Talk:The Philosophy of Freedom

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Philosophy of Freedom/Archive

List of philosophers cited[edit]

Is it really desirable to list every philosopher cited in the PoF? Can we trim the list to just those who are important sources and leave off those who are merely briefly mentioned? HGilbert (talk) 16:40, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

All those mentioned in the article are significantly notable in their own right, and were specifically selected by Steiner in this work for reasons which he, the author, must have considered significantly relevant to it. What editor of this article is competent to decide which to omit, if any, without POV or SYN? Let Steiner speak for himself. He mentioned many others in "Riddles of Philosophy".[1] --Qexigator (talk) 16:57, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
OK -- but some are critiqued, some praised, some are irrelevant. I have moved the whole list to a later section. HGilbert (talk) 17:25, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Brentano's pupils[edit]

If Brentano's pupils included Edmund Husserl and Alexius Meinong, is that sufficient for either of them to be linked as a "see also", without any other mention in the article, in PoF or in Steiner's Riddles of Philosophy? Qexigator (talk) 11:55, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, yes, actually. Wikipedia:Guide_to_layout#See_also_section says The links in the "See also" section do not have to be directly related to the topic of the article because one purpose of "See also" links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics. Please restore these links. HGilbert (talk) 16:42, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, no, not without something more, which so far has not been supplied. Mention of the general guidance is not sufficient to justify any particular application. In this case, if there is nothing more to connect PoF with the philosophical work of Husserl, an interested reader is better advised to make the link first to Brentano and follow up the further biographical information about Husserl if so inclined. It is no help to advise "See also" if there is no indication of the connection that can be seen, either in the article making the link or in the one linked, or indirectly in a source. And what reason is there for singling out Situational ethics and advising a reader to look there, as if there were some discernible and notable connection with PoF. Is it proposed that PoF should be added as "See also" in the Situational ethics article? But I see nothing there that claims to be connected with PoF, directly or indirectly. Qexigator (talk) 16:07, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
What don't you understand about "The links in the "See also" section do not have to be directly related to the topic of the article because one purpose of "See also" links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics."? This is WP policy. HGilbert (talk) 17:18, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Are you not aware that what matters is discriminating application, and not repetition of general guidance while avoiding the merits of points under discussion. Why is a person or topic to be singled out for "see also", from, in this case, an almost endless list of other possibles for casually or tangentially naming, according to anyone's point of view or synthesis of information of which that person happens to have knowledge? If you have anything useful to say about that, please do. Qexigator (talk) 17:31, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Because his ethics is clearly an example of situational ethics, which merely means that the ethical principles are to be adapted to the situation at hand, rather than being absolutes. The whole idea of moral imagination is exactly this. See this if you don't believe me. (That's not meant to be a citeable source, just an indication that this is a more widely accepted relationship.) HGilbert (talk) 21:12, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
As far as Husserl goes, they were both phenomenological philosophers building in similar ways on German idealist philosophy; see the citation I placed on the page and Alessandro Di Grazia's Osservazioni sulla nozione di Io in Rudolf Steiner e Edmund Husserl HGilbert (talk) 21:34, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Given the above, the article's encyclopedic character could be improved by inserting (without further comment):
Fletcher has nothing to do with this.

I don't see that it deserves a place in the article, the See Also link suffices. HGilbert (talk) 02:46, 15 March 2014 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

The link to situational ethics mentions Fletcher in the first line. If that has nothing to do with it, then the link should not be there at all. It is no better than random "noise", which, of course, should not be said of Husserl. Qexigator (talk) 07:32, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
The article on situational ethics needs work -- the theme is not specific to Fletcher; see any other reference on the theme. That's a separate problem, however.
I've added a citation, though you really need to comprehend the meaning of do not have to be directly related to the topic of the article. HGilbert (talk) 16:56, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you are again mistaken. One who is prone to impute to those who differ a deficient understanding on such a point in such a way could do better to reflect more carefully. Bolding does not help your case, with which I do not concur. Unintentionally, you are expressing yourself as if the sole authority or arbiter, and this is not helpful to improving the article. It may be that another's ongoing edits will ere long eliminate the need for the edits which, for the reasons above and below, I am minded to make. The link to the current version of the situational ethics article was plainly wrong and should not have been put back. Qexigator (talk) 21:01, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

