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Chapter 5 Philosophy of Freedom Steiner

Revised 07/01/2010
Copyright © Tom Last 2009-10

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Chapter 07 [0]   reality-based thinking
self  Chapter 08 [0]   ethics of self-knowledge  
 Chapter 06 [0]   independent thinking  
 mental picture 
 Chapter 09 [0]   ethical individualism
 Chapter 05   critical thinking concept  Chapter 10 [0]   ethics of authority
 Chapter 04 [0]   reactive thinking perception  Chapter 11 [0]   ethical naturalism
 Chapter 03 [0]   reflective thinking 
thought  Chapter 12 [0]   ethical norms
 Chapter 02 [0]   one-sided thinking desire  Chapter 13 [0]   ethics of self-gratification 
 Chapter 01 [0]   compelled thinking will  Chapter 14 [0]   group ethics

The Philosophy of Freedom

Chapter 5
Knowing The World

Critical Thinking: Skillful and responsible thinking in which you study the problem from all angles, and then exercise your best judgment to draw conclusions. -dictionary

To the uncritical näive person the perception is the real thing, wholly independent of himself. To the modern critical scientist, the opposite is true; the perception itself is merely subjective.

It must figure in any discussion of the relation of man to the world, not for the sake of refuting others whom one believes to be holding mistaken views about this relation, but because it is necessary to understand the confusion to which every first effort at reflection about such a relation is apt to lead. One needs to refute oneself with respect to their first reflections. -author's addition [0]

Question: How much can we learn about things indirectly, since we cannot observe them directly?

Thought Training Exercise:
PTIT exercise #5 Right Decision [0]

Comments - Questions:
Chapter 5 Discussion Forum [0]
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Summary 1 [0]
Summary 2 [0]
Self-Observation: Critical Thinking [0]
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Critical Thinking [0]

Subliminal Images [0]
How the images we unconsciously absorb can determine our thinking.

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[0]5.0 [0] Critical Thinking
For anyone with the view that the whole perceived world is only a picture called up in my mind and is actually the effect of unknown things acting on my soul, of course the real question of knowledge will not be concerned with the representations that only exist in my soul, but with the things that are independent of us and lie beyond the reach of our consciousness.

5.1 [0] Mental Picture Dream--Waking State
A world of mental pictures might kindle as earnest desire for knowledge to investigate indirectly the world of the I-in-itself. If the things of our experience were "mental pictures", then our everyday life would be like a dream, and the discovery of the true state of affairs would be like waking.

5.2 [0] Any Assertion Is The Result Of Thought
The naïve person accepts life as it is, and regards things as real just as they present themselves in experience. But if we want to make an assertion about anything it requires the help of thought. If my thought does not apply to the world, then this result is false.

5.3 [0] World Produces Thinking
Does not the world produce thinking in the heads of people with the same necessity as it produces the blossom on a plant? Set the plant before yourself. It connects itself, in your mind, with a definite concept. Why should this concept belong any less to the whole plant than leaf and blossom?

5.4 [0] Process Of Becoming
The picture which presents itself to me at any one moment is only a chance cross-section of an object which is in a continual process of development, a process of becoming.

5.5 [0] Indivisible Existence of Concept With Perception
It might be quite possible for a mind to receive the concept at the same time as, and united with, the perception. It would never occur to such a mind that the concept did not belong to the thing. It would have to ascribe to the concept an existence indivisibly bound up with the thing.

5.6 [0] Isolate Sections Of World For Consideration
The human being is a limited being. Only a limited part of the total universe that can be given us at any one time. It is necessary to isolate certain sections of the world and to consider them by themselves.

5.7 [0] Self-Perception, Self-Determination
Self-perception must be distinguished from self-determination by means of thought. My self-perception confines me within certain limits, but my thinking is not concerned with these limits. I am the bearer of an activity which, from a higher sphere, determines my limited existence.

5.8 [0] In Thinking We Are The All One Being
In so far as we sense and feel (and also perceive), we are single beings; in so far as we think, we are the all-one being that pervades everything.

5.9 [0] Objectivity Of The Will
Schopenhauer considers himself entitled by these arguments to find in the human body the "objectivity" of the will. He believes that in the activities of the body he feels an immediate reality -- the thing-in-itself in the concrete.

5.10 [0] Unified World Of Intuitions
What appears to us in observation as separate parts becomes combined, bit by bit, through the coherent, unified world of our intuitions. By thinking we fit together again into one piece all that we have taken apart through perceiving.

5.11 [0] 
Ideal Connections Of Perceptions
Thinking alone links all our perceptions to each another and shows them to us in their mutual relationship.

5.12 [0] Objective Perception
I retain the faculty to produce later on an image of the table. Psychology calls this image a memory-picture. It is in fact the only thing which can justifiably be called the mental picture of the table. The mental picture is, therefore, a subjective percept, in contrast with the objective percept which occurs when the object is present in the field of vision. Confusing the subjective percept with the objective percept leads to the misconception contained in idealism --that the world is my mental picture.

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