Anthroposophy (A Fragment): A New Foundation for the Study of Human Nature (CW 45)

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SteinerBooks, 1996 - Psychology - 224 pages
This written attempt to create a spiritual anthropology was found among Rudolf Steiner's unpublished works after his death.

Although fragmentary, this key work on "Anthroposophy" is of enormous interest and importance. It is work whose time has finally arrived. Here are the first steps toward the development of a true psychology of spirit, using a phenomenological approach to the human senses, the life processes, the I-experience, the human form, and the human relationship to higher spiritual worlds. Steiner struggled to express the concepts related in this book, since many of the terms used in neurology, psychology, and cognitive studies did not yet exist in 1910. Since then there has been much progress, and this translation benefits from more than eighty years of development in the study of the human senses, cognition, and, neurology.

Steiner's "Anthroposophy" lies halfway between anthropology and theosophy as a means of studying the human being. On the one hand, anthropology studies the human being through the physical senses using empirical scientific method; theosophy, on the other hand, recognizes the spiritual nature of the human being based on inner experience and attempts to understand human nature within the realm of spirit. Anthroposophy takes the middle way, studying human beings as they present themselves to physical observation while, at the same time, attempting to derive indications of the spiritual foundations of phenomena through a process of "phenomenological intensification." The results of this intensification are extremely important and constitute the first steps toward a truly cognitive psychology.

Included are an introduction by neurologist Dr. James Dyson, an anthroposophic doctor; a foreword by Robert Sardello, co-founder and co-director of The School of Spiritual Psychology; and a translator's preface by Detlef Hardorp.

While not an easy text, Anthroposophy (A Fragment) is essential for understanding Steiner's view of the human body--especially its formation and function in relation to spirit.

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  • Introduction by Dr. James A. Dyson
  • Foreword by Robert Sardello
  • Editor/Co-translator Preface
  • Publisher's Foreword to the 1970 German Edition
  1. The Character of Anthroposophy
  2. The Human Being as a Sensory Organ
  3. The World Underlying the Senses
  4. The Life Processes
  5. Processes in the Inner Human Being
  6. I-Experience
  7. The World Underlying the Sense Organs
  8. The World Underlying the Organs of Life
  9. The Higher Spiritual World
  10. The Human Form
  • Appendices
  • Bibliography

Anthroposophy (A Fragment) is a translation from German of Anthroposophie: Ein Fragment aus dem Jahre 1910 (GA 45).





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About the author (1996)

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe's scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner's multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland. Dr. James A. Dyson, MD, has worked as an anthroposophic physician for nearly 30 years, developing a special interest in the fields of mental health and child development. He was the co-founder, with Dr. Michael Evans, of Park Attwood Clinic in 1979, an anthroposophic residential and out-patient facility, where he continued to practice until 2003. James has also worked as a school doctor for over 20 years in several Steiner-Waldorf Schools in the UK and as a medical adviser in the field of learning disabilities for the Camphill Village Trust and Garvald Centre (Edinburgh). Since leaving Park Attwood Clinic, James has increased his commitments in adult education, where he has established wide experience as a teacher and lecturer in the field of anthroposophic health and social care. He has been a faculty member of the Medical Section Mental Health Seminar (UK) for 20 years and was co-founder of the "Psychosophy Seminar" in USA (2001-2004). Currently his principal professional involvement is as Medical and Educational Adviser to the Hiram Academy, which is developing an accredited staff training for three adult education colleges for young adults with special needs, sponsored by Ruskin Mill Education Trust. He is also currently a visiting contributor to the UK Eurythmy Therapy, Rythmical Massage and Anthroposophic Doctor's Trainings and to the Dorian School of Music Therapy (US). James has a strong commitment to extending current paradigms in the field of anthroposophic psychology and is currently completing a Masters' Degree through the Institute of Psychosynthesis in London.

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