A ground-breaking exploration of Steiner's thought; One of the most important philosophers of the last 150 years; Vast legacy of practical work with world-wide supporters. The Austrian-born philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) created a vast legacy of practical work in Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, Camphill communities for adults and children with special needs, as well as in many other artistic and scientific areas. Underlying all these approaches lay a highly developed system of thought with which Steiner addressed philosophical issues. Many of these issues were also tackled by a number of contemporaries, notably the phenomenological school represented by Edmund Husserl and others. Seeking to clarify his moral thinking which he termed 'ethical individualism', Steiner offered a challenging view of knowledge, not as an abstract and objectified reality, but as a form of relationship between the knower and the known. By this measure, all genuine knowledge is experiential and thus intimately involved with, and capable of changing, the world.
Equally, there is no world 'out there', since every individual is a participant in reality, and there are no morally neutral acts or thoughts. Andrew Welburn presents a fascinating insight into the radical nature of Steiner's thinking. Welburn examines his inheritance of ideas from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, his attempt to break out of Cartesian dualism and Kantian idealism, and his challenge to the conventional framework of European philosophy.
Andrew Welburn taught at the University of London, has been a Fellow of the Warburg Institute and taught at New College, Oxford, until 2005. He is author of The Beginnings of Christianity, and Gnosis: The Mysteries and Christianity.