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Capítulo V. La comprensión del Mundo.

Enlace al capítulo aquí. Este capítulo explica la relación entre la percepción y la representación.

Profundicemos lo dicho hasta ahora sobre el PENSAR: El pensar es producido en la mente del hombre como un proceso del mundo y no está separado de él. Precisamente porque somos seres pensantes no somos conscientes de la propia actividad del pensar y creemos que el mundo está separado (acabado) sin la actividad pensante, y que ésta es un mero reflejo del mundo y sus procesos. Creer que la percepción y el concepto son dos procesos paralelos no condicionados entre sí (como la imagen en un espejo de cualquier objeto del mundo) es arbitrario.
Nuestra organización espiritual es tal que para cada cosa de la realidad, los elementos correspondientes, nos llegan por dos lados: el percibir y el pensar. Esta división aparece en el momento en que yo, el observador, me sitúo frente a las cosas. Pero en el mundo el concepto está unido a la percepción.
El hombre es un ser limitado. En primer lugar, es un ser entre otros seres. Su ser pertenece al espacio y al tiempo. Por ello también sólo le puede ser dada una parte limitada del universo entero en un momento determinado. Sin embargo, esta parte está unida en todas direcciones con otras partes, tanto en el tiempo como en el espacio. Si nuestra existencia estuviera unida con las cosas de tal manera que todo acontecer del mundo fuese a la vez nuestro acontecer, no existiría diferencia entre nosotros y las cosas del mundo. Pero entonces tampoco existirían cosas diferenciadas y no habría CONCIENCIA. Todo acontecer se sucedería en constante continuidad. El cosmos sería una unidad y un todo encerrado en sí mismo. La corriente del acontecer no tendría interrupción. Pero debido a nuestra limitación nos parece diferenciado lo que en verdad no lo es. Esta separación es un acto subjetivo, condicionado por el hecho de que nosotros no somos idénticos al proceso universal, sino un ser entre otros seres.

Así como por medio de la percepción nos ubicamos en un mundo exterior de materia y energía; por medio de la autodeterminación del pensar lo percibido en mi propio ser se aúna al proceso universal, porque el pensar es universal. En el pensar nos es dado el elemento que une en un todo nuestra personalidad individual con el cosmos. Vemos surgir en nosotros una fuerza absoluta en devenir, una fuerza universal, pero no la reconocemos como procedente del centro del mundo, sino en un punto de la periferia. Si conociéramos su procedencia se nos revelaría, en el instante en que despertamos a la conciencia, todo el enigma del mundo. Pero como nos encontramos en un punto de la periferia, y encontramos nuestra propia existencia sujeta a límites específicos, tenemos que aprender a conocer la esfera que se halla fuera de nuestro propio ser por medio del pensar que, desde el universo, penetra en nosotros.
Esto no se puede confundir con la mera adquisición de conciencia de nuestro propio Yo. Pues la autopercepción está relacionada con el sentimiento y la sensación individual (incluso con la percepción). Por eso el hombre es un ser entre otros seres.
El concepto es lo que recibimos de la cosa no desde fuera, sino desde dentro de ella. El equilibrio, la unión de ambos elementos, el interior y el exterior, es lo que aporta el conocimiento. El acto de cognición es la síntesis de percepción y concepto. Solamente la percepción y el concepto de una cosa la hacen un todo.
La personalidad humana limitada (la autodeterminación por el pensar), la percibimos sólo en nosotros mismos; la fuerza y la materia en las cosas externas (por medio de la percepción).
¿Qué es la percepción sin el concepto? el mundo aparece como una mera yuxtaposición en el espacio y en la sucesión del tiempo de objetos y procesos de valor indistinto, un agregado de detalles inconexos. Cuando una consciencia pensante se aprehende de la percepción los hechos aislados adquieren un valor en sí mismos y para el resto del mundo, tendiendo hilos de ser a ser. Por ello la actividad pensante está llena de contenido. El pensar aporta este contenido a la percepción, a partir del mundo de los conceptos y de las ideas del hombre.
En contraste al contenido de la percepción que nos es dado desde afuera, el contenido del pensar aparece en el interior (autodeterminación).
La intuición es para el pensar lo que la observación es para la percepción. La intuición y la observación son las fuentes de nuestro conocimiento.