"situational ethics" and PoF[edit]

The best I could find by Googlesearch (situational ethics rudolf steiner), given that Wikipedia is essentially an open access website, was American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner: Emerson, Thoreau, Peirce, James ... edited by Robert A. McDermott[2] If there is none better, this could be added as an External link instead of the "See also" going to Fletcher. Also Rudolf Steiner: Herald of a New Epoch By Stewart Copinger Easton[3] --Qexigator (talk) 08:56, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

An editor who has drawn attention to the total inadequacy of the article on "situational ethics" so far as this article on PoF is concerned, seems to think that simply adding a reference to chapter 9 of PoF is sufficient to avoid confusing or misleading a reader. It seems fairly clear that it is not, and if anything adds to the problem. The reader, who is being informed about the content of the book in its historical context, presumably lacks prior knowledge of all or most of the article content, and care should be taken not to assume otherwise, and not to assume such prior knowledge of "situational ethics" and its relevance as that editor seems to possess. Nor can a reader's prior knowledge of or commitment to "situational ethics" be assumed.

In the pdf linked (annotated) edition, the chapter, The Idea of Freedom, starts at (print) page 135, in Part II: Practice. Let us assume that a reader, interested in Steiner's PoF, wishes to follow up the information in the article by making the link and perusing Chapter 9. Would not a reader expect to find there "situational ethics" in the author's text and notes (as translated) or in an editor's later annotation, explaining this anachronistic expression in relation to PoF? Such a reader could find a helpful annotation about Kreyenbuhl, but nothing about "situational ethics" as such. The reader ends up not knowing why s/he had been induced to go there by the "see also" link. A careful reader could draw the conclusion that this chapter, in this book, is a refutation of what has come to be termed "situational ethics", per Fletcher or others. Is that what this "see also link" is aiming at, or is it the intention to obfuscate the purport of PoF? Is there a reliable source either way? Or is this merely the intrusion of POV? Editors here will be aware that PoF is about "freedom" in a more than usually elevated meaning, or "spiritual activity", not the sort of ethics normally connected with the term "situational". The word PoF used was "intuition". Qexigator (talk) 21:10, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

It can be seen that the "situational ethics" link was made when the PoF article was building, in May 2008[4], apparently without noticing that the linked article was not suited to the content of PoF as such, which included "Steiner then introduces the principle that we can act out of the compulsions of our natural being (reflexes, drives, desires) or out of the compulsion of ethical principles, and that neither of these leaves me free. Between them, however, is an individual insight, a situational ethic, that arises neither from abstract principles nor from my bodily impulses. A deed that arises in this way can be said to be truly free; it is also both unpredictable and wholly individual." Qexigator (talk) 08:44, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Edit now done.[5] --Qexigator (talk) 23:54, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

I have improved the Situation ethics page; perhaps this will clarify the situation.
If you read Fletcher's own book on the subject, he describes the wide discussion of the theme that preceded his own work. Most of this was in German; thus his work made a large impression on the English-speaking audience unfamiliar with the long-existing theme. HGilbert (talk) 00:44, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, much improved. Qexigator (talk) 00:53, 22 March 2014 (UTC)


The Bondarev volume is commentary, not a translation. Please do not add it back to the list of translations. HGilbert (talk) 17:32, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, good point, a new translation by Rickett, but mainly commentary. Qexigator (talk) 22:40, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
The translation is of Bondarev's commentary, not of the PoF. HGilbert (talk) 05:41, 19 March 2014 (UTC)


In connection with public discussion about PoF, there seems to have been some controversy between the two Russian born writers, Prokofieff and Bondarev, or their followers or critics, particularly in relation to their respective works in German on Steiner's work. Given that Bondarev's commentary was first published in German in 2004, Prokofieff's in 2006, and the similarity in the words of the title which the second book has to the first, the addition of the information about the German translation may help a reader of English language Wikipedia who needs clarification, that is, a reader who knows of one but not the other or knows of neither, whether or not the other writer, Oberski, whose work was published in 2010, is a party or neutral in that controversy, commenting as an educationist (2006) (Learning to think in Steiner-Waldorf schools. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology).[6][7] The controversy long ante-dates arose long after Palmer's compilation, first published in German in the 1960's. --Qexigator 10:18, 19 March 2014 (UTC) corrected by Qexigator (talk) 23:13, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Note: The above had two unintended errors. 1_The "similarity" was meant to refer to the book's title not content (the omission may have led to the question below). 2_The Palmer book was published long before the controversy arose. A further error was not picking up the hint in the question below. Qexigator (talk) 06:47, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that Profofieff plagiarized Bondareev? Thewikibeagles (talk) 20:14, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

(See later Note above) No, as I understand information which can be garnered via internet and/or print sources, the two Russians see themselves, and are seen, as antagonists, such that one has been treated as persona non grata by the Goetheanum, heroically in the estimation of some, while the other was appointed to the Goetheanum with plaudits. A reader who is not a partisan and with no more than superficial knowledge of the controversy (which may have been conducted mainly in German and among German speakers and writers), may surmise that the later publication was not so much an actual rebuttal of the other's as an attempt to reassure its author's followers. To the extent that the later title looks a near copy of the earlier, it may be taken as sincerely flattering. In such circumstances is it more or less likely that the content of the later work is a plagiary of the earlier? Qexigator (talk) 21:31, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps we should have a new section called "Discussions" or "Commentaries" or "Controversies".Thewikibeagles (talk) 23:27, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

I am inclined to think not, unless other editors are able to gather from sources enough for a separate section without committing in the article the ever to be deprecated OR or SYN (which is less severely censurable in Talk). Also, the controversy is notable as showing that Steiner's work has been of continuing interest among persons of the present generations who have concerned themselves with such things as ethics and epistemology, but perhaps less notable otherwise. The current version of the article is, in my opinion, more informative (and balanced) for an ordinary reader who has but little learning in the topic than the writings of the parties to the controversy as such would be, and at the same time the article indicates directions for further study if desired, within the encyclopedic form of presentation suited to Wikipedia and the specific topic of this article, The Philosophy of Freedom. Qexigator (talk) 00:31, 20 March 2014 (UTC)


A Googlesearch (rudolf steiner paul tillich) produced such instances as:

  • Toward Wholeness: Rudolf Steiner Education in America By Mary Caroline Richards[8]
  • The Religious Situation by Paul Tillich[9] (This includes an inaccuracy about The Christengemeinschaft, as having "split off" from Anthroposophy, but the comments are not irrational from that writer's evident point of view about "the place of faith in the divine paradox", while others may consider that writer to have missed the point).
  • Rudolf Steiner: An Illustrated Biography, Johannes Hemleben: " Thirty years later the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich put into these words what Steiner had expressed: 'If the ..."[10]
  • There Is a Garden in the Mind: A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement, Paul A. Lee, blurb: "He traces the contributions and insights of Goethe, the philosophers Paul Tillich and Rudolf Steiner, ecologist Rachel Carson, and many others."[11]

So yes, I guess the article can usefully make a "See also" link, and leave an inquiring reader free to discover which of the two, Tillich and Steiner, has published the thinner gruel (in respect of philosophical writings) compared with the other, from that reader's pov. Qexigator (talk) 11:58, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

A summary list?[edit]

Stylistically, fluent prose is usually preferred to lists and tables, but those can sometimes support the prose. My question here is: Would it be acceptable to add the following summary to the section on "Relation to earlier and later work"?

Steiner's principal works on philosophy, and what he said or wrote about the relationship between them and his other works, in summary:
  • 1886 The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World-Conception. The foundation and justification, epistemologically, for all Steiner said and wrote after this book's publication.
  • 1892 Truth and Science.
  • 1894 The Philosophy of Freedom. This presented the philosophical foundations for what had been outlined in Truth and Science, and it contained, in a philosophical form, the entire content of what Steiner had (after the first publication in 1894) developed explicitly as anthroposophy.
  • 1914 A Brief Outline of an Approach to Anthroposophy - chapter 8 of the book The Riddles of Philosophy Presented in an Outline of Its History.

