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Chapter 13 Philosophy of Freedom Steiner

Revised 05/17/2009
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 [0]   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   ethics of self-gratification 
 Chapter 01 [0]   compelled thinking will  Chapter 14 [0]   group ethics

The Philosophy of Freedom

Chapter 13
The Value Of Life
(Pessimism and Optimism)

Ethical Achievement: True morality not in what brings about the agreement of an act of will with a standard of behavior in an external way, but in what arises in the human being when he develops his moral will as an integral part of his whole being so that to do what is not moral appears to him as a stunting and crippling of his nature. -author's addition
Question: Do you find the world stimulating us to co-operative participation or stifling our wishes and needs?

Comments - Questions:
Chapter 13 Discussion Forum [0]
Rita Stebbing [0]
Summary 1 [0]
Summary 2 [0]
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Textbook [0]
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P2 Pursuit of Happiness [0]

P3 What is our Highest Pleasure? [0]

[0]13.0 [0] Optimist or Pessimist?
One view says that this world is the best that could conceivably exist, and that to live and to act in it is a blessing of untold value. The other view maintains that life is full of misery and want; everywhere pain outweighs pleasure, sorrow outweighs joy.

13.1 [0] Best Possible World (cooperative participation)
The world is the best of all possible worlds. A better world is impossible for God is good and wise. From this optimistic standpoint, then, life is worth living. It must stimulate us to co-operative participation.

13.2 [0] Pain Of Striving (universal idleness)
Eternal striving, ceaseless craving for satisfaction which is ever beyond reach, this is the fundamental characteristic of all active will. For no sooner is one goal attained, than a fresh need springs up, and so on. Schopenhauer's pessimism leads to complete inactivity; his moral aim is universal idleness.

13.3 [0] Pain Outweighs Pleasure (unselfish service)
The human being has to permeate his whole being with the recognition that the pursuit of individual satisfaction (egoism) is a folly, and that he ought to be guided solely by the task of dedicating himself to the progress of the world. Hartmann's pessimism leads us to activity devoted to a sublime task.

13.4 [0] Pleasure Of Striving (future goal)
Striving (desiring) in itself gives pleasure. Who does not know the enjoyment given by the hope of a remote but intensely desired goal?

13.5 [0] Quantity Of Pleasure (rational estimation of feeling)
What is the right method for comparing the sum of pleasure to pain? Eduard von Hartmann believes that it is reason that holds the scales.

13.6 [0] Quality Of Pleasure (critical examination of feeling)
If we strike out feelings from the pleasure side of the balance on the ground that they are attached to objects which turn out to have been illusory, we make the value of life dependent not on the quantity but on the quality of pleasure, and this, in turn, on the value of the objects which cause the pleasure.

13.7 [0] Pursuit Of Pleasure (hopelessness of egotism)
If the quantity of pain in a person's life became at any time so great that no hope of future pleasure (credit) could help him to get over the pain, then the bankruptcy of life's business would inevitably follow.

13.8 [0] Value Of Pleasure (satisfaction of needs)
The magnitude of pleasure is related to the degree of my need. If I am hungry enough for two pieces of bread and can only get one, the pleasure I derive from it had only half the value it would have had if the eating of it has satisfied my hunger.

13.9 [0] Will For Pleasure (intensity of desire for goal)
The question is not at all whether there is a surplus of pleasure or of pain, but whether the will for pleasure is strong enough to overcome the pain.

13.10 [0] Magnitude Of Pleasure (amusement)
If it is only a question whether, after the day's work, I am to amuse myself by a game or by light conversation, and if I am totally indifferent to what I do as long as it serves the purpose, then I simply ask myself: What gives me the greatest surplus of pleasure?

13.11 [0]
Highest Pleasure (realization of ethical ideal)
Moral ideals spring from the moral imagination of man. They are his intuitions, the driving forces which his spirit harnesses; he wants them, because their realization is his highest pleasure.

13.12 [0] Joy Of Achievement (measure achievement against aims)
He acts as he wants to act, that is, in accordance with the standard of his ethical intuitions; and he finds in the achievement of what he wants the true enjoyment of life. He determines the value of life by measuring achievements against aims.

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