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English Books

The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception,

The Theory of Knowledge Based on Goethe's World Conception,
The Science of Knowing,

Rudolf Steiner
(Written 1886; Bn 2 / GA 2)

   Verlag Cover Image
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The basis of a theory of the Goethean world view, with special reference to Schiller, as well as an addition to Goethe's “Scientific Writings” in Kürschner's “German National Literature.” Almost forty years after his early works on this subject, Rudolf Steiner wrote: “By putting this before me again today, it appears to be the epistemological foundation and justification of all that I published later. It speaks of a way of perceiving that opens the physically apparent world into the spiritual/intellectual.” Originally published in German as, Grundlinien Einer Erkenntnistheorie der Goetheschen Weltanschauung mit besonderer Ruecksicht auf Schiller. Zugleich eine Zugabe zu Goethes “Naturwissenschaftlichen Schriften“ in Kuerschners “Deutsche National-Litteratur.“

The main sections of the book are:
    Preliminary Questions,
    Experience, Thought, Knowledge,
    The Science of Nature,
    The Spiritual/Cultural Sciences,
    Conclusion.

Chapter titles include:
    Goethe's Science Considered According
        to the Method of Schiller,
    Definition of the Concept of Experience,
    Thinking as a Higher Experience within Experience,
    Thought and Consciousness,
    The Inner Nature of Thought,
    Thought and Perception,
    Intellect and Reason,
    Cognition and the Ultimate Foundation of Things,
    Psychological Cognition, Human Freedom.

Known Publications:

  • Grundlinien Einer Erkenntnistheorie der Goetheschen weltanschauung mit besonderer Ruecksicht auf Schiller. Zugleich eine Zugabe zu Goethes “Naturwissenschaftlichen Schriften” in Kuerschners “Deutsche National-Litteratur”, German language editions: 1886, 1924, 1924, 1936, 1949, 1960, 1979. ISBN 3-7274-0020-X,
  • The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception, Anthroposophic Press, New York and Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., London, 1940, 118 pp. plus notes, translated from the second German edition of 1924 by Olin D. Wannamaker
  • A Theory of Knowledge Based on Goethe's World Conception, Anthroposophic Press, New York, 1968, 1979, 124 pp. plus notes, translated from the second German edition of 1924 by Olin D. Wannamaker. (This edition appears to be identical in content to the previous one.)
  • A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception, Anthroposophic Press, Ghent, New York, c.1985,
    ISBN 0-91014-285-8, Cloth
    ISBN 0-91014-294-7, Paperback
  • The Science of Knowing, Mercury Press, Spring Valley, N. Y., 1988, 125 pp., translated from the 7th German edition of 1979 by William Lindeman ISBN 0-936132-97-3,


GA 2 / Bn 2 ... Selections in English ...

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The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception (1940)

Book Cover Image This book first appeared in 1886. In it, Steiner approaches the epistemological question, “How Does One Know?” His point of departure is the more-or-less unexpressed epistemology of Goethe in his scientific writings and elsewhere. This is a good introduction to Goethe's methodology. This First English Edition was designed by Peter Döblin, and translated by Olin D. Wannamaker.


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The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception (1985)

Book Cover Image In this book, first appearing in 1886, Steiner approaches the epistemological question, how does one know? His point of departure in the more-or-less unexpressed epistemology of Goethe in his scientific writings and elsewhere. This is not a textbook on epistemology, but it is a good introduction to Goethe's methodology.


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The Science of Knowing

Book Cover Image This edition of The Science of Knowing is a new translation of Grundlinien einer Erkenntnistheorie der Goetheschen Weltanschauung mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Schiller (Bibliographie No. 2), 7th edition GAS 1979, published by the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland. This translation, from the original German, is by William Lindeman. A prior translation is available under the title A Theory of Knowledge, published by the Anthroposophic Press.



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