A quien no sea capaz de encontrar las intuiciones correspondientes a las cosas, sólo puede observar fragmentos incoherentes de percepción.
Lo que en nuestra observación se presenta como separatividad, se une a través del mundo coherente y armonioso de nuestras intuiciones gradualmente y nosotros con el pensar volvemos a aunar lo que separamos por la percepción.

El idealista crítico no puede probar, mediante la investigación del contenido de nuestra observación, que nuestras percepciones son representaciones (el mundo es mi representación). Ya lo vimos en el capítulo anterior: supongamos que aparece una percepción en mi conciencia, por ejemplo, el rojo. Si continúo la observación puedo relacionarlas con otras percepciones, con una determinada figura, o con ciertas sensaciones de temperatura y de tacto. Esto es el objeto del mundo de los sentidos. Puedo también observar que en el espacio entre el objeto y los órganos sensoriales aparecen sucesos mecánicos (vibraciones en un medio elástico), procesos químicos y otros. También examino la transmisión de los órganos sensoriales al cerebro. Todas estas percepciones no tienen nada en común entre sí excepto los hilos de enlace que entreteje todas estas percepciones en el espacio y en el tiempo por el pensar. La relación que trasciende lo meramente percibido, los objetos y el sujeto de la percepción es puramente ideal. Ya vimos que el pensar no es subjetivo, ni subjetivo ni objetivo. El pensar crea estos dos conceptos. El sujeto no es sujeto porque piensa, sino que se aparece a sí mismo como sujeto gracias al pensar. Así pues la percepción ante la presencia del objeto en el campo de observación es una percepción objetiva.
Sin embargo, la representación, que como ya vimos es la percepción de la transformación de mi propio estado a causa de la presencia del objeto dentro de mi campo de observación es una percepción subjetiva.

Lo que ahora haremos será definir el concepto de representación. Esto nos llevará a la relación de éste con el objeto y por tanto, a la relación del ser humano con el mundo, y desde aquí, descender del campo del conocimiento puramente conceptual, hasta la vida individual concreta.

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Capítulo IV. El mundo como percepción.

Enlace al capítulo aquí. En este capítulo RS investiga el contenido de la OBSERVACIÓN. ¿Cómo entra en la conciencia el “Objeto de Observación”? El “objeto de observación” lo puedo descomponer en OBJETOS DE SENSACIÓN / PERCEPCIÓN / REPRESENTACIÓN

LOS OBJETOS DE SENSACIÓN. Es la “percepción pura”, un amasijo inconexo de sensaciones o agregado incoherente de objetos de sensación: colores, sonidos, sensaciones de tacto, calor, olfato, después sentimientos de placer o desagrado.

LAS IMÁGENES DE PERCEPCIÓN. Percepción: se define como los objetos inmediatos de la experiencia sobre los que adquiero conocimiento mediante la observación.

  • Es subjetiva en cuanto dependen de mi punto de observación en el espacio (matemática) y también de mi organización física (cualitativa).
  • Porque mi organización subjetiva determina en parte mi percepción puedo afirmar “los objetos de mis percepciones existen sólo por mí, y más aún, sólo en tanto y cuanto yo los percibo… a parte de mis percepciones no conozco ni puedo conocer ningún objeto”.
    • El realismo ingenuo cree que los objetos, tal como son percibidos, existen también fuera de la consciencia pensante.
    • Berkeley piensa que lo único real es nuestro mundo interior en tanto se sitúa en una consciencia pensante (Idealismo absoluto) mientras que Kant piensa que aunque exista un mundo exterior real, sólo podemos conocer nuestro “mundo interior” de representaciones (Idealismo crítico).

LA REPRESENTACIÓN relaciona el objeto de percepción con el cambio de mi propio estado. Denomino mundo exterior a los objetos del mundo que se presentan a mi percepción y mundo interior al contenido de la percepción de mí mismo. Según el Idealismo Crítico nuestras representaciones son “modificaciones de nuestra organización” –reacciones subjetivas – y no las “cosas en sí”: El mundo es mi representación.

