americans Coit and Salt. Coit says ("The Ethical Movement in Religion", translated by G. von Gizycki, p. 7): "Every duty is to do with the fervor of enthusiasm, and with the feeling of its absolute and highest value"; and Salter ("The Religion of Morality", translated by G. von Gizycki, p. 79): "A moral act must be done on principle". In addition to this ethic, there is another that takes into account not so much the motives, but rather the results of our actions. Their followers ask for the greater or lesser benefit that an action brings, and thus designate it as a better or worse one.

In doing so, they either look at the benefit for the individual or for the social whole. Accordingly, a distinction is made between individualist or socialist utilitarians. If the former foresees setting up general principles whose observance is to make the individual happy, then they present themselves as one-sided representatives of individualistic ethics. They must be called one-sided because action for their own benefit is by no means the sole aim of human individuality. In their nature, they can also be quite selfless in their action. But if these individualistic or socialist utilitarians derive norms from the nature of the individual or a set of norms to be obeyed, they commit the same error as the professors of the concept of duty: they overlook that all general rules and laws immediately prove to be a worthless phantom when the human being is within the living reality.

Laws are abstractions, but actions always take place under very specific concrete conditions. Weighing the various options and choosing the most practical in the given case, this is befitting us when it comes to action. An individual personality is always faced with a very specific situation and will make a decision in accordance with the matter. In this case a selfish act, in that case a selfless act will prove to be the right one. Soon the interest of the individual, soon that of the whole, will have to be considered.

Those who pay homage to egoism are just as wrong as the eulogists of compassion. For what is higher than the perception of one's own or of the other's well-being is the consideration of whether one or the other is more important under given conditions. In the first place, action is not primarily about feelings, not selfish ones, not selfless ones, but the right judgment about what to do. It may happen that someone sees and acts on an action as correct, suppressing the strongest emotions of his compassion. But since there is no absolutely correct judgment, but all truth has only conditional validity, which depends on the standpoint of the one who expresses it, so too is the judgment of a personality about what it has to do in a certain case, according to their particular circumstances to the world. In exactly the same situation, two people will act differently because, depending on their character, experience and education, they make different notions of what their task is in the given case.

Anyone who sees that the judgment of a concrete case is the author of an action can only speak for an individualistic conception in ethics. The only way to form such a judgment is to have the right view in a given situation and not a fixed norm. General laws can only be deduced from the facts, but the actions of man first create facts. If we infer from the common and lawfulness of human action certain general characteristics in individuals, peoples, and ages, we obtain an ethics, but not as a science of moral norms, but as the natural doctrine of morality. The laws thus obtained are individual as well as the laws of nature. Human behavior, as well as the laws of nature, constitute a particular phenomenon in nature. Ethics as normative science bears witness to a complete misunderstanding of the character of a science. Science makes progress in overcoming the view that in the individual phenomena general norms, types, are realized according to the principle of expediency. Science investigating the real fundamentals of phenomena. Only when ethics does not ask for general moral ideals but for the actual facts of action which lie in the concrete individuality of man, only then may it be regarded as a science of ethics equal to natural science. 

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1887-1900 Collected Essays from Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom Period

"At the back of my mind there always lurked this question: how could the epoch be persuaded to accept the ideas of The Philosophy of Freedom? If you are prepared to take the trouble, you will find that everything I wrote for the Magazin für Literatur is imbued with the spirit of The Philosophy of Freedom." Rudolf Steiner 

The essays in this volume are divided into four main sections: The first part contains Rudolf Steiner's contributions to the daily politics of the "Deutsche Wochenschrift" (Vienna 1888), which represented the national interests of Germany in Austria.

The second part contains cultural and contemporary articles, which Rudolf Steiner wrote especially for the "Magazin für Literatur" published by him in Berlin.

In the third part, Rudolf Steiner's contributions on Nietzsche and the Nietzsche Archive are compiled.

The fourth part contains smaller book reviews and various other contributions.

