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48407Re: Der Staudi and the real continued

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  • ted.wrinch
    Oct 1, 2011
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      "Thank you for helping me learn a new word ;)"

      You're welcome. My spelling is not the best but in this case I did know the correct one; just I can't see well enough to notice sometimes (I need - well, something like new glasses but I can't get on with varifocals)!

      " Der Staudi can only think in words. Words are like his prison that he can't escape from with his thinking."

      It's hard to understand how someone with such native talent and high intelligence can limit themselves like this but I suspect that you may be right. As the saying goes: be careful what you wish for. And too much money, good looks or intelligence can be a bane as well as a boon.

      "He fails utterly to comprehend the history of ideas"

      Yes. This is partly caused in my view by his aversion to mathematics. Adding to this his apparent inability to experience the inwardness of the ideal, which is necessary to have any understanding of epistemology, points to what I have called his inability to think.

      Thanks for the listening suggestions from the Teaching Company. They sound good and have been on my list of to dos (always too long) since you first mentioned them. I agree that dipping into real history by interesting specialists can be great fun and sometimes enlightening. One of the many things I have appreciated about trying to understand Steiner better down the years is the requirement he makes of one verify what he says, and this has lead down many pathways into history, philosophy literature and etc.


      Ted Wrinch

      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" <elfuncle@...> wrote:
      > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch"
      > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Der Staudi has just confirmed Diana's apecu that thought can only act
      > on that which is revealed to us through our senses.
      > I had to look that word up, and it turns out you may have misspelled it.
      > -- "apercu" means "an immediate estimate or judgment; understanding;
      > insight" according to definition 2. From French; the c is pronounced s:
      > "ah-per-siew" Thank you for helping me learn a new word ;)
      > > This is standard positivism; so much for Der Staudis's claims to
      > 'methodological neutrality' and to keep the 'context of discovery'
      > separate from the 'context of justification'. Caryn Louise has made an
      > apposite posting from Steiner's biography covering Steiner's own early
      > experience of sense-free thinking through the experience of mathematics:
      > >
      > > " In mathematics there
      > > is afforded a system of percepts and concepts which have been reached
      > > independently of any external sense impressions. And yet, said I to
      > myself
      > > constantly at that time, one carries over these perceptions and
      > concepts into
      > > sense-reality and discovers its laws. Through mathematics one learns
      > to
      > > understand the world, and yet in order to do this one must first evoke
      > > mathematics out of the human mind."
      > >
      > > (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/21606)
      > >
      > > Der Staudi, ever the polemicist, has responded to this by attacking
      > Caryn Louise. It's worth remembering that Der Staudi, by his own
      > admission, has no ability at mathematics - and he has disdained such
      > ability on WC - and it seems likely that he simply doesn't understand
      > the notions of idealism, Platonism or any of the other concepts that are
      > allied with the experience described in Steiner's paragraph above.
      > An interesting observation. Because Rudolf Steiner was first of all a
      > mathematician -- he struggled with spelling into early adulthood and
      > detested grammar -- and took his point of departure from the disciplines
      > of mathematics and natural science when forming his epistemological
      > critique of Kant, it's not surprising that der Staudi can't understand
      > any of this. Der Staudi can only think in words. Words are like his
      > prison that he can't escape from with his thinking. So he makes the
      > world of words his playpen. He can twist formulations and semantics to
      > his pleasure, like a sleight of hand, sometimes overtly, most often with
      > great subtlety. He made a comment once, years ago -- in 2004 I think --
      > where he disclosed his dishonesty and trickery when translating selected
      > excerpts from Steiner's works. He talked about finding the right word in
      > English to get the effect one wants (E.i. the meaning desired by the
      > translator, not by the author of the original text).
      > > When Der Staudi talks of 'boiler-plate' references to God and spirit
      > in German Idealism it's likely that he has no idea of what he is talking
      > about.
      > His handicap in this field, his shortcoming with regard to Steiner's
      > texts, is twofold. First off, he has absolutely no comprehension of
      > spiritual concepts. This means that the first and easiest gate to
      > anthroposophy, namely by beginning with an easy-read basic book like
      > "Theosophy" (GA 9), is closed to him. The second gate to anthroposophy
      > is tougher, but more suitable for science-minded, self-dependent
      > critical thinkers and mathematicians. One begins with "Wahrheit und
      > Wissenschaft" (GA 3), which interestingly may be translated either as
      > "Truth and Knowledge" or "Truth and Science" because "zu wissen" means
      > "to know" and "Wissenschaft" means knowledge as well as science.
      > "Wahrheit und Wissenschaft" was Steiner's doctoral thesis and was
      > written as an introduction to the PoF (GA 4), and for a more
