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Re: [steiner] The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, Ch. 6

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    Since no one else took Ch. 6 tonight, I ll fill in again. Steiner started us out by saying the answer to the question of whether we can be free or not hinges
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 30, 2001
      Since no one else took Ch. 6 tonight, I'll fill in again.

      Steiner started us out by saying the answer to the question of whether we
      can be free or not hinges on the answer to the question, Can we actually know
      ourselves? Then he showed in Ch. 2 that knowing means going beyond what
      Nature passively gives to us, because we don't just observe but also think;
      then in Ch. 3 that the observation of our own thinking is a different kind of
      observation, because then we observe what we ourselves create and know it
      from within, making this the only sure starting point, not perception. In Ch.
      4 and 5 he develops his explanation of how our consciousness works in detail:
      just as our senses give us perceptions, we draw concepts from the ideal world
      by intuition and match these to them. Knowing a thing means combining the
      concept and the perception. Human consciousness is the field on which these
      join.
      In Ch. 6 he continues this: when we connect a concept to a particular
      perception we make a "representation" or mental picture of it. Our mental
      pictures are thus individualized concepts. "My concept of a lion is not
      formed out of my perceptions of lions. But my REPRESENTATION of a lion is
      indeed formed according to my perception." This points to the difference
      between true thinking and the mere 'having of thought-images'.

      In this chapter Steiner describes 4 levels of cognition in this implicit
      scheme:
      Intuition--------------gives us concepts
      Representation-----gives us mental pictures or representations
      Observation---------gives us perceptions
      Feeling---------------gives concepts life, relates our individual self to our
      knowledge.

      With this now worked out, in the next chapter he is ready to answer the
      question of how limited our knowing is or is not, which completes the first
      half of the book.

      Starman
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