Judging Authors

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I was discussing recently with someone how to find truth. The question was how an "ordinary" person could judge whether Steiner was likely correct or incorrect in some of his more far-out descriptions of spiritual beings. It was suggested that we could start with the things we could easily verify, namely how Steiner treats other authors. Is he fair to other authors? That is, in agreeing or disagreeing with another point of view, does he present that which he is opposing in a manner that fairly describes what the original author intended before beginning with his objections? Steiner wrote a considerable amount on philosophy and the history of philosophy (for example, his book "Riddles of Philosophy") so a person knowledgeable about philosophy in general could establish whether Steiner was generally trustworthy by how he treats other philosophers.

This type of test is useful for writers beyond Steiner as well. Take any of his critics, for example. Are they fair to other authors? That is, in agreeing or disagreeing with another point of view, do they present that which they are opposing in a manner that fairly describes what the original author intended before beginning with the objections? Do they pass this basic test of trustworthiness?

1 Comments

andrea said:

Dear Daniel,
just to expand it a little.
In itself Anthroposophy is a cognition's path, based on a peculiar training that is known also as "Living Thinking Path". This path begins with the philosophical and epistemological works by RS, and got its core in the basic exercises described in "Occult Science" and "Knowledge of Higher Worlds". This is the foundation of RS's work (the "how") and it has been the starting point of so maany fellows disciples since 1920's (Unger,Stein,Zeylmans,Colazza,Scaligero,Barfield,Meyer,BenAharon,Kuhlewind etc). In other words. "Anthroposophy is a continuum" and "Anthroposophy is deeply rooted on inner occult experience" are some of the mottos that spring from the above facts.
If the above statements are right we see here how it is difficult to carry on a discussion with people who lacks of this basic standpoint.
Neverthless our web-task, I believe, consists just in the capacity of "translating" the fruits of our path and schooling in every possible language.

So I believe that you're beginning a very important work here.
Ad majora, buddy!

Andrea

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel Hindes published on March 10, 2004 7:54 PM.

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