Y por último hace un repaso por las teorías imperantes sobre el proceso perceptivo:

  • El “atomismo materialista” que dice que los cuerpos se componen de partículas infinitesimales que chocan entre sí.
  • La teoría de las “Energías sensoriales específicas” que involucran a los órganos sensorios dependiendo de su especificidad fisiológica.
  • El estudio “fisiológico” de nuestro sistema neuro-sensorio y la transmisión de los impulsos desde el medio exterior al órgano sensorio, desde estos, a través del sistema neuronal al cerebro y de éste a la “conciencia”

Así pues la pregunta inicial también se puede formular en ¿Cómo se relaciona la percepción con la representación? Para conocer la relación entre percepción y representación debemos indagar por otros caminos distintos a los proporcionados mediante la investigación de las percepciones. (Ha de haber algo en la percepción antes de ser percibida, pero no podemos encontrarlo investigando el contenido de nuestra observación)

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Enlace al capítulo aquí. La conciencia es el escenario donde el concepto y la observación se encuentran y establecen una relación recíproca… por el hecho de dirigir su atención hacia la observación tiene conciencia de los objetos, al dirigir su pensar sobre sí mismo tiene consciencia de sí mismo o autoconciencia. Así pues OBSERVACIÓN y PENSAR son los dos pilares del conocimiento. En el capítulo 3 Rudolf Steiner realizará una exposición sobre EL PENSAR.

  • La primera observación que hacemos sobre el pensar es: que es el elemento no observado de nuestra vida mental habitual. Y esto ocurre así porque el pensar es enteramente nuestra actividad: lo que yo mismo produzco no lo observo. Lo que no produzco yo mismo entra en mi campo de observación como objeto.
  • La segunda observación sobre el pensar es: que jamás puedo observar mi pensar actual, sólo después puedo transformar las experiencias que he hecho sobre el proceso de mi pensar en objeto del mismo. Porque yo produzco el pensar, conozco las características íntimas de su desarrollo y la manera en que se desenvuelve.
  • La tercera observación sobre el pensar es: que lo único que guía la asociación de mis pensamientos es el contenido de estos pensamientos (y nunca los procesos fisiológicos de mi cerebro) Esta observación es un requisito imprescindible para hacer surgir el “estado excepcional”. El estado excepcional consiste en observar lo que yo mismo produzco: algo cuyo agente soy yo mismo. Este es el punto firme para la explicación del resto de fenómenos del mundo. "YO SOY" es la actividad mediante la que "yo mismo" como ser pensante doy a mi existencia el contenido específico, basado en mí mismo, de la actividad pensante. (Yo soy el que soy)
  • La cuarta observación sobre el pensar es: que al hacerlo objeto de observación no nos vemos obligados a hacerlo con algo cualitativamente distinto (como en el caso de las bolas de billar), sino que podemos permanecer dentro del mismo elemento (la actividad pensante). Para la observación del pensar creamos primero nosotros mismos un objeto de observación mediante la actividad pensante. Todos los demás objetos dados existen sin mi actividad, como en el caso de las bolas de billar.

 Así pues, hay que observar el pensar de manera neutral, sin relación con un sujeto pensante ni con un objeto pensado: pues “sujeto” y “objeto” son términos formados por el pensar.

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Enlace al capítulo aquí. ¿Cómo formo la decisión en mí? O ¿cómo tomo decisiones conscientes? La consciencia presupone SEPARACIÓN. El Mundo que percibo no forma parte de mi Yo. Aquí se expone la visión DUALISTA: Yo / Mundo; Espíritu / Materia. El MATERIALISMO es una visión MONISTA que considera el mundo unicamente como materia, por el contrario el ESPIRITUALISMO considera que todo es espíritu. Para Rudolf Steiner el mundo es una unidad indivisible que sólo se presenta “separado” a nuestra conciencia. Sólo cuando integro el "contenido” del mundo al “contenido” de nuestros pensamientos restablecemos la unión de la que nosotros mismos nos hemos apartado, ya que el Ser Humano no está organizado unitariamente. ¿Cómo puede manifestarse el mundo dualmente si es una unidad indivisible? Investiguemos dónde se produce dicha separación en nuestra conciencia. 

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Cap. 1. El Actuar Humano Consciente.