It would appear above the section which lists quotations (two so far), and the lists for English translations and for Works on The Philosophy of Freedom. Qexigator (talk) 17:57, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Sounds fine. Even better would be a source describing the relationship between the various works, which would enable some fluent prose...perhaps McDermott and/or Zander? HGilbert (talk) 22:00, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Not sure that either of those would do it, free from pov, whether for or against. Perhaps there is a work in German not yet in English. But even if there were added to the section something which could be so sourced, the list could help the prose to be concise. So, if OK, let it be there, as a presentation of the bare facts, already sourced in the prose of the section. Qexigator (talk) 23:17, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

I think we should have a section in chronological order listing the different editions and translations of PoF. This would be helpful esp. concerning things like changes in chapter numbering. Thewikibeagles (talk) 16:41, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Please propose reliable source/s for such published information which has been accepted as accurate, comprehensive, up to date and free from error. Qexigator (talk) 22:35, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Overview and structure[edit]

The Overview used to be a brief, well, overview, while the Structure section gave details. Now the two overlap considerably. Either we should jettison the overview and combine the sections into a single journey through the PoF, or we should retain the former but merge some of the detail into the parallel description in the structure section. I'm fine with either alternative. HGilbert (talk) 10:49, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Agreed one or other of those. May I suggest agreeing main heading and sub-headings for revised structure before moves and merges? Qexigator (talk) 14:56, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
A tentative proposal (in other words, a cock-shy) (see note below):
  • 1_Move and shorten first sentence from "Overview" to be last sentence of second para. at top, to read: 'The book's subtitle, Some results of introspective observation following the methods of Natural Science,[--] describes the philosophical method Steiner intends to follow.' in tackling the question of human freedom
  • 2_Move and shorten first para. from "Structure" to be new third para. at top, to read: 'In the first part of The Philosophy of Freedom, the book Steiner discusses freedom in thinking, and the question of thinking's reliability as a means to knowledge, i.e. the epistemology of freedom. In the second part of the book, which depends on the first, he examines the conditions necessary for freedom of action.[26] This twofold structure partly parallels Hegel's description of freedom: "Ethical life is the Idea of freedom as the living good which has its knowledge and volition in self-consciousness, and its actuality through self-conscious action." [28]
  • 3_After the first section, "1 Historical context", let the second be "2 Structure", and let this be divided into two subsections, which could either have the present titles "Understanding freedom" and "Exercising freedom", or the titles of the two Parts of the book.
  • 4_Let the text be distributed between the subtitles accordingly.
Qexigator (talk) 17:24, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Note: "cock-shy" per New Shorter OED, 1993 edition. See also Cock-shying. Qexigator (talk) 23:56, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

I have made a couple of changes - I don't think it is as simple this: if I am aware of my motives I am free. Why does thinking then come into it, if all it takes is awareness? That is actually Spinoza's position. But awareness might have no effect at all. I can be aware of my motive for wanting to hurt someone, but unable to do anything about it, for whatever reason. Thewikibeagles (talk) 22:32, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

I think we should have an Overview, which is summary, comment and so on. And then keep "STructure", but let it really be "structure": so, for example, in Part I there are seven chapters, ditto part 2, plus a final chapter. The middle chapter is "The factors of Life. Thus e.g. Ch. 3 (Thinking) and Ch 12 (Moral Imagination) have a sort of reflected relationship in 8 . . . or whatever one says, whatever view of the structure we are going to take, and the same for all the others. But let it be about structure in a straightforward and literal way. Thewikibeagles (talk) 22:32, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

"Does "cockshy" (sb.) take a hyphen? I am surprised. But the idea of merging the overview and the structure sections is surely right, unless we have something genuinely structural in mind, as I said above. Thewikibeagles (talk) 22:36, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Given a lead briefly but sufficiently topping the article as a whole in the usual fashion, and agreement to combine the first two sections of the current version, then let the first section, with its subsections, report the content sequentially. An "overview" section would not be required. At most, the first initial subsection could simply introduce the "structure" of the subsections to follow, and possibly draw something from the author's prefatory remarks. At all points, especially in this combined section, readers should be enabled to see what is being presented as report of content and what (if any) as comment drawing on introductory remarks of a translator or editor, such as Wilson. Qexigator (talk) 23:56, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
1_ and 2_ above have now been upgraded, noting and allowing for recent edits, from tentative to (boldly?) done by...Qexigator (talk) 11:11, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Section headings[edit]

To replace "Overview" and "Structure", would the single heading "Arrangement and outline of the book" be acceptable? Or what...? with subheads: Twofold structure (first 3 paras of present "Structure)"/ Understanding freedom/ Exercising freedom. At risk of undo for something better, this has been done by... Qexigator (talk) 13:20, 24 March 2014 (UTC)


In the version current at 06:58, 25 March 2014[12] Wilson's 1964 translation is variously cited in the reflist, sometimes with chapter or page number, but page numbers do not always correlate with those in a hardback copy of the first print of 1964. Should there be uniformity, unless otherwise stated? The first ref. is near the end of "Historical context": 'Steiner argues against both hard determinism[11] and...'

  • ref. 11 Rudolf Steiner, The Philosophy of Freedom: The Basis for a Modern World Conception, (London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), ed. Michael Wilson, hereafter "Wilson", Ch. 9
  • ref 12. Wilson, Ch. 1, (esp. p. 8). The word determinism is not on the page, making this (strictly) an unsourced comment on the author's work.
  • ref 16 quote in note at end of first paragraph, Chapter 4[13], but which edition?
  • ref.17 Wilson, p. 9. I see the quoted words on p.11
  • ref.18 Wilson, p. 19. words quoted not seen on p.19.
  • ref.19 Wilson, p. 23. ok
  • ref.20 Wilson, p. 26. ok
  • ref.21 Wilson, p. 25. nothing on p.25 about triangles.
  • ref.22 Wilson, p. 27. the quoted words are on p.27
  • ref.23 Wilson, p. 28. the quoted words are on p.28
  • ref.24 Wilson, p 30 words quoted are a variant compared with 1964 first print, adding two words thus: "My investigation first touches firm ground only when I find an object which exists in a sense of which I can derive from the object itself. But I am myself such an object in that I think..."
Edits for above now done, with chapter headings added for information and for identification whatever edition a reader has to hand or views on line.[14] --Qexigator (talk) 21:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • ref. 27 a,b, c. is to Steiner, Rudolf (1999). Michael Wilson, ed. The Philosophy of Freedom: The Basis for a Modern World Conception. But which edition and which publisher? Steiner Books[15] or [16] or [17] 7th English edition 1964 reprinted 2006 ?
  • ref. 28 links to 8th English edition 2011 "Re-edited "to mark the 150th anniversary" of Steiner's birth, with Foreword by Matthew Barton[18]

Note also, ref. 10 to Ch.6 needs clarifying: is it to "Fichte, The System of Ethics IV"? Qexigator (talk) 11:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC) This now done.[19] ---Qexigator (talk) 06:54, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Soft determinism or compatibilism?[edit]

We have in the historical section Steiner arguing against "soft determinism (compatiblism)". But these are not the same. Soft determinism is a form of determinism that implies compatibilism. But compatibilism is the proposition that freewill and causation are compatible. There are compatibilist indeterminists, e.g. David Lewis, who take the view that determinism is false but compatibilism is true, and hence are not soft determinists. So which was Steiner arguing against: compatibilism or soft determinism? We should decide or change our text.

The present version reads: "Steiner argues against both hard determinism< ref > ... Rudolf Steiner, The Philosophy of Freedom: The Basis for a Modern World Conception, (London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964), ed. Michael Wilson, hereafter "Wilson", Ch. 9 "The Idea of Freedom... < /ref > and soft determinism (or compatibilism).< ref > ...Wilson, Ch. 1 "Conscious Human Action"... < /ref >" These chapters do not mention determinism or compatabilism, and no source for mentioning these terms is cited. The intrusion of any such category in this context is out of place and should be removed. Such editorial labelling here adds nothing useful to the content of the work which is being described, whether or not it could guide librarians. It may be due to a point of view which is more concerned with pre-conceived notions of classification than with letting readers be informed about what Steiner himself has written, or to have derived from a student's lecture notes. It is no more than to say, that this work, which has been written for publication in print, has been produced in both hard back and soft cover, and, in recent years, in electronic form. Steiner's work is not arguing for or aganist this or that "-ism", other than for "ethical individualism". What he had written is translated (p.8), "We have distinguished between the knower and the doer and have left out of account precisely the one who matters most of all - the knowing doer. Qexigator (talk) 21:00, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
+ Nor is determinism mentioned in the articles for the philosophers named in this article, except Spinoza, rebutted in chapter 1 of PoF, and Hume who is mentioned at the end of Steiner's 1918 Appendix, rebutting Hartman's comment that in PoF Steiner had attempted to combine Hegel's universalistic panlogism with Hume's individualistic phenomenolism. But the point is sufficiently covered in the linked article for "Free will". Qexigator (talk) 10:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC) + Qexigator (talk) 00:01, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Come on Qexigator - do you think that Steiner is not arguing - an example among many - against skepticism, for example, in the theory of knowledge? That is a big "ism", but it's just a name for the view that there cannot be knowledge of the world. Both compatibilism and hard determinism are clearly argued against in Steiner's text. These are and have been standard terms in philosophy for yonks, and they mean perfectly simple things - nothing to do with librarian's classifications and student's lecture notes. What on earth is lost by using a standard word or phrase for a standard thing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thewikibeagles (talkcontribs) 10:50, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Hound on a false scent? Look again at my remarks above, to which, maybe, there should now be added: to my mind, for reasons apparent from the descriptions about Steiner's work in the text of the article, applying labelism to it is even less informative than usual, especially for general readers, but also for students, their teachers, specialists and classifying labellers of all kinds. PoF: Appendix Added to the new edition, 1918[20]: "The transcendental realist will have nothing whatever to do with the true state of affairs regarding the process of knowledge; he cuts himself off from the facts by a tissue of thoughts and entangles himself in it. Moreover, the monism which appears in The Philosophy of Freedom ought not to be labeled “epistemological”, but, if an epithet is wanted, then a “monism of thought”. All this has been misunderstood by Eduard von Hartmann. He has ignored all that is specific in the argumentation of The Philosophy of Freedom, and has stated that I have attempted to combine Hegel's universalistic panlogism with Hume's individualistic phenomenalism, whereas in fact The Philosophy of Freedom has nothing whatever to do with the two positions it is allegedly trying to combine. (This, too, is the reason why I could not feel inclined, for example, to go into the “epistemological monism” of Johannes Rehmke. The point of view of The Philosophy of Freedom is simply quite different from what Eduard von Hartmann and others call epistemological monism.)" Qexigator (talk) 15:58, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Twofold Structure[edit]

We have at the moment a quotation from McDermott:

He suggests that outer freedom arises when we bridge the gap between our ideals and the constraints of external reality, letting our deeds be inspired by the moral imagination.[2]

This seems to me vague ("bridge the gap") and inaccurate (the point about moral imagination is the way in which our ideals at the fourth level (1. instinct; 2. feelings; 3. mental pictures or thinking images; 4. pure thinking. The fourth level here coincide with the third level of the sequence: authority; the greatest possible good of mankind purely for its own sake; the progress of civilization, or the moral evolution of mankind towards ever greater perfection; the realization of individual moral aims grasped by pure intuition.

When these two coincide, what we have is not a bridge over the gap between our ideals and the driving force, but it is inaccurate to call this the bridging of the gap between our ideals and the constraints of external reality. That makes Steiner sound like a simple libertarian.

