Stebbing Summary - Chapter 11

Chapter Summary Of The Philosophy Of Freedom
Rita Stebbing

Chapter 11 World Purpose and Life Purpose (Mankind's Destination)
Chapter 11 shows that this relationship of man to the world's foundation throws a new light on what we understand by purpose. Purpose is seen as applicable only in the sphere of man. To set oneself a purpose it is necessary first to picture to one-self the future deed. Only man does this. The creatures belonging to the kingdoms below man cannot develop themselves consciously and purposefully. They cannot picture to themselves a future deed; they simply unfold according to inner laws. Steiner shows in Chapter 9 that through thinking man makes his own laws by means of which he transforms himself.

In regard to the world above man something different than human purpose holds sway. In that realm thoughts are also deeds. For example, the archetypal plant as Goethe saw it (referred to above) cannot be said to create the plant world according to a set purpose. Rather, the archetypal plant exists as a spiritual reality and wherever the possibility arises it manifests outwardly, i.e., in plants. 

It is pointed out in Chapter 11 that life-purposes which man does not set for himself are “illegitimate assumptions.” Man does not enter upon life's voyage along a fixed route. Circumstances come to meet him, but what he makes of them is left entirely to him. How much of his higher self he makes his own and brings to expression in life is completely in his own hands. Thus he is the maker of his own destiny.

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The Knowledge of Freedom

Chapter 1   Conscious Human Action
Chapter 2   The Fundamental Urge for Knowledge
Chapter 3   Thinking in the Service of Comprehending the World
Chapter 4   The World as Percept
Chapter 5   Attaining Knowledge of the World
Chapter 6   The Human Individuality
Chapter 7   Are There Limits to Knowledge?


The Reality of Freedom
Chapter 8   The Factors of Life
Chapter 9   The Idea of Freedom
Chapter 10  Philosophy of Freedom and Monism
Chapter 11  World Purpose and Life Purpose (Mankind's Destination)
Chapter 12   Moral Imagination (Darwinism and Morality)
Chapter 13  The Value of Life (Pessimism and Optimism)
Chapter 14  Individuality and Type
The Consequences of Monism