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Philosophy of Freedom Topic Index

"The Ethical Individualist does not want to believe, he wants to know. He reads the Philosophy of Freedom with an attitude of scientific inquiry: observe, question, interpret, test, and explain.

The first step is reading comprehension, without preconceptions. As you read, questions will arise. This leads to your interpretation of what Steiner is saying. Test your interpretation with your own inner experience. The final step of scientific inquiry, is to explain your results to others.

Warning! Warning! This book is intentionally written in a way that requires your thinking participation."












1.0 The Question Of Freedom
Is the human being free in thought and action, or inescapably controlled by natural laws?

1.1 Freedom of Indifferent Choice
(support) Neutrally choosing, entirely at will, one or the other of two possible courses of action.
(opposed) There always exists a specific reason to explain why we carry out an action.

1.2 Freedom Of Choice
(support) Make a free choice according to our own wants and preferences.
(opposed) We are not free to desire or not desire arbitrarily.

1.3 Free Necessity Of One's Own Nature
(support) Freedom is to express the necessity of our own nature.
(opposed) However complex, our nature is determined by external causes to act in a fixed and exact way.

1.4 Free From External Influences

(support) We act on an idea only if it is first accepted by our character.
(opposed) An idea is made into a motive according to the 'necessity' of our characterological disposition.

1.5 Action Resulting From Conscious Motive

(support) Rather than blind urge, we act according to a conscious motive.
(opposed) The knower has been separated from the doer. We don’t always do what we know should be done.

1.6 Free When Controlled By Reason

(support) Freedom is to determine one's life and action by purpose and deliberate decisions.
(opposed) A rational decision may emerges in me with the same necessity with which hunger and thirst arise.

1.7 Free To Do As One Wants

(support) To be free does not mean being able to determine what one wants, but being able to do what one wants.
(opposed) If a motive works on me, and I am compelled to follow it because it proves to be the “strongest” of its kind, then the thought of freedom ceases to make any sense.

1.8 Unconditioned Will

(support) Our will is the cause of our movement, the willing itself is unconditioned; it is an absolute beginning (a first cause and not a link in a chain of events).
(opposed) We do not perceive the causes that determine our will, so we believe it is not causally determined at all.

1.9 Knowledge Of The Reason

(support) Freedom is an action of which the reasons are known.
(opposed) What does it mean to know? What is the origin of thought?

1.10 Action Springs From The Heart

(support) Love, compassion, and patriotism are driving forces for action where heart-felt sensibility prevails.
(opposed) The heart and its sensibility do not create the motives of action. The motives have already been established.

1.11 Expression Of Love

(support) Love determines our action.
(opposed) Thought is the father of feeling. Love is based on the thoughts we form of the loved one. The more idealistic these thoughts are, the more blissful is our love.

1.12 Seeing Good Qualities

(support) We see the good qualities of the loved one. Many pass by without noticing these good qualities.
(opposed) What has this person done other than make a mental image of something that hundreds of others have failed to see? Others do not love because they lack the mental image.
CHAPTER 14 [0]

14.0 Group Member

A person bears the general characteristics of the groups to which he belongs.

14.1 Group Characteristics

If we ask why some particular thing about a person is like this or like that, we are referred back from the individual to the genus.

14.2 Generic Medium For Individual Expression

A man develops qualities and activities of his own, and the basis for these we can seek only in the man himself. What is generic in him serves only as a medium in which to express his own individual being.

14.3 Individual Capacities And Inclinations

A man's activity in life is governed by his individual capacities and inclinations, whereas a woman's is supposed to be determined solely by the mere fact that she is a woman.

14.4 Individual Social Decision

What a woman, within her natural limitations, wants to become had better be left to the woman herself to decide.

14.5 Unique Characteristics

Determining the individual according to the laws of his genus ceases where the sphere of freedom (in thinking and acting) begins.

