Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)
Steiner was a universal thinker whose insights have inspired many people looking for a deeper, spiritually grounded understanding of the world. His lectures and writings are also the impetus behind Waldorf education, Camphill villages for people in need of special care, biodynamic farming, and numerous other practical endeavors.
At The Nature Institute, we work primarily with Steiner's epistemology and his explication of Goethean methodology in science. Trained as a scientist and philosopher, Steiner edited and provided commentaries for the first edition of Goethe's scientific writings, published in the late 19th century. He saw Goethe's phenomenological approach as an antidote to the one-sided materialist mindset informing the science of his day.
Steiner's clear and radical epistemology, as described in his Philosophy of Freedom (1894) and other works, overcomes a dualistic (subject-object, spirit-matter), onlooker view of the world and supplants it, showing how knowledge is an active process of participation in and interaction with the phenomenal world.
For further investigation, here are some quotes from his work that inspire, challenge, and give us plenty of food for thought.
And here is a short bibliography of some of Steiner's books that are important for our work.
To learn about the Anthroposophical Society, which was founded by Steiner in 1923:
To learn about some of the practical endeavors inspired by Steiner's work, click on a topic below: