I'm once again joined by Paul Bishop and Aaron French to discuss the overlap between the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Rudolf Steiner, especially in relation to the spiritual and religious crisis of modernity.
Notes from Aaron French:
1) At one point I said in the Nietzsche house in Weimar there is a picture of Heidegger in his “Nazi uniform.” I was just making a point here; in reality it is a photo of Heidegger in his large brown overcoat with a shiny Nazi pin on his breast, which is of course suggestive of a uniform.
2) The book in German that deals with the history of Steiner and the Nietzsche archives is David Marc Hoffmann, Zur Geschichte Des Nietzsche-Archivs: Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, Fritz Koegel, Rudolf Steiner, Gustav Naumann, Josef Hofmiller: Chronik, Studien Und Dokumente (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1991).
3) For Steiner, the later philosophy of Nietzsche is a necessary spiritual confrontation with the logical conclusion and endpoint of the development of Western philosophy.
4) In terms of Kant’s inaccessible noumenal realm, Steiner came to see Goethe’s concept of morphology as providing crucial insight into his later Geisteswissenschaft (spiritual science), which claimed that higher organs of perception could be developed to observe a hidden and spiritual part of nature that was creative and alive and not mechanical. This conception of nature, Steiner argued, was the correct interpretation of Goethe’s “archetypal phenomena,” namely, that by staying with the phenomena itself one could observe the spiritual essence of the world without having to resort to abstract metaphysical systems that explain the hidden truth—i.e., natural science—but rather one could experience such spiritual essences phenomenologically and empirically.
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