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Pages – 304
Available Formats – EPUB and EPUB
Book Name – Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path
Author – Rudolf Steiner
Inside this book – For one and the same reason, naive and metaphysical realism must both logically deny freedom. Both see in human beings merely executors of principles that have been necessarily imposed upon them. Naive realism kills freedom through subjection to the authority of a perceptible being, to a being thought of as analogous to a percept or, finally, to the abstract inner voice that it interprets as conscience. Metaphysical realists, who merely infer something extra-human, cannot acknowledge freedom because they see human beings as determined, mechanically or morally, by a “being-in-itself.”
Because it acknowledges the validity of the world of percepts, monism must acknowledge the partial validity of naive realism. Anyone incapable of producing moral ideas through intuition must receive them from others. To the extent that humans receive their ethical principles from without, they are in fact unfree. But monism ascribes equal significance to ideas and to percepts. Ideas, however, can become manifest in human individuals. To the extent that human beings obey impulses from that side, they feel themselves to be free. But monism denies any validity to a merely inferential metaphysics, and therefore also to impulses to action deriving from so-called “beings-in-themselves.” According to the monistic view, human beings can act unfreely if they obey perceptible, external compulsion; they can act freely if they only obey themselves. But monism cannot acknowledge an unconscious compulsion lying behind both percepts.
Inside this book
Is a human being spiritually free, or subject to the iron necessity of purely natural law? Few questions have excited so much ingenuity. The idea of the freedom of the human will has found both sanguine supporters and stiffnecked opponents in plenty. There are those who, in their moral zeal, cast aspersions on the intellect of anyone who can deny so obvious afact as freedom. They are opposed by others who see the acme of unscientific thinking in the belief that the lawfulness of nature fails to apply to the area of human action and thinking. One and the same thing is explained equally often as the most precious possession of humankind and as its worst illusion. Infinite subtlety has been expended to explain how human freedom is consistent with the workings of nature of which, after all, human beings are also a part. No less effort has gone into the attempt from the other side to explain how such a delusion could ever have arisen. All but the most superficial thinkers feel that we have to do here with one of the most important questions of life, religion,