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The narrowing of epistemology

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  • ted.wrinch
    Following Tarjei s recent observation concerning the brainlessness of much of the discussion in sugar land, Der Staudi has just published what he takes to be a
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 10, 2011
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      Following Tarjei's recent observation concerning the brainlessness of much of the discussion in sugar land, Der Staudi has just published what he takes to be a damning criticism of 'anthroposophical epistemology'. He opens with what is in his view Steiner's problematic notion that we discuss things when we no longer understand them and then moves on to:

      "For Steiner,
      achieving Higher Knowledge makes one privy to "incontestable truths" that can be
      directly "experienced" through "inward contemplation" rather than "studied
      externally," much less examined critically. These same epistemological premises sustain the conspiratorial strands in
      anthroposophical thought, and even help explain the unsettling phenomenon of
      anthroposophist holocaust denial."

      He's enjoying himself so much here, working what he perceives to be the link between holocaust denial and 'anthroposophical epistemology', that he mentions the same point twice more in what is now a standard Der Staudi attack piece. But what we can notice, looking past the polemic, is that he seems to find the notion of 'incontestable truths' that are merely 'inwardly experienced' problematic. He's obviously never tried understanding any maths, where many truths  become clear to the point of certainty merely through seeing them in one's mind's eye - and those who cannot do this cannot do maths, beyond learning the contents by rote. Epistemologically, this is ideal knowledge and both Steiner and Plato have categorised it as being at the lower boundary of the spiritual world. I said during the Ostwald debate that Der Staudi's epistemological statements strongly indicated that he had never experienced this kind of knowledge. It's sad that someone with such limited experience of the mind and such a narrow world view is passing on such prejudices to the young in a teaching role.

      But to return to the opening point of this post: it would indeed indicate a lack of understanding of the principles involved if people needed to discuss whether, say, e to-the-power 2 times pi times i really equalled 1. But it appears that to our aspiring epistemologist over in sugar land this kind of knowledge is completely opaque, even occult!

      T.

      Ted Wrinch
    • elfuncle
      Like I said, they don t know what epistemology is, and from the looks of it they re too intellectually lazy to find out, while at the same time they re
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 10, 2011
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        Like I said, they don't know what epistemology is, and from the looks of it they're too intellectually lazy to find out, while at the same time they're accusing everybody else of intellectual laziness and aversion to reading and to history.

        They keep quoting from Steiner's lectures where he speaks about other things, and they call it his epistemology. I just noticed that "der Staudi" quotes Steiner where he says that when people begin to discuss something, it's because they no longer understand it. He was specifically referring to the sacrament -- "this is my body" -- how this understanding was lost during the middle ages.

        This has nothing to do with Steiner's epistemology, where he challenged Kantianism. It's another shot in the dark by PS to make Steiner's epistemology look stupid, but this is so lame it's highly unlikely to interest anybody outside his very small congregation. He calls himself an historian, but where is his knowledge of the middle ages and the enlightenment to be found, or his take on antiquity?

        Tarjei



        --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@...> wrote:
        >
        > Following Tarjei's recent observation concerning the brainlessness of much of the discussion in sugar land, Der Staudi has just published what he takes to be a damning criticism of 'anthroposophical epistemology'. He opens with what is in his view Steiner's problematic notion that we discuss things when we no longer understand them and then moves on to:
        >
        > "For Steiner,
        > achieving Higher Knowledge makes one privy to "incontestable truths" that can be
        > directly "experienced" through "inward contemplation" rather than "studied
        > externally," much less examined critically. These same epistemological premises sustain the conspiratorial strands in
        > anthroposophical thought, and even help explain the unsettling phenomenon of
        > anthroposophist holocaust denial."
        >
        > He's enjoying himself so much here, working what he perceives to be the link between holocaust denial and 'anthroposophical epistemology', that he mentions the same point twice more in what is now a standard Der Staudi attack piece. But what we can notice, looking past the polemic, is that he seems to find the notion of 'incontestable truths' that are merely 'inwardly experienced' problematic. He's obviously never tried understanding any maths, where many truths  become clear to the point of certainty merely through seeing them in one's mind's eye - and those who cannot do this cannot do maths, beyond learning the contents by rote. Epistemologically, this is ideal knowledge and both Steiner and Plato have categorised it as being at the lower boundary of the spiritual world. I said during the Ostwald debate that Der Staudi's epistemological statements strongly indicated that he had never experienced this kind of knowledge. It's sad that someone with such limited experience of the mind and such a narrow world view is passing on such prejudices to the young in a teaching role.
        >
        > But to return to the opening point of this post: it would indeed indicate a lack of understanding of the principles involved if people needed to discuss whether, say, e to-the-power 2 times pi times i really equalled 1. But it appears that to our aspiring epistemologist over in sugar land this kind of knowledge is completely opaque, even occult!
        >
        > T.
        >
        > Ted Wrinch
        >
      • ted.wrinch
        He calls himself an historian, but where is his knowledge of the middle ages and the enlightenment to be found, or his take on antiquity? That one s puzzled
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 10, 2011
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          "He calls himself an historian, but where is
          his knowledge of the middle ages and the enlightenment to be found, or his take
          on antiquity?"