14.6 Intuitive Conceptual Content

The conceptual content which man has to connect with the percept by an act of thinking in order to have the full reality cannot be fixed once and for all and bequeathed ready-made to mankind. The individual must get his concepts through his own intuition.

14.7 Individual Concrete Aims

It is not possible to determine from the general characteristics of man what concrete aims the individual may choose to set himself.

14.8 Individual View And Action

And every kind of study that deals with abstract thoughts and generic concepts is but a preparation for the knowledge we get when a human individuality tells us his way of viewing the world, and for the knowledge we get from the content of his acts of will.

14.9 Emancipation Of Knowing

If we are to understand a free individuality we must take over into our own spirit those concepts by which he determines himself, in their pure form (without mixing our own conceptual content with them).

11.10 Emancipation Of Being

Only to the extent that a man has emancipated himself in this way from all that is generic, does he count as a free spirit within a human community.

14.11 Intuitive Conduct

Only that part of his conduct that springs from his intuitions can have ethical value in the true sense.

14.12 Acceptance By Communities

It is from individual ethical intuitions and their acceptance by human communities that all moral activity of mankind originates.

2.0 Transcending The World Of Phenomena

We search everywhere for what we call the explanation of the facts. We seek something more in things that exceeds what is immediately given to us. This addition we seek splits our whole being into two parts; we become conscious of contrasting with the world. We confront the world as independent beings. The universe appears to us as two contrasting sides: Self and World.

2.1 Materialism

The Materialist tries to understand thoughts by regarding them as a purely physical processes. His belief is that thinking takes place in the brain, much like digestion takes place in the animal organs.

2.2 Spiritualism

The Spiritualist denies Matter (the World) and regards it as merely a product of Mind (the Self).

2.3 Realism

If one would really know the external world, one must look outwards and draw on the fund of experience.

2.4 Idealism

What Fichte has actually accomplished is a magnificent thought-picture of the world, but one without any empirical content.

2.5 Materialistic Idealism

Materialism is right when it explains all world phenomena, including our thoughts, to be the product of purely material processes, but, conversely, Matter and its processes are themselves a product of our thinking.

2.6 Indivisible Unity

The third form of Monism sees the indivisible unity of Matter and Mind in even the simplest physical atom.

2.7 Contrast Ourselves With The World

We first encounter the basic and original polarity in our own consciousness. We are the ones who detach ourselves from the mother soil of Nature and contrast ourselves with the World as Self.

2.8 Nature's Influence

It is true that we have estranged ourselves from Nature; but it is equally true that we feel we are within Nature and belong to her. This can only be due to Nature's influence on us, which also lives in us.

2.9 Knowing Nature Within

We can only find Nature outside us after we first know it within us. What corresponds to Nature within us will be our guide.

2.10 Something More Than “I"

We must come to a point where we can say: Here we are no longer merely 'I', here is something more than 'I'.

2.11 Description Of Consciousness

I have not been concerned with scientific results, but rather with a simple description of what we all experience in our own consciousness. Even those sentences about the attempts to reconcile Mind with the World have only been included to clarify the actual facts.

2.12 Facts Without Interpretation

My concern is not how science has interpreted consciousness, but rather how we experience it hour by hour.
CHAPTER 13 [0]

13.0 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

3.0 Reflective Thinking

The purpose of my reflection is to form concepts of the event. I try to add to the occurrence that runs its course without my participation a second process which takes place in the conceptual sphere. This conceptual process depends on me.

3.1 Observation Of Thought

Thought, as an object of observation, differs essentially from all other objects. I observe the table, and I carry on my thinking about the table, but I do not at the same moment observe this thought. While the observation of things and events, and thinking about them, are everyday occurrences filling my ongoing life, observation of the thought itself is a kind of exceptional state.We must be clear that when we observe thought the same method is applied to it that we normally use for the study of all other objects in the world.

3.2 Formation Of Concept

I am definitely aware that the concept of a thing is formed by my activity, while the feeling of pleasure is produced in me by an object in the same way as, for example, a change is caused in an object by a stone that falls on it.