Enlace al capítulo aquí

El  primer capítulo recorre todas las respuestas a favor y en contra a la pregunta ¿Es el Ser Humano  espiritualmente libre en su pensar y en su actuar, o se encuentra sujeto al dominio de la necesidad natural? La respuesta que ofrece Rudolf Steiner a esta pregunta (originalmente formulada omitiendo los polos opuestos espiritual-natural*) está condicionada al estudio de la “conciencia” pues el actuar humano, elevado de lo puramente natural, presupone un motivo consciente. Luego para responder a la pregunta debo estudiar primero cómo formo la decisión en mí.


(*) En la primera edición del libro en 1894 se formula la siguiente pregunta ¿Es el hombre libre en su actuar y en su pensar, o está dirigido por una férrea necesidad?

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Filosofía de la Libertad. Una introducción.

Voy a comenzar una serie de posts en el blog con la intención de que cada POST sea una elaboración de un capítulo del libro. Así con los comentarios vuestros, iremos completando o rectificando, enriqueciendo en definitiva. El libro que utilizaré es la traducción al Castellano de Blanca Sanchez de Muniaín que también podéis encontrar en Rudolf Steiner Archive aquí

El libro consta dos partes: Ciencia y Realidad de la Libertad.
En la primera parte Rudolf Steiner supera la visión del mundo como una realidad inalcanzable al conocimiento humano con la siguiente afirmación: “Mediante la penetración de la percepción por el pensar alcanzamos la realidad”. En la observación de la actividad pensante encontramos lo que en el mundo está separado: percepción y concepto. Así pues el pensar es la única experiencia en donde podemos justificar el Realismo Ingenuo.

En la segunda parte trata de responder a la pregunta ¿puede la consciencia humana que surge de la determinación de los conceptos mediante las percepciones, realizar en sí misma la libertad?

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The three conceptions about perception

Perception is any content I am aware of. It's not a physical object, but still it occupies my consciousness. Due to lack of knowledge in the field of consciousness (Despite all rumours, consciousness hasn't been explained) it's hard to say in precise terms what kind of object a perception is.

Introspectively, everybody has come to have a perception, not one, but billions. The bell of the church, the image of my hands typing this words on the keyboard, a feeling of worry that the rain will not stop, and so on. In what, I experienced as one of the most challenging chapter of the Philosophy of Freedom (chapter IV), we encounter three conceptions about perception. 

The most basic is the naive conception which says:

In my perceptions, the reality is given to me. I grasp the world as it is. 

The objections to this conception have given counterexamples that show one can have very different perceptions about the same thing, that contradict themselves. Think at the scientists from the ancient times. They believed the Earth is the center of the world, and the Sun moves around it. That's how they perceived the things from down here. Copernicus had a very different perception (I'm not very familiar with how he made this discovery), but the truth is nowadays we can have the perception which shows the Earth moving around the Sun. etc.

The second one is the Berkley-conception or subjective-idealism or immaterialism. This is a strange and thought-provoking conception. This conception says that what we perceive does not have a real existence. And it's not, as we'll see, because our sensory-systems are defective that this thing is happening, but it is because there aren't things out-there that we could perceive. The world has no existence. This Englishman with weird ways of seeing the world says and beliefs that only spirits exist and those spirits are creating these perceptions in their heads, they generate all the time perceptual-content. Or, he accepts, the Divine Being itself might be adding this content in these many consciousness. 

Moving forward to  the kantian conception.This conception does not agree with the Berkley conception, in one respect: the non existence of the world. According to the kantian conception there is a world, there are objects, beings, substances, etc. But the thing (the sad thing) is we can not grasp the real world. 

Due to the latest discoveries from physics, psychology and physiology, a belief in the imperfection of our senses has been adopted by many scientists and people. The three sciences mentioned have showed all kinds of cases where human beings were having abnormal perceptions. Someone could not see colors. A cured blind man declared he had very different ideas derived from his tactile perceptions about the objects around him, than the ones he got from his visual perceptions. Even Rudolf Steiner gives us reasons to worry and doubt. He shows our sensible perceptions are dependent on the place we are. The trees from the end of the alley look much shorter when I'm far away from them, then they look when I'm right next to them. But then even the sensory organs are faulty. We don't see the world. We grasp only what this perceptions-systems generate in our consciousness.