CONTENTS Source of the journals pages 716/717

PDF download link (German)

I

Essays from "German weekly" 1888, VI. vintage

The week, December 30, 1887-5. January 1888, No. 1. , 17
DieWoche, fifth-ll.Januarl888, No.2 20
The week, 12.-18. January 1888, No. 3 22
The week, 18.-24. January 1888, No. 4 26
The week, 25.-31. January 1888, No. 5 30
The week, 1.-7. February 1888, No. 6 39
The week, 8.-15. February 1888, No. 7 43
The week, 15.-22. February 1888, No. 8 47
The week, 22.-29. February 1888, No. 9 50
The week, 1.-7. March 1888, No. 10 53
The week, 7.-14. March 1888, No. 11 56
The week, 14.-21. March 1888, No. 12 62
The week, 22.-28. March 1888, No. 13 64
The week, March 29-4. April 1888, No. 14 67
The week, 5.-11. April 1888, No. 15 70
The week, 11.-18. April 1888, No. 16 74
The week, 18.-25. April 1888, No. 17 76
The week, April 26th-2. May 1888, No. 18 78
The week, 3.-10. May 1888, No. 19 80
The week, 11.-16. May 1888, no. 20 82
The week, 17.-23. May 1888, No. 21 85
The week, 23.-30. May 1888, No. 22 88
The week, May 31 -6. June 1888, No. 23 90
The week, 6.-13. June 1888, No. 24 93
The week, 14.-20. June 1888, No. 25 96
The Week, June 21-27, 1988, No. 26 ........ 99
The week, June 28-4. July 1888, No. 27 102
The week, 5.-11. July 1888, No. 28 105
The week, 11.-18. July 1888, no. 29 108
The German national thing in Austria. The parlamen
Tarische representation of the Germans .111
German weekly 1888, VI. Jg., No. 22
The German national thing in Austria. The Germans
Clericals and their friends 116
German weekly 1888, VI. Jg., No. 25
The German education system (in Austria) and Mr.
vonGautsch 121
German weekly 1888, VI. Gen., No. 23
Monsignor Greuter 127
German weekly 1888, VI. Jg., No. 26
The Emperor's words 130
German weekly 1888, VI. Jg., No. 26
Papacy and Liberalism 134
German weekly 1888, VI Jg., No. 28
The Germans in Austria and their next tasks 139 Deutsche Wochenschrift 1888, VI. Jg., No. 29

II

Cultural and contemporary articles, which Rudolf Steiner wrote especially for the "Magazin für Literatur" published by him in Berlin.


General Assembly of the Goethe Society 149
Chronicle of the Vienna Goethe-Verein, V. Band, 6th ed., No. 5, May 25, 1891

Moltke As Philosopher 154
Literary Mercury, XII. Jg., No. 15, April 9, 1892

Maximilian Harden "Apostate" 158
Literary Mercury, Xu. Gen., No. 27, 2 July 1892

A "Society For Ethical Culture" in Germany. .164
Literary Mercury, XII. Jg., No. 40, October 10, 1892

A "Society for Ethical Culture" 169
The Future, Volume I, No. 5, October 29, 1892

J.M.Bosch "Human Compassion" A contribution to the foundation of Scientific Ethics 176
Literary Mercury, XII. Jg., No. 50, December 17, 1892

Adolf Gerecke "The Hopelessness Of Morality" 177
Literary Mercury, XII. Jg., No. 51, December 24, 1892

Old And New Moral Concepts 180
The Future, II. Volume, No. 16, January 14, 1893

Grand Duchess Sophie of Saxony 187
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, No. 14, April 8, 1897

Catholicism And Progress 189
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, No. 37, 18 September 1897

The Desire Of The Jews For Palestine 196
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, No., 38, 25 September 1897

Goethe Days in Weimar
Report on the 13th General Assembly of the Deutsche Goethe-Gesellschaft. , 20
Supplement to the Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 232, Oct. 14, 1897

Kuno Fischer on the Grand Duchess Sophie of Saxony 207 Magazine for Literature, 66th Y., No. 41, 16 October 1897

Goethe Days in Weimar. Report on the 13th General Assembly of the Deutsche Goethe-Gesellschaft. .212 Magazine for Literature, 66th ed., No. 42, October 23, 1897

Theodor Mommsen's letter to the Germans of Austria 214
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, No. 45, November 13, 1897

The daily conversation of today 217
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, no. 46, 20 November 1897

The instincts of the French 221
Magazine for Literature, 66th Y., No. 49, 11 December 1897

Emile Zola to the youth 225
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 7, February 19, 1898

Zola's oath and the truth about Dreyfus 230
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 9, March 5, 1898

Contemporary High School Reform 232
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 9, March 5, 1898

University education and the requirements of the Ge
currently 235
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 19, May 14, 1898

The Goethetag in Weimar. Report on the 14th General Assembly of the German Goethe-Gesellschaft. , 239 Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 24, 18 June 1898

