Published on www.philosophyoffreedom.com (http://philosophyoffreedom.org)

Chapter 9 Philosophy of Freedom Steiner

Revised 05/08/2009
Copyright © Tom Last 2009

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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   ethical individualism
 Chapter 05 [0]   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 9
The Idea of Spiritual Activity


Ethics of Individual Insight: How we act will depend on the way our capacity for intuition works in a given situation. To what extent do we put our intuitive ideas into action?

Question: In what ways does individual intuitive impulse express itself?

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Part 1
Experience
of Free Will
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Motive and
Driving Force
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Four Levels of
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Part 4
Four Levels of
Motive
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Part 5
Capacity for
Moral Intuition
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Part 6
Situational Ethics
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[0]9.0 [0] Self-Supported Being
When we observe our thinking, we live during this observation directly within a self-supporting, spiritual web of being. Intuition is the conscious experience -- in pure spirit -- of a purely spiritual content. Only through an intuition can the essence of thinking be grasped.

9.1 [0] Psyche-Physical Organization
The psyche-physical organization contributes nothing to the essential nature of thinking, but recedes whenever the activity of thinking makes its appearance; it suspends its own activity, it yields ground; and on the ground thus left empty, the thinking appears.

9.2 [0] Ego-Consciousness
The "I" is to be found within the thinking; the "ego-consciousness" arises through the traces which the activity of thinking engraves upon our general consciousness.

9.3 [0] Characterological Disposition
The characterological disposition is formed by the more or less permanent content of our subjective life, that is, by the content of our mental pictures and feelings. It is determined especially by my life of feeling.

9.4 [0] Levels Of Morality
The conceptual factor, or motive, is the momentary determining factor of the will; the driving force is the permanent determining factor of the individual. The levels of driving force are: instinct, feelings, thinking and forming mental pictures, and conceptual thinking. The levels of motive are egoism, moral authority, moral insight, and conceptual intuition.

9.5 [0] Moral Intuition
Among the levels of characterological disposition, we have singled out as the highest the one that works as pure thinking or practical reason. Among the motives, we have singled out conceptual intuition as the highest. On closer inspection it will at once be seen that at this level of morality driving force and motive coincide.

9.6 [0] Moral Motive
How can an action be individually made to fit the special case and the special situation, and yet at the same time be determined by intuition in a purely ideal way? This objection rests upon a confusion of the moral motive with the perceptible content of an action. Of course, my "I" takes notice of these perceptual contents, but it does not allow itself to be determined by them.

9.7 [0] Ethical Individualism
The sum of ideas which are effective in us, the concrete content of our intuitions, constitutes what is individual in each of us. To let this content express itself in life is both the highest moral driving force and the highest motive a man can have. We may call this point of view ethical individualism.

9.8 [0] Love Of Action
While I am performing the action I am influenced by a moral maxim in so far as it can live in me intuitively; it is bound up with my love for the objective that I want to realize through my action. I do not work out mentally whether my action is good or bad; I carry it out because I love it.

9.9 [0] Character Of Will
If we want to understand the nature of the human will, we must distinguish between the path which leads this will to a certain degree of development and the unique character which the will assumes as it approaches this goal. On the path towards this goal the standards play their rightful part.

9.10 [0] Harmony Of Intentions
I differ from my fellow man, not at all because we are living in two entirely different spiritual worlds, but because from the world of ideas common to us both we receive different intuitions. The free man lives in confidence that he and any other free man belong to one spiritual world, and that their intentions will harmonize.

9.11 [0]
Concept of the Free Human Being
There are many who will say that the concept of the free man which I have here developed is a chimera nowhere to be found in practice. Yet in each of us there dwells a deeper being in which the free man finds expression.

9.12 [0] Moral World Order
The human individual is the source of all morality and the centre of earthly life. State and society exist only because they have arisen as a necessary consequence of the life of individuals. The individual would become stunted if he led an isolated existence outside human society. Indeed, this is just why the social order arises, so that it may in turn react favorably upon the individual.



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