      > comprehensive understanding of this approach to science, it's a good
      > idea to start a little further back, with GA 2 (The Theory of Knowledge
      > Implicit in Goethe's World Conception).
      > Both of these major gates to "anthroposophically oriented spiritual
      > science", which is the properly defining phrase for it, are closed to
      > der Staudi. He hasn't bothered to delve into the first of these -- the
      > path beginning with "Theosophy" and then proceeding to say, GA 13 (An
      > Outline of Occult Science), except looking for references to races and
      > racial evolution and so on in order to link this Theosophical lore to
      > Nazism, which is apparently Der Staudi's one and only expertise. This
      > specialization, however, which he would call the history of the
      > anthroposophical movement with particular focus on the 1930's, where he
      > has embarked on an expedition, a life mission or vocatiional calling it
      > would seem, to exhume as many anthroposophically influenced dead Nazis
      > he can find and cram them all into his own Volkswagen Beetle, -- this
      > seems to have hurt his academic career as an historian, because like
      > we've mentioned before, he seems to have no interest in history outside
      > this specialized field (anthroposophical Nazis, Nazi-anthroposophists,
      > anthroposophical holocaust deniers, anti-Semites and racists and so on).
      > So because Der Staudi has no talent for comprehending spiritual science
      > at all, he tries the second gate, the PoF, probably after some
      > anthroposophists brought up epistemology to challenge him on it. (I must
      > repeat that I frankly don't understand why they bother, although I
      > respect and appreciate Frank's reasons for doing so.)
      > Der Staudi could have educated himself on the topic of philosophical
      > history, epistemology, existentialism and so on if he had wanted to --
      > strike that; I mean if he had been able to. He fails utterly to
      > comprehend the history of ideas, and his grasp of epistemology is so
      > totally non-existent that it's weird he doesn't feel embarrased to rant
      > about it while at the same time claiming to be an academic.
      > I've mentioned before that there are som excellent lecture series by top
      > notch historians at The Teaching Company. Lawrence Cahoone gives 36
      > lectures from the dawn of the Enlightenment onwards in a series with the
      > title "Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida
      > <http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=4790>
      > ". Another good one that I haven't been through yet is "Great Minds of
      > the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition
      > <http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=470>
      > ", which consists of 84 lectures by 12 different professors. All of this
      > will give the listener/viewer an excellent grasp of epistemology and
      > related philosophical topics, like existentialism and empiricism -- very
      > useful knowledge to critique Rudolf Steiner's brand of monism. And
      > talking about existentialism, there's a lecture series by professor
      > Robert C. Solomon: "No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life
      > <http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=437>
      > ."
      > Yours for listening and learning perhaps, instead of just reading tons
      > of books that only become jumbled word-toys in one's head?
      > > One similarly has to doubt his competence in his own speciality of
      > history. By Der Staudi's account history consists of the piling up ever
      > larger amounts of facts, which will magically then admit of a more or
      > less correct interpretation.
      > As far as I can see, he's not interested in historical facts. I've been
      > studying antiquity lately, especially the Greek side of it, and there's
      > another dynamite dude they've got at the Teaching Company, John R. Hale.
      > He's not only one of the leading archeologists in the world; he's also a
      > fantastic lecturer, especially on ancient Greece and Rome. I just sat
      > through his 24 series on the Greek-Persian wars (between the 6th and the
      > 4th centuries), and this guy really keeps you glued with your notebook
      > in hand. Here it is: "Greek and Persian Wars
      > <http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=3356>
      > ."
      > > But can this Rankean positivistic historiography ever reveal much of
      > the real in history?
      > I see no positivism or negativism or any other ism in Der Staudi's
      > ramblings. The only thing he's doing is give descriptions of
      > esotericists like they used to do with the old Polish jokes, like how
      > many "Polacks" (an offensive term btw) does it take to change a light
      > bulb and so forth.
      > > It seems unlikely. Peter Ackroyd has recently published volume one of
      > his six volume series on the history of England. A question that he
      > hoped to find an answer to by doing the research for the series was:
      > what made England and the English such an important force in world
      > history? However, in a recent interview he has admitted that the
      > hundreds of volumes of sources that he has in his study and has
      > consulted for this series have not enabled him to answer this question.
      > Instead, history often seems to him to be a series of accidents and
      > random happenings.
      > Der Staudi is not capable of advanced reflections that require or entail
      > self-dependent thinking. How can you rant about sense-free thinking when
      > you can't even practice sense-thinking with your biological brain? Yet
      > that's what he's doing. That's why he writes like a robot, a machine,
      > like Frank says.
      > Tarjei
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