The Social Question 247
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 28, 16 July 1898
Freedom and Society 251
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 29 and 30, 23 and 30 July 1898
Bismarck, the man of political success 263
Magazine for Literature, 67th Jg., No. 32, 13th August 1898
Friedrich Jodl «Essence and goals of the ethical movement
in Germany »272
Dramaturgical Sheets, 1st Gen., No. 32, 13 August 1898
Jules Michelet 274
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 33, August 20, 1898
Literary Wisdom and Devil Island 276
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 37, 17 September 1898
Dreyfus letters 277
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 41, 15 October 1898
John Henry Mackay and Rudolf Steiner. The individuali
Stark Anarchism: An Opponent of «Propaganda of the
Did". Open Letter to Dr. Ing. Rudolf Steiner, Out
donor of the "Zeitschrift für Literatur" 281
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 39, September 30, 1898
Answer to John Henry Mackay 283
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 39, September 30, 1898
Correction 287
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 41, 15 October 1898
Joseph Müller "Reform Catholicism" 288
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 41, 15 October 1898
School and college 289
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 49, 50, 3, 17 December 1898
College and Public Life 301
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 50 and 51, 17 and 24 December 1898
Moritz von Egidy. Died on December 29, 1898. ,
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 2, January 14, 1899
On the problem of the journalist and critic. On the occasion of the death of Emil Schiff on January 23, 1899. , , Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 5, 4 February 1899
Professor Schell 324
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 10, March 11, 1899
About the apprenticeship 327
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 11, 18 March 1899
The literature on the woman question 329
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 11, 18 March 1899
Heinrich von Treitschke «Politics» 335
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 11, 18 March 1899
Collegium logicum 337
Magazine for Literature, 68th year no. 12, 25th March 1899
Gutenberg's act as a landmark of cultural development. .341
German Book and Stone Printer 1900, 6th volume, No. 9
The printing art. To celebrate the five hundredth birthday
their creator's day 354
Magazine for Literature, 69th Y., No. 25, 23 June 1900
A monument 360
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 40, 6 October 1900
Thomas Babington Macaulay. Born on Oct. 25, 1800 367 Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 42, October 20, 1900
Max Müller 373
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 47, 24th November 1900
Ahasuerus 378
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 35, September 1, 1900

Adolf Bartels, the literary historian 382
Communications from the Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism, IL Jg., No. 37, September 11, 1901
The "Post" as a lawyer of the Germanic 387
Messages from the Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism, IL Jg., No. 39, 25 September 1901
A Heine haters 388
Communications from the Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism, IL Jg., No. 38, 18 September 1901
The Scientific Proof of the Anti-Semites 393
Messages from the Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism, IL Jg., No. 40, October 2, 1901
Shameful anti-Semitism 398
Communications from the Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism, IL Jg., No. 46-48, 13, 20 and 27 November
Two measures 414
Communications from the Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism, ü. Jg., No. 50, December 11, 1901
Idealism against anti-Semitism 417
Communications from the Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism, H. Jg., No. 52, 25 December 1901
Stefan von Czobel «The development of religious concepts
as the basis of a progressive religion »420
The Vähan 1901, Jg. III, No. 6

Seven letters from Fichte to Goethe. Two letters from Fichte to Schiller. With explanations by Rudolf Steiner 422 Goethe-Jahrbuch 1894, 15th volume

III

Rudolf Steiner's contributions on Nietzsche and the Nietzsche Archive. 


