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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  • The way we think, or the way we pursue knowledge determines the way we pursue morality. This is shown in The Philosophy Of Freedom in the chapter correspondence between Part I and Part II. 

    The RATIONAL THINKING (rational argument) in Chapter 1 Conscious Human Action leads to a RATIONAL MORALITY in Chapter 14 The Individual And The Group.

    The SPECULATIVE THINKING in Chapter 2 Desire For Knowledge leads to a SPECULATIVE MORALITY in Chapter 13 Value Of Life (pursuit of pleasure).

    The REFLECTIVE THINKING in Chapter 3 Thinking leads to a REFLECTIVE MORALITY in Chapter 12 Moral Imagination.

    The REACTIVE THINKING in Chapter 4 World As Perception leads to a REACTIVE MORALITY in Chapter 11 Purpose Of Life.

    The CRITICAL THINKING in Chapter 5 Knowing The World leads to the CRITICAL MORALITY in Chapter 10 (refuting authority).

    The INDEPENDENT THINKING of Chapter 6 Individuality leads to the INDEPENDENT MORALITY (ethical individualism) in Chapter 9.

    The COGNITIVE THINKING in Chapter 7 Limits To Knowledge? leads to the COGNITIVE MORALITY (cognitive personality) in Chapter 8. 

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