3.3 Contemplation Of Object

While I am reflecting on the object, I am absorbed in it; my attention is turned to it. To become absorbed in the object is to contemplate by thought.

3.4 Contemplation Of Thought

I can never observe the present thought in which I am actually engaged; only afterward can I make the past experience of my thought process into the object of my present thinking.

3.5 Know Content Of Concept

It is possible to know thought more immediately and more intimately than any other process in the world. Because we produce it ourselves we know the characteristic features of its course and the details of how the process takes place. What can be discovered only indirectly in all other fields of observation, --the relevant context and the relationships between the individual objects-- is known to us immediately in the case of thought. The connection between concepts is clear to me, and is so through the concepts themselves.

3.6 Guided By Content Of Thought

What I observe in studying a thought process is not which process in my brain connects the concept lightning with the concept thunder, but my reason for bringing these two concepts into a specific relationship. Introspection shows that in linking thought with thought I am guided by the content of my thoughts; I am not guided by any physical processes in my brain.

3.7 I Exist As Content Of Thought Activity

My investigation reaches firm ground only when I find an object from that I can derive the meaning of its existence from the object itself. This I am, as a thinker; for I give to my existence the definite, self-determined content of my thought-activity. From here I can go on to ask whether other things exist in the same or in some other way.

3.8 Remain Within Thought

When I observe my own thinking what hovers in the background is nothing but thought, I can remain within the realm of thought.

3.9 Creation Before Knowing

What is impossible with Nature ---creation before knowing--- we achieve with thinking. If we refrain from thinking until we have first gained knowledge of it, then we would never think at all. We must resolutely think straight ahead and only afterward by introspective analysis gain knowledge of what we have done. We ourselves first create the object that we are to observe.

3.10 Principle Of Self-Subsistence

Thought is self-supporting, not dependent on anything else. In thought we have the principle of self-subsistence. Thought can be grasped by thought itself.

3.11 Impartial Consideration Of Thinking

We must first consider thinking in an impartial way, without reference to either a thinking subject or conceived object. Before anything else can be understood, thought must be understood.

3.12 Thought Is A Fact

Thought is a fact, and it is meaningless to speak of the correctness or falsehood of a fact. At most I can have doubts about whether thought is correctly used, just as I can doubt whether a certain tree supplies wood suitable for the making of this or that useful object. To show to what extent the application of thought to the world is right or wrong is precisely the task of this writing.
CHAPTER 12 [0]

12.0 Selection Of Ethical Idea

A free spirit acts according to his impulses, that is, according to intuitions selected from the totality of his world of ideas by thinking. For an unfree spirit, the reason why he singles out a particular intuition from his world of ideas in order to make it the basis of an action, lies in the world of percepts given to him, that is, in his past experiences.

12.1 Concrete Mental Picture

Whenever the impulse for an action is present in a general conceptual form (for example, Thou shalt do good to thy fellow men! Thou shalt live so that thou best promotest thy welfare!) then for each particular case the concrete mental picture of the action must first be found.

12.2 Moral Imagination

The human being produces concrete mental pictures from the sum of his ideas chiefly by means of the imagination. Therefore what the free spirit needs in order to realize his ideas, in order to be effective, is moral imagination.

12.3 Moral Technique

Moral action, in addition to the faculty of having moral ideas (moral intuition) and moral imagination, is the ability to transform the world of percepts without violating the natural laws by which these are connected. This ability is moral technique. It can be learnt in the same sense in which any kind of knowledge can be learnt.

12.4 History Of Moral Ideas

Moral imagination can become objects of knowledge only after they have been produced by the individual. We therefore deal with them as with a natural history of moral ideas.

12.5 Normative Moral Laws

Some people have wanted to maintain the standard-setting (normative) character of moral laws. As a moral being, I am an individual and have laws of my very own.

12.6 Traditional Moral Doctrines

But can we not then make the old a measure for the new? Is not every man compelled to measure the products of his moral imagination by the standard of traditional moral doctrines?

12.7 Ancestral Moral Ideas

However true it is that the moral ideas of the individual have perceptibly developed out of those of his ancestors, it is equally true that the individual is morally barren unless he has moral ideas of his own.

12.8 Supernatural Influence

Monism cannot admit that the moral nature of will is completely accounted for by being traced back to a continuous supernatural influence upon moral life. What happens to man, and in man, through this, becomes a moral element only when, in human experience, it becomes an individual's own.

12.9 Characterization Of Action

The characterizing of an action, whether it is a free one, he must leave to the immediate observation of the action.

12.10 Action Feels Free

If a human being finds that an action is the image of such an ideal intuition, then he feels it to be free. In this characteristic of an action lies its freedom.

12.11 Freedom To Determine Motives

To be free means to be able of one's own accord to determine by moral imagination those mental pictures (motives) which underlie the action. A free being is one who can want what he himself considers right.

12.12 Submission To Others Motives

Not until they would enslave my spirit, drive my motives out of my head, and put their own motives in the place of mine, do they really aim at making me unfree.

4.0 Reactive Thinking

When we see a tree, our thinking reacts to our observation; a conceptual element comes to the object, and we consider the object and the conceptual counterpart as belonging together. Concepts are added to observation.

4.1 Conceptual Search

I first search for the concept that fits my observation. Someone who does not reflect further, observes, and is content to leave it at that. I can never gain the concept by mere observation, no matter how many cases I may observe.

4.2 Conceptual Reference

When I as thinking subject, refer a concept to an object, we must not regard this reference as something purely subjective. It is not the subject that makes the reference, but thinking.

4.3 Conceptual Relationship

Thinking is able to draw threads from one element of observation to another. It connects specific concepts with these elements and in this way brings them into a relationship with each other.

4.4 Correction Of My Picture Of World

Every broadening of the circle of my perceptions compels me to correct the picture I have of the world. We see this in everyday life, as well as in the intellectual development of humankind.

4.5 Mathematical And Qualitative Picture

I should like to call the dependence of my perception-picture on my place of observation, "mathematical", and its dependence on my organization, "qualitative." The first determines the proportions of size and mutual distances of my perceptions, the second their quality. That I see a red surface as red --this qualitative determination-- depends on the organization of my eye.

4.6 Subjective Perception-Picture

The recognition of the subjective character of our perceptions can easily lead to doubt whether anything objective underlies them at all. From this point of view, nothing is left of the perception when we take away the act of perceiving.

4.7 Mental Picture: After-effect Of Observation

When the tree disappears from my field of vision, an after-effect of this process remains in my consciousness: a picture of the tree. This element I call my mental picture, my representation of the tree.

4.8 Mental Picture: My Representation Of The World

The Kantian view limits our knowledge of the world to our mental pictures, not because it is convinced that nothing can exist beyond these mental pictures, but rather it believes us to be so organized that we can only experience the change in our own Self, not the thing-in-itself that causes this change. We do not have direct experience of an independent reality, but only our world of mental pictures

4.9 Mental Picture: What My Organization Transmits

Physics, Physiology, and Psychology seem to teach that our organization is necessary for our perceptions, and that, consequently, we can know nothing except what our organization transmits to us from the things.

4.10 Perceived World Is A Projection Of Soul Qualities

All of the qualities that we perceive in the world are the product of the soul and transferred to the external world. The color is only produced in the soul by means of the brain process. But here I am still not conscious of it; the soul must first transfer the color outward onto a body in the external world. There, on this body, I finally believe I perceive it.

4.11 External Perception Is Mental Picture

Can I say that the perception acts on my soul? I must from now on treat the table, --which I used to believe had an effect on me and produced a mental picture of itself in me-- as being itself a mental picture. The perception does not have an objective continued existence. It is only a modified representation of my own psychological condition. If everything is a mental picture then they could have no effect on each other.

4.12 Objective Existence Of Organism

One's own organism has objective existence. Only my real eye and my real hand could have the mental pictures "sun" and "earth" as their modifications; my mental pictures "eye" and "hand" could not have these mental pictures as modifications.
CHAPTER 11 [0]

11.0 Concept Of Purpose

Overcoming of the concept of purpose in spheres where it does not belong.

11.1 Percept Cause Precedes Percept Effect

The percept of the cause precedes the percept of the effect.

11.2 Conceptual Factor Of Effect

If the effect is to have a real influence upon the cause, it can do so only by means of the conceptual factor.

11.3 Real Influence Of Concept (Action)

A perceptible influence of a concept upon something else is to be observed only in human actions.

11.4 Ideal Connections In Nature

The naïve man knows how he brings an event about and from this he concludes that nature will do it in the same way. In the connections of nature which are purely ideal he finds not only invisible forces but also invisible real purposes.

11.5 Laws Of Nature

Monism looks for laws of nature, but not for purposes of nature.

11.6 Purposes Of Life

Nothing is purposeful except what the human being has first made so, for purposefulness arises only through the realization of an idea.

11.7 Human Destiny

My mission in the world is not predetermined, but is at every moment the one I choose for myself.

11.8 Embodiment Of Ideas

Ideas are realized purposefully only by human beings. Consequently it is not permissible to speak of the embodiment of ideas by history.

11.9 Formative Principle

The formative principle of the totality of nature unfolds and organizes itself.

11.10 Teleology

The theory of purpose maintains that there is a high degree of purpose and plan unmistakably present in the formations and developments of nature.

11.11 Coherence Within Whole

The systematic coherence of the parts of a perceptual whole is simply the ideal coherence of the parts of an ideal whole contained in this perceptual whole.

11.12 Cosmic Being

Wherever there is a systematic linking of cause and effect for our perception, the dualist may assume that we see only the carbon copy of a connection in which the absolute cosmic Being has realized its purposes.

5.0 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Ideal Connections Of Percepts

Thinking alone links all our perceptions to each another and shows them to us in their mutual relationships.

5.12 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.
CHAPTER 10 [0]

10.0 Authoritative Moral Principles

The naïve man is ready to allow his basis for action to be dictated to him as commandments by any man whom he considers wiser or more powerful than himself, or whom he acknowledges for some other reason to be a power over him. In this way there arise, as moral principles, the authority of family, state, society, church and God.

10.1 Mechanical Necessity

If the hypothetically assumed entity is conceived as in itself unthinking, acting according to purely mechanical laws, as materialism would have it, then it must also produce out of itself, by purely mechanical necessity, the human individual with all his characteristic features. I believe myself free; but in fact all my actions are nothing but the result of the material processes which underlie my physical and mental organization.

10.2 Absolute Spiritual Being

Another possibility is that a man may picture the extra-human Absolute that lies behind the world of appearances as a spiritual being. In this case he will also seek the impulse for his actions in a corresponding spiritual force. To this kind of dualist the moral laws appear to be dictated by the Absolute, and all that man has to do is to use his intelligence to find out the decisions of the absolute being and then carry them out.

10.3 Infer The True Reality

As in materialism, so also in one-sided spiritualism, in fact in any kind of metaphysical realism inferring but not experiencing something extra-human as the true reality, freedom is out of the question.

10.4 Necessity Of Imposed Principles

Metaphysical as well as naïve realism, consistently followed out, must deny freedom for one and the same reason: they both see man as doing no more than putting into effect, or carrying out, principles forced (imposed) upon him by necessity.

10.5 Accept Moral Principle

Whoever is incapable of producing moral ideas through intuition must accept them from others.

10.6 Obey External Compulsion

If anyone asserts that the action of a fellow man is done unfreely, then he must identify the thing or the person or the institution within the perceptible world, that has caused the person to act.

10.7 Partly Free

According to the monistic view, then, man's action is partly unfree, partly free. He finds himself to be unfree in the world of percepts, and he realizes within himself the free spirit.