Nietzscheanism 453
Literary Mercury, XII. Gen., No. 14, April 2, 1892
Friedrich Nietzsche «So Spoke Zarathustra», IV. Part.
Recent publication from Nietzsche's estate. - A book
for all and none. Fourth and last part 460
Literary Mercury, XII. Gen., No. 24, June 11, 1892
Kurt Eisner «Psychopathia spiritualis. Friedrich Nietzsche
and the apostles of the future »467
Literary Mercury, XIII. Gen., No. 4, January 28, 1893
Communication and correction 469
Supplement to the Allgemeine Zeitung (Munich) No. 215 and 217, 17 and 24 September 1896
Nietzsche Archive 470
Hamburger Fremdenblatt, October 3, 1896
Nietzsche in pious illumination 471
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 33, August 20, 1898
A real "disciple" Zarathustra 475
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 43, October 29, 1898
Friedrich Nietzsche and the Berliner Tageblatt .... 479 Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 5, 3 February 1900
Friedrich Nietzsche as a poet of the modern world
Look 482
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 49, 8 December 1900
Short excerpt from a lecture. About F. Nietzsche. , 486 Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 39, September 29, 1900
Friedrich Nietzsche, died on August 25, 1900. , , 489 Entertainment Sheet of the Forward, No. 165, August 28, 1900
Haeckel, Tolstoy and Nietzsche 497
Magazine for Literature, 70th Y., No. 45, 9 November 1901
The Nietzsche Archive and its charges against the previous editor. A revelation
I. The publication of Nietzsche's works 505
II. On the characteristics of Mrs. E. Förster-Nietzsche. .519
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 6, February 10, 1900
The Second Coming of Nietzsche .... 529 A defense of Nietzsche's so-called "Second Coming". From Dr. E. Horn pepper
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 15, April 14, 1900
Response to the above 538
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 15, April 14, 1900
The so-called second coming of the same from Nietz
cal. A continuation of my reply to E. Horn
effers essay "A Defense of the so-called" Wie-
dergleich der Gleichen) by Nietzsche »549
Magazine for Literature, 69th Y., No. 16 and 17, 21 and 28 April 1900
Mrs. E. Förster-Nietzsche and her knight of funny shape. An answer to Dr. Seidl's "unmasking". , 571 The Society, XVI. Jg., Volume IL Issue 4, May 1900
594 response
The Future 1900, VIII Jg., 31st Volume, No. 33
Letter from Rudolf Steiner to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. , 598
The alleged "fight for the Nietzsche edition". .601 Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 27, 7 July 1900

IV

Smaller book reviews and various other contributions.

IV
C. Andresen "The Development of Man" .... 617 Literary Mercury, XL, no. 40, October 3, 1891
Jürgen Bona Meyer «Temperament and temperament
treatment »618
Literary Mercury, XI. Jg., No. 41, October 10, 1891
E. Kulke «On the evolution of opinions» 619
Literary Mercury, XII. Gen., No. 2, January 9, 1892
E. Martig "Psychological Psychology with Application
on education »621
Literary Mercury, XII. Jg., No. 12, March 19, 1892
Franz Lauczizky «Textbook of Logic» 622
Literary Mercury, XII. Gen., No. 9, February 27, 1892
Dr. R. Biese «Principles of Modern Humanity Education» 623
Literary Mercury, XII. Gen., No. 37, September 10, 1892
Prof. Dr. Kirchner «Green Germany». A ramble
by the recent German poetry 626
Literary Mercury, XIII. Gen., No. 32, August 19, 1893
Woldemar von Biedermann 628
Magazine for Literature, 66th Y., No. 11, 18 March 1897
To our readers 629
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, No. 27, 10 July 1897
Alfred von Arneth 630
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, no. 32, 14th August 1897
Henry George 631
Magazine for Literature, 66th year, No. 44, 6 November 1897
announcement 632
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 1, 8 January 1898
A letter from Blaise Pascal 633
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 10, March 12, 1898
Karl Biedermann «The First German Parliament» .... 634
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 14, April 9, 1898
Dr. Kurella «Socialism in England» 635
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 18, May 7, 1898
Science and Press 635
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 20, 21 May 1898
About popular university courses 636
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 30, July 30, 1898
Heinrich Kiepert 638
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 31, 6th August 1898
To the lecture of Prof. Pietzker about "Naturwissen
academic instruction »639
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 41, 15 October 1898
Louis Dollivet "Rooms Juif!" 640
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 43, October 29, 1898
Moriz Lazarus "Ethics of Judaism" 640
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 43, October 29, 1898
Announcement for the year 1899 641
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 1, 7 January 1899
Eduard Samson. Died on 2 May 1899 642
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 19, May 13, 1899
Postscript to an essay «begins the 19th century
with the coming New Year's Day? »643
Magazine for Literature, 68th Y., No. 50, 16 December 1899
Lecture by Karl Lamprecht 646
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 4, January 27, 1900
Ernst goal «from today». Thoughts on the threshold of
century 647
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 10, March 10, 1900
Against the "Lex Heinze" 651
Magazine for Literature, 69th year, No. 10, March 10, 1900
Lex Heinze 652
Magazine for Literature, 69th Y., No. 21, May 26, 1900

ATTACHMENT
The Goethetage in Weimar 655
Vmtl. Weimar newspaper 1897
School and College 660
Magazine for Literature, 67th Y., No. 49, December 10, 1898
University education and public life 661
Autoreferat, leaflet [December 1898]
Information from the publisher
To this issue 665
Notes on text 667
Name Index 703
References of journals 716
Overview of the Rudolf Steiner Complete Edition. , , 719

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