          That one's puzzled me too for a long time. Sometimes, just for fun (!), I pick an interesting historical topic - most recently John Scotus Erigena - and see if anyone's said anything about it in the years of 'public discussion' that exists over there. Nothing, de nada. Even on topics that do come up - say Kant or Hegel - you never learn anything. This is why I sometimes call it the 'community of unlearning'.

          T.

          Ted Wrinch

          --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" <elfuncle@...> wrote:
          >
          > Like I said, they don't know what epistemology is, and from the looks of it they're too intellectually lazy to find out, while at the same time they're accusing everybody else of intellectual laziness and aversion to reading and to history.
          >
          > They keep quoting from Steiner's lectures where he speaks about other things, and they call it his epistemology. I just noticed that "der Staudi" quotes Steiner where he says that when people begin to discuss something, it's because they no longer understand it. He was specifically referring to the sacrament -- "this is my body" -- how this understanding was lost during the middle ages.
          >
          > This has nothing to do with Steiner's epistemology, where he challenged Kantianism. It's another shot in the dark by PS to make Steiner's epistemology look stupid, but this is so lame it's highly unlikely to interest anybody outside his very small congregation. He calls himself an historian, but where is his knowledge of the middle ages and the enlightenment to be found, or his take on antiquity?
          >
          > Tarjei
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Following Tarjei's recent observation concerning the brainlessness of much of the discussion in sugar land, Der Staudi has just published what he takes to be a damning criticism of 'anthroposophical epistemology'. He opens with what is in his view Steiner's problematic notion that we discuss things when we no longer understand them and then moves on to:
          > >
          > > "For Steiner,
          > > achieving Higher Knowledge makes one privy to "incontestable truths" that can be
          > > directly "experienced" through "inward contemplation" rather than "studied
          > > externally," much less examined critically. These same epistemological premises sustain the conspiratorial strands in
          > > anthroposophical thought, and even help explain the unsettling phenomenon of
          > > anthroposophist holocaust denial."
          > >
          > > He's enjoying himself so much here, working what he perceives to be the link between holocaust denial and 'anthroposophical epistemology', that he mentions the same point twice more in what is now a standard Der Staudi attack piece. But what we can notice, looking past the polemic, is that he seems to find the notion of 'incontestable truths' that are merely 'inwardly experienced' problematic. He's obviously never tried understanding any maths, where many truths  become clear to the point of certainty merely through seeing them in one's mind's eye - and those who cannot do this cannot do maths, beyond learning the contents by rote. Epistemologically, this is ideal knowledge and both Steiner and Plato have categorised it as being at the lower boundary of the spiritual world. I said during the Ostwald debate that Der Staudi's epistemological statements strongly indicated that he had never experienced this kind of knowledge. It's sad that someone with such limited experience of the mind and such a narrow world view is passing on such prejudices to the young in a teaching role.
          > >
          > > But to return to the opening point of this post: it would indeed indicate a lack of understanding of the principles involved if people needed to discuss whether, say, e to-the-power 2 times pi times i really equalled 1. But it appears that to our aspiring epistemologist over in sugar land this kind of knowledge is completely opaque, even occult!
          > >
          > > T.
          > >
          > > Ted Wrinch
          > >
          >
        • elfuncle
          All the rants from that quarter read like a combination of Orwellian Big Brother Newspeak and Goebbels Nazi propaganda against the Jews, with
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 10, 2011
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            All the rants from that quarter read like a combination of Orwellian Big Brother Newspeak and Goebbels' Nazi propaganda against the Jews, with anthroposophists, or "esotericists", in the role Jews played for the Nazis.

