Tom Last's journal

Translation Chart

Submitted by Tom Last on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 10:22am.

A Conversation With Dr. Steiner

Submitted by Tom Last on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 4:36pm.

The dialogue approach is an interesting way to present The Philosophy of Freedom. With Steiner presenting 12 views in each chapter along with his ongoing commentary it works well as a conversation between Steiner and 12 characters representing the 12 views. I am writing a chapter 1 conversation between Steiner and these 12 characters for a slide video.

Science Presentation of POF

Submitted by Tom Last on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 11:31am.

“What I was really trying to do in The Philosophy of Freedom was to locate freedom empirically and thus put it on a solidly scientific basis.” Rudolf Steiner

empirical: Verifiable or provable by means of observation. The Philosophy of Freedom is the result of introspective observation following the methods of natural science.

This view completely justifies the idea of free will, provided only that we have first discovered that region of the mind in which free will can unfold itself. 1918 Preface POF

I am wondering how to do a science project with The Philosophy of Freedom that will focus on identifying the region of the mind where freedom unfolds. I would consider this to be pure thinking as described in POF as I have found this place to be a fountain of intuition. This is the place where the advances in science have come from the thinkers of our day, the computer technology and science minded people who work out of pure conceptual thinking. But science limits their realm of concepts to particular narrow fields. POF mostly identifies places that are not this place on a journey to this place.

Steiner already did the science by naming and describing things, so it just needs to be presented in a new form or summarized and organized in a different way. Any suggestions?

Thinking in the Service of ???

Submitted by Tom Last on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 12:38pm.

What is the best English title for chapter 3?
DENKEN: thought, thinking DIENSTE: service
WELTAUFFASSUNG: world-view---  WELT: world AUFFASSUNG: perception, conception, view, understanding

Chapter 3 mainly compares thinking and thought to other things and concludes it is special. 3-1 "But thought, as an object of observation, differs essentially from all other things." It establishes that thinking is always correct in itself but may not always be correctly applied or may not even tell us anything of the world. Later chapters will cover this. 3-12 "I can understand someone doubting whether we can determine anything about the world by means of thinking, but I find it incomprehensible that anyone can doubt the correctness of thinking in itself." If this chapter ends with not being sure we can understand anything about the world with thinking, how can you give it the title; Thinking in the service of Understanding the World? Our thinking may be correct but we may have the wrong concepts, 3-5 I know immediately, from the content of the two concepts, why my thinking connects the concept of thunder with the concept lightning. This, of course, does not depend at all on whether I have the right concepts of lightning and thunder.

How does thinking serve the world in this chapter; world-understanding, world-knowledge, world-comprehension, world-apprehension, or world-view?
In this chapter we have doubts whether

Introspection: Study of Perception

Submitted by Tom Last on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 8:37am.

In chapter 4 it is pointed out how advances in modern external observation can work with internal introspective observation in the study of the perception processes. Today cognitive science has made progress up to the brain with many instruments measuring, scanning, and piercing the brain but research seems to end there. Further progress requires introspection research to study how we build up objects by referring concepts to things.  

4-11 I am in a position to follow the processes taking place in my organism up to those in the brain, even though my assumptions become more and more hypothetical the closer I come to the central processes in the brain. The method of external observation ends with the brain processes, more precisely, it ends with what I would observe if I examine the brain with the help of the instruments and methods of Physics, Chemistry, and so forth. The method of inner observation, or introspection, begins with the sensation and extends to include the construction of things out of the material of sense-data.

A Remedy For The 'Dumbing Down' Phenomenon

Submitted by Tom Last on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 9:46pm.

Is Daniel Dennett's Free Will 'Free'?

Submitted by Tom Last on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 2:59pm.

What if your kindergartener was labeled as a future psychopath?

Submitted by Tom Last on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 5:42pm.
How would you like to find out that your kindergarten child has been identified as having a “biological predispositions to behavior problems” based upon low-seated ears...

POF Text Book Format

Submitted by Tom Last on Sun, 12/09/2007 - 12:08pm.

This is a moderated discussion of the work group writing a Philosophy of Freedom text book.