The Kantians make all kind of speculations about how the perceptive-process functions. Right from the start, they say, the perception-organ modifies the outer element, the real element with which it interacts, and than the chain of nerves, transmitters and even the central nervous system don't stop from changing the changed real element again and again. In the end the brain is causing individual sensations to appear in the soul, the soul takes all that and projects it over the objects outside. 

The falling of this baroque edifice of arguments is produced by the simple reflection of Rudolf Steiner, the healer of the mind and the Savior of reality.  

Rudolf Steiner points to a very elementary fact. The Kantians talk about all those things as if they had a privileged access to the reality, as if their perceptive-organs were not like everybody else. They talk so sure about what is going on in our eyes and how this faulty eyes of ours deform what the reality is trying to show to them and than they continue talking like this about our brain, our nerves and even about the interaction of the brain with the soul, and in all this talk they forget all the time that they are not different, they are like everybody else. So what they perceive as being the eye, the nerves, the brain, the soul, etc.. all of them are just the result, the fabrication of their own faulty system of perceptions, just illusions. 

Their conception fails because it undermines itself. 

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Here are names for the kinds of thinking discussed in the first 7 chapters in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom. With every shift in the level of consciousness, what we call thinking undergoes a change. In chapter 1 a rational debate occurs about whether we are free or not. In chapter 7 various theories of cognition are discussed, then Monism is show to remove all the limitations of cognition making wholistic thinking possible.  

Chapter 1 Conscious Human Action
RATIONAL THINKING Level of consciousness - will
Rational debate is a discussion about what we should believe. Both sides give arguments for some belief and defend that belief from objections.

Chapter 2 Desire For Knowledge
SPECULATIVE THINKING Level of consciousness - feel
Speculative thinking expresses human curiosity about the world. It transcends experience, but the chapters one-sided views lack experience of the world or the inner connection.

Chapter 3 Thinking in Understanding The World
REFLECTIVE THINKING -Level of consciousness - thought
Reflective thinking is reflection on thinking itself, on the mind and its activities. It is based on contemplation and introspection.

Chapter 4 The World As Perception
REACTIVE THINKING Level of consciousness - perception
Thinking immediately reacts to our observation by adding a preconception, and we consider the object and the preconception as belonging together forming our world of first appearance.

Chapter 5 Knowing The World
CRITICAL THINKING Level of consciousness - concept
We refute our initial impression of the world with critical thinking to discover the concept that corresponds to our perception.

Chapter 6 Individuality
INDEPENDENT THINKING Level of consciousness - mental picture
Independent thinking individualizes the universal concept by forming mental pictures.

Chapter 7 Are There Limits To Cognition?
WHOLISTIC THINKING Level of consciousness - cognition
Wholistic thinking endeavors to remove the limits of cognition in order to integrate all the parts into a whole.

 

 

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How is Rudolf Steiner trending on the web? The Google trend chart below shows him sinking from year to year faster than the Anthroposophical Society. I came to the conclusion in 1989 that unless Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom was presented to the world in a contemporary way it would disappear, but I didn't go as far as predicting the disappearance of Rudolf Steiner. Steiner's work needs a rebirth from outside the Anthroposophical Society as this graph has disqualified them as the rightful heirs of Steiner.* If The Philosophy Of Freedom can be renewed all of his work has a chance, as freedom is the core understanding of his work.

 Movements like Waldorf education may continue but they will become merely another institutionalization of the original living impulse as long as freedom is not understood. A few Waldorf self-appointed authorities already have seized the name "Waldorf" and made themselves its owner to enforce Waldorf dogma.

I have an important message for you if you are waiting for someone else to stand up for freedom. Not enough people are involved at this time to make much difference. Most anthroposophists are better at driving people away with narrow-minded Steiner doctrine than broadening his work. And his work hasn't been presented in a way to make it relevant to daily life.

The good news is that a few dedicated people could make a difference. Dedicated means that the first time you get your feelings hurt you don't quit. It means that the first time you realize how ignorant you are to think you can explain Steiner's principles you have enough courage to keep trying. It means that when you realize nobody else seems to give a damn and you yourself are no guru who can enlighten anybody you keep going. I suppose you have to be the kind of fool who says give me and others freedom or give me nothing.

*The Anthroposophical Society in America has appointed a new position of Director of Development to move the society forward.

