Translation Principles

Submitted by Tom Last on Sat, 09/26/2009 - 2:08pm.

Translation Project: Revise the original 1916 Hoernle English translation for better clarity and to make the text and style more contemporary while maintaining accuracy. This is the only English translation of The Philosophy of Freedom Rudolf Steiner personally authorized and was aware of. The other translations were done after his passing.

Some Thoughts
The Philosophy of Freedom is the "result of introspective observation following the methods of natural science."

Chapter 3 "Whatever principle we wish to advance, we must either prove that we have observed it somewhere, or we must express it in the form of a clear thought that can be re-thought by others."

  • descriptions of observations
  • clear thought

"It is written for the express purpose of disciplining thinking without any mention of theosophy."

  • the original Hoernle translation does not use the theosophy terms added later by others

"In 1894 I made the attempt with my Philosophy of Freedom to provide just such a philosophic basis on which to approach spiritual science. It presents the wide range of human standpoints, often masquerading under such strange philosophical names, in a way that leaves the reader free of attachment to any particular approach and able to let the various concepts speak for themselves, as though each were a photograph of one and the same object taken from many different angles."

  • Each chapter has an opening topic heading (0), followed by topic headings (1-12). I would like the opening topic heading indicate the whole chapter topic and have the following 12 headings indicate a different view of a single main topic. So in chapter 1 the opening topic heading is Question of Freedom followed by 12 views of freedom.

"Today I would like to describe the path into the spiritual world that conforms to the needs of Western civilization and is particularly suited to anyone immersed in the scientific life of the West.
In my book, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment, I have described an entirely safe path leading to the supersensible, but I describe it in such a way that it applies for everybody, above all for those who have not devoted their lives to science. Today I shall describe a path into the supersensible that is much more for the scientist. All my experience has taught me that for such a scientist a kind of precondition for this cognitional striving is to take up what is presented in my book, Philosophy of Freedom. I will explain what I mean by this. This book, Philosophy of Freedom, was not written with the same intent as most books written today. Nowadays books are written simply in order to inform the reader of the book's subject matter, so that the reader learns the book's contents in accordance with his education, his scientific training, or the special knowledge he already possesses. This was not my primary Intention in writing Philosophy of Freedom, and thus it will not be popular with those who read books only to acquire Information. The purpose of the book is to make the reader directly engage his thinking activity an every page."

  • conforms to the needs of Western civilization
  • suited to anyone immersed in the scientific life of the West
  • make the reader directly engage his thinking activity an every page