The NEW course so far (more to come, new modules posted each week).
Introduction to the Science Of Freedom Study Course
0. THE GOAL OF KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 0 (preface) Modules
1. CONSCIOUS HUMAN ACTION
Chapter 1 Modules
OLD course drafts and examples.
0. THE GOAL OF KNOWLEDGE
1. CONSCIOUS HUMAN ACTION
Chapter 1 Modules (old)
2. THE FUNDAMENTAL DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE
3. THINKING AS THE INSTRUMENT OF KNOWLEDGE
4. THE WORLD AS PERCEPT
5. OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD
6. HUMAN INDIVIDUALITY
7. ARE THERE ANY LIMITS TO KNOWLEDGE?
8. THE FACTORS OF LIFE
Chapter 8 modules
9. THE IDEA OF FREEDOM
Chapter 9 modules
10. FREEDOM PHILOSOPHY AND MONISM
11. WORLD PURPOSE AND LIFE PURPOSE (Human Destiny)
12. MORAL IMAGINATION (Darwinism And Ethics)
13. THE VALUE OF LIFE (Optimism And Pessimism)
14. INDIVIDUALITY AND TYPE
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY COURSE
The Path Of All-Around Development
"The Philosophy Of Freedom sees in the all-around development of the human being, a true individuality who is his own master and the assessor of his own value." TPOF
The study course is designed out of Rudolf Steiner's indications on how to use The Philosophy Of Freedom. What makes this path unique is its holistic approach to human development. It seeks to liberate not just the intellect, but also the emotional and volitional aspects of human nature. The Philosophy Of Freedom describes the path taken by Rudolf Steiner himself in the attainment of freedom. The book serves as a map of the territory to help others find their way.
This study course seeks to be faithful to Steiner's dedication of the book to those who apply it.
"I also know that many of my contemporaries strive to conduct their lives in the direction of the principles I have suggested. To them I dedicate this book." TPOF
If you follow this path Steiner says to expect the following results:
"If you follow the path indicated here, you will attain what you seek to achieve by your imperfect means, and much else besides (and I am convinced that, if one is imbued with The Philosophy of Freedom, one dares to say that) — then light would dawn."
"Humankind must realize how the world would be transformed if the meaning of freedom were understood, freedom not in the sense of license, but freedom born of a free spirit and a firmly disciplined mind. If people understood what freedom and its establishment would signify for the world, then the light which many seek today would lighten the prevailing darkness of our time." Rudolf Steiner
What Is Freedom?
"To carry out a deed in obedience to a law external to the person who acts, is to be unfree. To carry out a deed in obedience to the person’s own law, is to be free. Thus, the process of cognition is the process for the development of freedom." Rudolf Steiner, Truth And Science
This quote captures the essence of Steiner's concept of freedom: the difference between following external laws and adhering to one's own internalized principles. Steiner differentiates between external laws that are dictated by society, culture, or physical realities, and an individual's "own law" — the set of values and principles that one has consciously developed. Acting in accordance with external laws is termed by Steiner as a state of 'unfreedom.' Conversely, the ability to act based on one's own principles epitomizes true freedom.
The Task Of Self-Development
"To transform the unfree realm into the realm of free activity is the task of self-development for every individual, as well as the task of humanity as a whole."
The task of self-development is to transform the unfree realm to the free realm. Each study course module features a 'Step To Freedom' describing an unfree state that is to be transformed to a free state. This presents a step by step path to freedom accessible to anyone willing to make the effort.
The Role of Cognition in Freedom
The path to freedom is a path of cognitive development. This is because cognition – the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses – is what enables an individual to know; critically analyze external laws, form personal convictions, and consciously decide to act in accordance with their "own law". The intention is to act out of knowledge. Steiner notes,
"Once we know what to make of the world, it will be an easy task to orient ourselves within it. We can act with our full strength and conviction only when we understand the things to which we direct our activity." TPOF
The first seven chapters of The Philosophy of Freedom delve into cognitive processes to elucidate their significance in the attainment of freedom. Steiner explores aspects of human cognition such as willing, feeling, thinking, perception, conception, and ideation, offering insights into how each can be emancipated to enable a truer understanding of the world.
Developing an Ethical Individualist
The underlying objective of this in-depth cognitive inquiry is to pave the way for the development of an Ethical Individualist. It is a journey that requires a profound understanding of both the external world and oneself — a prerequisite for achieving the state of freedom that Steiner advocates for. By engaging with the 'Steps To Freedom', participants in this study course are doing more than just reading philosophy; they are actively transforming themselves into free spirits.