10.8 Higher Thoughts

The moral laws which the metaphysician who works by mere inference must regard as issuing from a higher power, are, for the adherent of monism, thoughts of men.

10.9 Developing Being

Monism sees in man a developing being, and asks whether, in the course of this development, the stage of the free spirit can be reached.

10.10 Discover Self

Monism knows that Nature does not send man forth from her arms ready made as a free spirit, but that she leads him up to a certain stage, from which he continues to develop still as an unfree being, until he comes to the point where he finds his own self.

10.11 Free Moral World Conception

Monism frees the truly moral world conception both from the mundane fetters of naïve moral maxims and from the transcendental moral maxims of the speculative metaphysician.

10.12 Being Free Is Morality

Morality is for the monist a specifically human quality, and spiritual freedom the human way of being moral.

6.0 Independent Thinking

The forces which are at work inside my body are the same as those which exist outside. Therefore I am really identical with the objects; not, however, "I" in so far as I am a perception of myself as subject, but "I" in so far as I am a part of the universal world process. I can discover the common element in both myself and the object through thinking, which relates one to the other by means of concepts.

6.1 Subjective States Of The Perceiving Subject

Those who, from the fact that an electrical process calls forth light in the eye, conclude that what we sense as light is only a mechanical process of motion when outside our organism, forget that they are only passing from one perception to another, and not at all to something lying beyond percepts.

6.2 Concept From My Thought System Connects To Perception

The moment a percept appears in my field of observation, thinking also becomes active through me. An element of my thought system, a definite intuition, a concept, connects itself with the percept.

6.3 Mental Picture Is Individualized Concept

The full reality of a thing is given to us in the moment of observation through the fitting together of concept and perception. By means of a perception, the concept acquires an individualized form, a relationship to this particular perception.

6.4 Sum Of Mental Pictures Is Total Experience

The sum of those things about which I can form mental pictures may be called my total experience.

6.5 Objective Personality

If our personality expressed itself only in cognition, the totality of all that is objective would be given in percept, concept and mental picture.

6.6 Subjective Ego

We are not satisfied merely to refer the percept, by means of thinking, to the concept, but we relate them also to our particular subjectivity, our individual Ego. The expression of this individual relationship is feeling, which manifests itself as pleasure or displeasure.

6.7 Two-Fold Nature: Thinking And Feeling

Thinking is the element through which we take part in the universal cosmic process; feeling is that through which we can withdraw ourselves into the narrow confines of our own being.

6.8 True Individuality

A true individuality will be those who reach up with their feelings to the farthest possible extent into the region of the ideal.

6.9 Forming Mental Pictures

Making mental pictures gives our conceptual life at once an individual stamp.

6.10 Intensity Of Feelings

Each of us combines special feelings, and these in the most varying degrees of intensity, with our perceptions.

6.11 Education Of Feelings

Knowledge of things will go hand in hand with the development and education of the life of feeling.

6.12 Living Concepts

Feeling is the means whereby, in the first instance, concepts gain concrete life.

9.0 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Deeper 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 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.

7.0 Cognitive Thinking

It is due, as we have seen, to our organization that the full, complete reality, including our own selves as subjects, appears at first as a duality. Cognition overcomes this duality by fusing the two elements of reality, the percept and the concept gained by thinking, into the complete thing.

7.1 Assumed World Principle and Experience

It is quite natural that a dualistic thinker should be unable to find the connection between the world principle which he hypothetically assumes and the things given in experience.

7.2 Egohoods Questions and Answers

It is not the world which sets us the questions, but we ourselves. Only when the Egohood has taken the two elements of reality which are indivisibly united in the world and has combined them also for itself, is cognitive satisfaction attained

7.3 Reconcile Familiar Percepts and Concepts

Our cognition is concerned with questions which arise for us through the fact that a sphere of percepts, conditioned by place, time, and our subjective organization, is confronted by a sphere of concepts pointing to the totality of the universe. My task consists in reconciling these two spheres, with both of which I am well acquainted.