            In addition, PS has always had the habit of projecting his own pathologies and shortcomings on his targets. When he says esotericists are confused, it means he's confused and so on. When "they" have an aversion to history and reading, he's confessing his own aversion to history and reading, but there's a dual element involved here, because what seems to frustrate PS is that those he calls "esotericists" are not interested in what he perceives to be his own brilliance and erudition. By ignoring PS, you ignore all academic studies throughout the world -- medicine, astronomy, biology, physics, history, archeology, you name it. By showing little or no interest in Peter Staudenmaier's rants, you ignore truth and learning, and you have an aversion to reading.

            Tarjei

            --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@...> wrote:
            >
            > "He calls himself an historian, but where is
            > his knowledge of the middle ages and the enlightenment to be found, or his take
            > on antiquity?"
            >
            > That one's puzzled me too for a long time. Sometimes, just for fun (!), I pick an interesting historical topic - most recently John Scotus Erigena - and see if anyone's said anything about it in the years of 'public discussion' that exists over there. Nothing, de nada. Even on topics that do come up - say Kant or Hegel - you never learn anything. This is why I sometimes call it the 'community of unlearning'.
            >
            > T.
            >
            > Ted Wrinch
            >
            > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" <elfuncle@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Like I said, they don't know what epistemology is, and from the looks of it they're too intellectually lazy to find out, while at the same time they're accusing everybody else of intellectual laziness and aversion to reading and to history.
            > >
            > > They keep quoting from Steiner's lectures where he speaks about other things, and they call it his epistemology. I just noticed that "der Staudi" quotes Steiner where he says that when people begin to discuss something, it's because they no longer understand it. He was specifically referring to the sacrament -- "this is my body" -- how this understanding was lost during the middle ages.
            > >
            > > This has nothing to do with Steiner's epistemology, where he challenged Kantianism. It's another shot in the dark by PS to make Steiner's epistemology look stupid, but this is so lame it's highly unlikely to interest anybody outside his very small congregation. He calls himself an historian, but where is his knowledge of the middle ages and the enlightenment to be found, or his take on antiquity?
            > >
            > > Tarjei
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Following Tarjei's recent observation concerning the brainlessness of much of the discussion in sugar land, Der Staudi has just published what he takes to be a damning criticism of 'anthroposophical epistemology'. He opens with what is in his view Steiner's problematic notion that we discuss things when we no longer understand them and then moves on to:
            > > >
            > > > "For Steiner,
            > > > achieving Higher Knowledge makes one privy to "incontestable truths" that can be
            > > > directly "experienced" through "inward contemplation" rather than "studied
            > > > externally," much less examined critically. These same epistemological premises sustain the conspiratorial strands in
            > > > anthroposophical thought, and even help explain the unsettling phenomenon of
            > > > anthroposophist holocaust denial."
            > > >
            > > > He's enjoying himself so much here, working what he perceives to be the link between holocaust denial and 'anthroposophical epistemology', that he mentions the same point twice more in what is now a standard Der Staudi attack piece. But what we can notice, looking past the polemic, is that he seems to find the notion of 'incontestable truths' that are merely 'inwardly experienced' problematic. He's obviously never tried understanding any maths, where many truths  become clear to the point of certainty merely through seeing them in one's mind's eye - and those who cannot do this cannot do maths, beyond learning the contents by rote. Epistemologically, this is ideal knowledge and both Steiner and Plato have categorised it as being at the lower boundary of the spiritual world. I said during the Ostwald debate that Der Staudi's epistemological statements strongly indicated that he had never experienced this kind of knowledge. It's sad that someone with such limited experience of the mind and such a narrow world view is passing on such prejudices to the young in a teaching role.
            > > >
            > > > But to return to the opening point of this post: it would indeed indicate a lack of understanding of the principles involved if people needed to discuss whether, say, e to-the-power 2 times pi times i really equalled 1. But it appears that to our aspiring epistemologist over in sugar land this kind of knowledge is completely opaque, even occult!
            > > >
            > > > T.
            > > >
            > > > Ted Wrinch
            > > >
            > >
            >
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