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Difficulties in thinking the POF

I am a lazy nature,

I have to pull myself like I'm pulling a huge rock to start thinking the thoughts R. Steiner wrote in his POF

A certain pain-sensation appears

As if something in me says "Not again! Not that! Not that alone activity!"

But then I already know because I already experienced the thinking outside of the physical brain

That clarity, that clear self awareness that I'm weaving thoughts, I, for that I'm coming again.


I warm up with simple concepts like "Freedom". I dig up my memory, my human organization, for traces of what this concept means to me. Like in adolescence, freedom meant being able to go wherever you want, drink alcohol, make love and so on. But than, I try to update the concept to what it really is.

What are your difficulties in thinking the Pof?

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Reasoning Is More Intuitive than We Think



Is reasoning really different from intuition?

Reasoning is often thought of as being the exact opposite of intuitions. A typical example of intuition is the first impression we form when we meet someone new. It comes spontaneously and quickly to mind and, in many cases, we can't quite pinpoint why we think that this guy is nice while this one is likely to be a jerk. By contrast when people think of reasoning they think of, say, solving math problems in the classroom: a slow, effortful, conscious process. People -- Westerners at least -- also think that intuition is often more efficient than reasoning; after all, why go through all that trouble to reason if the result is not any better than intuitions?

Both of them are usually characterized by a list of traits. Intuitions are supposed to be fast, effortless, unconscious, with little reliance on working memory and prone to mistakes and biases. Reasoning is supposed to be slow, effortful, conscious, with a crucial reliance on working memory and able to correct the mistakes and biases of intuitions.

Despite being widespread and indeed quite 'intuitive', I want to argue that this distinction-this opposition in fact-mostly stems from a 'sampling mistake'. While the characterization of intuitions is more or less on spot, that of reasoning relies on a highly artificial use of reasoning. Imagine that you had to characterize memory. You can think of the conscious, strenuous exercise of trying to remember a long string of random numbers. Or you can think of the automatic recollection of how to go to your house or what your name is. Most intuitions can be made to be conscious, effortful, taxing on working memory: reading if you try to decipher some very poor handwriting, visual search if you're looking for a particular face in a large crowd, etc. Yet the basic, simple form of the intuition is what we should focus on: it is the mechanism that makes the more effortful version possible. To be fair to reasoning we should also look at its most simple expression, the smaller step that can still qualify as reasoning.

Margo and Simon disagree about the movie they should see tonight. Simon says: "Last week you picked the movie, so this week it's my turn." Margo replies: "Fair enough, your turn to pick." This exchange is quite trivial, but it still requires reasoning. Simon has to be able to find a reason for why he should be the one deciding which movie to see. Margo has to be able to evaluate this reason and decide it's good enough that she should concede the point.

Looking at this minimal sample of reasoning, we realize that it is in fact very much like an intuition. It happens very quickly: neither Simon nor Margo needs to stop for a few minutes to ponder upon the strength of "Last week you picked the movie, so this week it's my turn." It doesn't take much effort or working memory to garner such an argument, and even less to evaluate it. Importantly, people don't really know why this argument is persuasive. It relies on intuitions of fairness that we can't easily make explicit, and that psychologists are still trying to figure out. Even though the reason is consciously processed, they way it is processed is kept under the hood.

Reasoning is so much like intuition that it's more adequate to say that reasoning is mostly intuitive. Or, rather, that reasoning relies on a set of intuitions: reasoning taps into intuitions about what is a good reason to accept a given conclusion. We have an intuition that if Margo has picked the movie last week, Simon can use that as a reason to pick the movie this week.
The picture of reasoning that is most easily conjured-the strenuous solving of math problems-is misleading. When people reason on their own, reasoning can indeed by slow and effortful. But finding and evaluating reasons comes very spontaneously.

Published on August 17, 2011 by Hugo Mercier in Social by Design

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moral maxim

Can someone give me examples of moral maxims?

I'm trying to understand this paragraph:

"While I am performing the action I am influenced by a moral maxim in so far as it can live in me intuitively; it is bound up with my love  for the objective that I want to realize through my action."

Thanks

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Was Rudolf Steiner An Anarchist?