7.4 Ideal Reference of Perception to Objective Reality

We can obtain only conceptual representatives of the objectively real.

7.5 Real Principles in addition to Ideal Principles

The ideal principles which thinking discovers seem too airy for the dualist, and he seeks, in addition, real principles with which to support them.

7.6 Real Evidence of Senses in addition to Ideal Evidence

The naïve person demands the real evidence of his senses in addition to the ideal evidence of his thinking.

7.7 Vanishing Perceptions and Ideal Entities

Its realities arise and perish, while what it regards as unreal, in contrast with the real, persists. Hence naïve realism is compelled to acknowledge, in addition to percepts, the existence of something ideal. It must admit entities which cannot be perceived by the senses.

7.8 Perceptible Reality and Imperceptible Reality

Metaphysical realism constructs, in addition to the perceptible reality, an imperceptible reality which it conceives on the analogy of the perceptible one.

7.9 Sum of Perceptions and Laws of Nature

If we reject the untenable part of metaphysical realism, the world presents itself to us as the sum of percepts and their conceptual (ideal) relationships. Monism combines one-sided realism with idealism into a higher unity.

7.10 Separation and Reunion of “I” into World Continuum

Bridging over the antithesis can take place only in the quite specific way that is characteristic of the particular human subject. As soon as the I, which is separated from the world in the act of perceiving, fits itself back into the world continuum through thoughtful contemplation, all further questioning ceases, having been but a consequence of the separation.

7.11 Sum of Effects and Underlying Causes

This is an inference from a sum of effects to the character of the underlying causes. We believe that we can understand the situation well enough from a sufficiently large number of instances to know how the inferred causes will behave in other instances. Such an inference is called an inductive inference.

7.12 Subjective and Objective World Continuum

Through considerations of the process of cognition he is convinced of the existence of an objectively real world continuum, over and above the "subjective" world continuum which is cognizable through percepts and concepts. The nature of this reality he thinks he can determine by inductive inferences from his percepts.

8.0 Cognitive Being

If we call the establishment of such a thought connection an "act of cognition", and the resulting condition of ourself "knowledge", then, assuming the above supposition to be true, we should have to consider ourselves as beings who merely cognize or know.

8.1 Life Of Feeling

The Naïve Realist holds that the personality actually lives more genuinely in the life of feeling than in the purely ideal element of knowledge.

8.2 Perception of Feeling

To begin with, feeling is exactly the same, on the subjective side, as the perception is on the objective side.

8.3 Incomplete Feeling

Feeling is an incomplete reality, which, in the form in which it first appears to us, does not yet contain its second factor, the concept or idea.

8.4 Feeling Of Existence

The concept of self emerges from within the dim feeling of our own existence.

8.5 Cultivation Of Feeling

The cultivation of the life of feeling appears more important than anything else.

8.6 Feeling Knowledge

Attempts to make feeling, rather than knowing, the instrument of knowledge.

8.7 Philosopher Of Feeling

Makes a universal principle out of something that has significance only within one's own personality.

8.8 Mysticism Of Feeling

Wants to raise feeling, which is individual, into a universal principle.

8.9 Willing

The individual relation of our self to what is objective.

8.10 Philosophy Of Will

The will becomes the world-principle of reality.

8.11 Real Experience Of Feeling and Willing

Besides the ideal principle which is accessible to knowledge, there is said to be a real principle which cannot be apprehended by thinking but can yet be experienced in feeling and willing.

8.12 Universal Will

The will as a universal world-process.gnitive Being
If we call the establishment of such a thought connection an "act of cognition", and the resulting condition of ourself "knowledge", then, assuming the above supposition to be true, we should have to consider ourselves as beings who merely cognize or know.

8.1 Life Of Feeling

The Naïve Realist holds that the personality actually lives more genuinely in the life of feeling than in the purely ideal element of knowledge.


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