Broadly agree. Qexigator (talk) 21:01, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

OK, if everyone's agreed, should we make a change? Thewikibeagles (talk) 16:38, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Note also in Free will article: "...inner freedom is achieved when we bridge the gap between our sensory impressions, which reflect the outer appearance of the world, and our thoughts, which give us access to the inner nature of the world." Qexigator (talk) 23:17, 29 March 2014 (UTC)


The section Understanding Freedom is far too long and wordy. Can we trim this to half of its present size? That's plenty for an article of this kind. HGilbert (talk) 01:17, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Broadly agree, but subject to taking into account the quote from the appendix.[21] It is a counter to would-be labellers, and is notable in itself to demonstrate the type of argument Steiner was contending with at and after the first publication, and persisting for example among those who mistakenly classify Steiner alongside others such as Husserl and "phenomenlogy". It is informative for readers who may stlil find that sort of thing in secondary and tertiary works that have not caught up with Welburn's commentary, let alone with Steiner himself. Qexigator (talk) 05:21, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Title page image[edit]

It is good to see the image of the title page of the first German edition[22], but its retention may be at risk if copyright clearance from the author, per metadata,[23] is not confirmed. Qexigator (talk) 07:12, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

It's OK. It was published over 70 years ago AND the author died after 1923. Thewikibeagles (talk) 15:22, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

But if the author of the image is the person named in metadata, that person could be a philosopher "inexplicably elected a Permanent Member of" an Oxford college SCR, or another person (Yossarian? Washington Irving?) using the same name. There may be some sort of Catch-22 operating, which a philosopher could surmount but another person could not. Can copyright clearance be confirmed to the satisfaction of the Wikipedia enforcers? Qexigator (talk) 16:19, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
My understanding of the legal situation: If you scanned the image yourself, it is your image of an out of copyright page, and you can explain this and enter it as your work on the WP Commons file data page (unless you do so the image will probably be deleted). If it is someone else's scan, they have copyright and you will lose the image. HGilbert (talk) 16:32, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, good value for two cents. Qexigator (talk) 17:07, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

The image is my own scan. (1) Can someone help me go further with the WP Commons file data page . . . I'll try one more time, but I've got into a muddle with it trying to get this image sorted. (2) And the image is not very good, partly because it is a scan of a photo scan of the original, then printed. Do you know anyone who owns the original. After that, my next job is to get on with the summary of Chapters 4 and 5. Q, how did you find out who I am?Thewikibeagles (talk) 16:13, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't know who Thewikibeagles is but I have seen a name at metadata linked above, and found someone of that name via google, and the info. given about him. Was Heller a philosopher? Is Michael Frayn a comic writer? After working with such conundrums of identity and attributes, it is always a relief to turn to the works of Steiner for refreshment. If I knew how to cope with the image I would be glad to help. Let's hope it is not removed for a technicality. You have uploaded an image of a copy that you made of a copy in your possession, probably one of multiple copies reproducing an image, made by a person unkwown, of the original printed page, and the original printed page is certainly out of copyright. Any valid claim of copyright infringement seems improbale in the extreme. Qexigator (talk) 22:37, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
+ Maybe it's the jacket not the title page?[24] Qexigator (talk) 23:15, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

It's the title page. Do you know Frayn's parody of Wittgenstein? And do you mean _Erich_ Heller? He wasn't a philosopher, really, more of a literary thinking. But his pieces on Wittgenstein and Nietzsche are wonderful, I agree.Thewikibeagles (talk) 21:46, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, I found nothing on google, except the beagle. It is a scent hound. Well, we knew that . . . Thewikibeagles (talk) 21:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

disambig: Heller, J. Catch-22, while Erich is notable also for his essay on v.Kleist, and for a phrase such as (of Schiller) "theologically displaced persons" as well as so much else of his chosen genre. JW[25] could be a scent laid for Drag hunting: "the thrill of riding at speed in a natural environment". MF, yes[26], and then there's the folksong version[27]. Cheers! Qexigator (talk) 22:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

What on earth happened to the title page image? It has vanished! Can anyone help?Thewikibeagles (talk) 09:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It was not considered a free use image based on the information you gave when you uploaded it. If you can scan an original title page yourself it would surely qualify...probably hard to find (maybe the RS Library has an original edition and would scan it for you?)
Copyright issues are very delicate, and Wikipedia tries very hard not to get on the wrong side of these. HGilbert (talk) 14:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


H. Gilbert, what do you think of today's (August 10 2014)? I have gone for streamlining, trimming, and trying to bring out the forward movement of the argument. But I have only worked on Part I.Thewikibeagles (talk) 14:46, 10 August 2014 (UTC)