This is from an 1898 letter from Rudolf Steiner to John Henry Mackay

Individualist Anarchism
Hitherto I have always avoided using even the term “individualist anarchism” or “theoretical anarchism” for my world view. For I put very little stock in such designations. If one speaks one’s views clearly and positively in one’s writings: what is then the need of also designating these views with a convenient word? After all, everyone connects quite definite traditional notions with such a word, which reproduce only imprecisely what the particular personality has to say. I utter my thoughts; I characterize my goals. I myself have no need to name my way of thinking with a customary word.

If, however, I were to say, in the sense in which such things can be decided, whether the term “individualist anarchist” is applicable to me, I would have to answer with an unconditional “Yes.”

The state believes people can only get along if one tells them: you must be like this. And if you are not like that, then you’ll just have to — be like that anyway. The individualist anarchist, on the other hand, holds that the best situation would result if one would give people free way. He has the trust that they would find their direction themselves. Naturally he does not believe that the day after tomorrow there would be no more pickpockets if one would abolish the state tomorrow. But he knows that one cannot by authority and force educate people to freeness. He knows this one thing: one clears the way for the most independent people by doing away with all force and authority.

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This is an original poem by Vivian Rose expressing "Moral Imagination", a term from Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy Of FreedomIt is the use of imagination to translate a general moral principle into a specific goal to be carried out. Free spirits need moral imagination to realize their ideals and make them effective!

Make My Own Way

How you attempt to corner me, you relentlessly passionate sea!
Threatening to lose balance, my little boat
Holds me casually – caring not if I live or drown.
My ineffective dips with this old splintered paddle
create futile whirls that steer and stay no recognizable course.
Maddening helplessness!
Directionless wandering!

Retreating into unconscious fantasy could well numb my tumultuous reality –
Pique my overwhelming interest in rest and gain –
No! I will not, I cannot, be fattened on the bones of desire.

The greater choice, I am compelled to make –
The truer action I am born to take:
To strive, to steer, to stay awake.

From an inward impression a resounding resolve becomes:
I make my own way
… And I do it for you.

Vivian Rose

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Pure Thinking In Everyday Life?


Normally pure thinking is recognized in fields such as mathematics and philosophy. Michael Muschalle makes the point in his "Goethe, Kant and Intuitive Thinking in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Spiritual Activity" that we use pure thinking in every single act of knowledge on a daily basis. Pure thinking is thinking in universal concepts. So the concept "door" that does not refer to a specific door but to all doors in a universal concept.

I examined a recent experience in thinking wondering how I had arrived at a practical idea. I entered a room and a child was seated at a table with crayons who had started a crayon drawing, but the child's attention was being diverted to a pile of small plastic eyes used for gluing onto craft projects. I felt a discomfort as I wanted the child to continue with the art project and not have their attention split between two things.

My attention focused on the drawing and the pile of eyes next to it. My thinking had in mind the pure concept "drawing" next to the pure concept "eyes". Thinking intuition then discovered a relationship between the two, a common element between them which was the pure concept "animal". Animal relates to the drawing because you can draw an animal. Animal relates to eyes because an animal has eyes. This universal link found on the level of pure concepts was particularized in the concrete imagination-picture of drawing an animal and then using glue to attach the plastic eyes to the drawn animal. In this way the child could combine the two separate activities into one craft project.

After making this suggestion a person in the room said, "What a good idea!" By learning about how we get ideas through the study of The Philosophy Of Freedom and observing our thought processes we can experience more useful practical ideas in our everyday life. The ideas may not be that profound but they can improve a day.

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Ethical individualism represents Rudolf Steiner's conception on human freedom. It follows that in Steiner action is free when the action coincides with the motive for that action. This means that action is free when its cause (the motivation which determines such action) is the same as its purpose (the representation of the idea that justifies the action). So, human behavior is free when, not being motivated by other causes, the person behaves by practically applying the idea which justifies that action in his/her own awareness. So, when the human follows his/her own ideas, and applies them, he/she is being free. He also affirms that:

“While I am performing the action I am influenced by a moral maxim in so far as it can live in me intuitively; it is bound up with my love for the objective that I want to realize through my action. I ask no man and no rule, ‘Shall I perform this action?’ — but carry it out as soon as I have grasped the idea of it. […] I have found in myself the ground for my action, namely, my love of the action. I do not work out mentally whether my action is good or bad; I carry it out because I love it. […] Again, I do not ask myself, ‘How would another man act in my position?’ — but I act as I, this particular individuality, find I have occasion to do. […] I feel no compulsion, neither the compulsion of nature which guides me by my instincts, nor the compulsion of the moral commandments, but I want simply to carry out what lies within me.”

Action is performed for the love of one’s own moral maxim, for the moral pleasure of applying such moral maxim, which the individual loves it because it is his/her own idea. Love for one’s own ideas is the affective motivation and intellectual reason; this means to recognize that it is legitimate to behave out of love for applying one’s own ideas, and this way of behaving is the free action. 

It follows that in Steiner, applying one’s own ideas for the sake of applying them, is what defines free action. Free action is performed gratuitously, i.e. it does not expect anything in exchange for performing it, besides satisfying love for applying one’s own ideas. Free action is not anarchical, it is not random, but it is the application of one’s own ideas. Love for behaving in conformity with these ideas is the cause that pushes to their application. The human that performs his/her own moral maxims, because he/she loves the action which is determined by these ideas, he/she is considered free by Rudolf Steiner.
Tudor Georgescu

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Not My Will, But Thy Will Be Done - Really?


Not My Will, But Thy Will Be Done?

Throughout the religious world, including anthroposophy, you hear the words, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” The religious leaders encourage us to submit our own will to obey a higher authority. Many people accept this as sensible considering we all make many bad decisions and the general desire to avoid taking responsibility for choices. After having difficulty reaching the “Divine will”, most then look to some wise human to bestow the Divine wisdom upon them.

POF 10.0 Eventually the conviction dawns on you that your authorities are, at bottom, human beings just as weak as yourself.

Of course the key factor is the “thy will” that should guide us, who or what is it? Anthroposophy will explain it with lofty spiritual theory that will confuse you until you fall back to your innocent childhood faith in higher authority or you won't bother trying to understand it but just accept that it confirms your childhood faith.

How can we mature enough to make our own decisions and take full responsibility for our choices? This begins with clear thinking so we can do our best to act out of our own highest knowing, which is our own highest authority.

The Philosophy Of Freedom has no need for the comfort food of religion, but just describes what it is to be a fully mature human being. Beginning with our particular life situation, we can discover the universal principles at work in it, and then reach our thinking and feeling into the realm of universal ideas to reflect. At this level intuitive insight works better. Its not about obeying “voices” as the lunatic, or gut feelings originating in pizza, but comprehending our insights. These new ideas become ideals when it motivates our action. We take what we have learned in our unbiased refection and imaginatively translate these ideals into specific action.

Because they are "our" insights we will be empowered. If we follow the ideas of another authority (Divine or human) we will lack power and will have to continually fall limply to our knees whining for help. 

When you are ready to remove the extra fluff, you find everything right here, as a responsible human being, what The Philosophy Of Freedom calls an ethical individualist. That's just my opinion.

POF 10.8 The moral laws which the Metaphysician is bound to regard as issuing from a higher power have, according to the upholder of Monism, been conceived by men themselves.

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Steiner's life before his mid-thirties had been a life of the intellect. This was the boy who had surreptitiously read Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) during high school history lessons. Large sections of Steiner's autobiography consist of detailed accounts of his subsequent philosophical reading and thinking.

In 1896 Rudolf Steiner turned his attention to the physical world. He would intentionally focus on his direct perceptions of the present moment. Likewise, he began trying to observe other people exactly as they actually were--in other words, observing without judging.

Over the course of that year, these practices transformed Steiner's way of being with people. He had previously been aloof, intellectually combative, and unable to listen to someone without wanting to argue with them. But now he found it easy, even natural, to be with people just as they were, observing, noting, and learning.

The observational skills thus developed proved useful in his own inner development. He would take quiet moments to observe and reflect on himself with this same objectivity.

Yet disinterested observation proved to be only a first step. In an unexpected turn, Steiner discovered that he now wanted to become more involved in the world. For the first time, he became one passionately engaged in life. His method of tranquil self-observation and contemplation he called his "meditation." Steiner learned clearly to distinguish between his intellectual activity and the underlying perceptions and feelings. While this "meditation" began as an activity he valued on purely intellectual grounds, he soon noted that "meditation became an absolute necessity for my inner life." -Derek Cameron

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