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Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom (Cw 4)

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  404 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Of all of his works, Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path is the one that Steiner himself believed would have the longest life and the greatest spiritual and cultural consequences. It was written as a phenomenological account of the "results of observing the human soul according to the methods of natural science.

This seminal work asserts that free spiritual activity - u

Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Steiner Books (first published 1894)
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Mar 07, 2012 Tompof rated it it was amazing
You will find at website a free online study course on the “Philosophy of Freedom”. It is Rudolf Steiner's most important work, and the one that will endure the longest, because it describes his path to freedom.

When asked, “What will remain of your work in thousands of years? Steiner replied: “Nothing but the Philosophy of Freedom. When asked which of his books he would most want to see rescued if catastrophe should come upon the world, Steiner replied: “The Ph
Elliott Bignell
Dec 07, 2014 Elliott Bignell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewing in English for consistency with this site.

Steiner has a reputation as a difficult read, not to mention being gullibly esoteric. I must say that I cannot confirm either judgement based on this book. His vocabulary is perhaps a little old-fashioned, but his prose is perfectly readable by the standards of modern German, and arguably more accessible than many Victorian authors writing in the English language. He does have that academic proclivity for long and deeply nested sentences, howev
May 22, 2014 Scot rated it it was amazing
If I did not have a serious interest in philosophy (major in college and continued passion), I would have likely rated this with 3-stars and put down the book after finishing about half of it. The first 7 chapters are dense and worth slogging through if you want to watch Steiner eviscerate a multitude of philosophers including Kant, Descartes, Fichte, Schopenhauer and more which in and of itself is entertaining. The second half of the book is where the magic happens and the instruction manual is ...more
Jeff barney
Jan 28, 2008 Jeff barney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unearths the divine reality that bridges our inherent divide between sense perception and conceptualization. The only author to achieve a unity between apparently opposing world views such as naive realism and idealism or materialism and spiritualism that are at the heart of conflict so rife in the world.

The problem is the will it takes to bring about this unity is a free will actively and engaged and self engendered. This seems to take more cognitive rigor than folks are generally willing to t
Coquille Fleur
Another book I read in teacher training. I had to present on one of the chapters, 7 I think, anyway, all I remember now is that it was about faith and hope. What hope do you have? Whatever hope you THINK you have. Boiled down: if you believe it, it is true. Another must read for anyone seriously studying Steiner and Waldorf education.
May 30, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Thank you, Kristen, for encouraging me to read this book. It is challenging to follow in some parts but so worth sticking to it. A simple but powerful idea to look nowhere but within yourself to find spirituality and meaning in life.
Jul 04, 2012 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Observe your thinking!
Jan 02, 2009 Claudia rated it it was amazing
Science, humanity and the reason within a Spiritual path. Steiner will seek to enlighten us through the results of observing the human soul according to the methods of natural science.
Aug 06, 2015 Stewart rated it it was amazing
A coherent way to think about thinking. A manual for being free.
Kathryn Casternovia
A quote from the book (translated by Michael Wilson):
“Is man in his thinking and acting a spiritually free being, or is he compelled by the iron necessity of purely natural law?”

What is freedom?
Steiner, typically does not say, ‘this is the way it is.’ He navigates through very orderly imaginations. This book looks deeply at the question of freedom.

For me, it was difficult to read; like a brain gym. Thankfully, I was encouraged, by friends, through the first half. Perhaps it was difficult because
Mar 24, 2013 Andrew added it
Shelves: anthropop
First off, this edition has a terrible title. The Philosophy of Freedom (Die Philosophie der Freiheit) is the actual title; poor choice on SteinerBooks'/Anthroposophic Press' part.

This is probably my favorite of Steiner's books. I found it the most accessible and rewarding to read and deal with. And there is a lot to deal with. His epistemology is nuts, but so is Kant's and Spinoza's and Hegel's, &c. I'm still reading up on the development of western philosophy, but I think Steiner does an
For Claudia, Patrick and others:
In my opinion, the addition of the part "Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path" was a big mistake. The original title of Steiner's book was "The Philosophy of Freedom" (not "A", but "The") and the new title only adds to misconception and confusion.
Steiner saw thinking - conscious thinking - as primordial. Clear, precise thinking was absolutely essential, and intuition, as I see it, is something else. And what's more, as far as I know Steiner never associated in
Joseph Voelbel
Sep 05, 2015 Joseph Voelbel rated it it was amazing
A road to freedom, and a profound, philosophically taught explanation of how to achieve it.

"It is a moral advance when a man no longer simply accepts the comands of an outer or inner authority as the motive of his action, but tries to understand the reason why a particular maxim of behavior should act as a motive in him."

"A moral misunderstanding, a clash, is impossible between men who are morally free."

"Investigation of our own being must give us the answer to our riddle. We must reach a poin
Sep 11, 2008 Patrick rated it liked it
I am working on it. I have never done well with books on philosophy, but love the topic and ran into this author a couple of times. Hopefully I will finish it with full understanding and will give a good review at that time.
Finished the book. I don't have much more understanding of the book, but that is a personal problem, not the books fault:) I will probably re-read it some day to understand it a bit better. Just a quick note, it centers on the topic of free will vs an external freedom.
Sep 08, 2007 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spiritual seekers
For those of you not "up to date" on the Beth express ... I've decided to become a Waldorf teacher! I'm taking a training course here in Portland, and The Philosophy of Freedom is my first reading assignment. It's quite incredible, actually, and I'm shocked, and surprised, that Steiner was never covered in the extensive Philosophy courses I took in college. Easier to read and understand than Kant, Hegel, or any other philosopher of his day, Steiner had some great ideas, quite holisitic, and grou ...more
Marco cuore_vivo
Apr 12, 2007 Marco cuore_vivo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any awaked mind and warm hearted person

The use of mind, of thoughts and of heart, celebrating the possibility to analize our mind and thoughts, as they born, they grow and make steps.

The possibility to realize that thoughts themselves drive us to the discover and the analysis of our spiritual core.

Have good reading!


Aug 16, 2008 Carolyn rated it liked it
I have been reading this book with two friends since last fall!!! It is a bear, partly because it is translated from German. There are whole classes on it at the college. Figured can't work at the Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore without reading some of the man's major works!! Sorry, can't sum it up yet for you....
Jul 13, 2013 Sarah added it
Shelves: teaching
i studied this book experientially for two weeks for summer teaching training intensive.
thinking about thinking...
Mar 27, 2013 Sean rated it did not like it
Cult gibberish.
Sep 17, 2012 Mara rated it liked it
Not as good a translation.
Valenfore Alestreneon
Nov 26, 2012 Valenfore Alestreneon rated it it was amazing
The acclaimed essay that gave Steiner his fame. He solves a lot of mysteries that many Philosophers have struggled with for centuries in this one.
Jul 15, 2008 Lord rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthroposophy
One of the essential books by Rudolf Steiner. Very difficult to read but very important for grasping the idea of freedom of the human soul and the basis of anthroposophy.
Mar 22, 2007 carl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
steiner's effort to bridge the gap between spirituality and reason. read it for yourself to determine if he succeeded or failed.
Charles Coombs
Charles Coombs rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2015
Ryan Cavalcante
Ryan Cavalcante rated it really liked it
Nov 28, 2012
Brad Thompson
Brad Thompson rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2009
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Jul 19, 2009
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Apr 20, 2010
Marietje rated it it was amazing
May 30, 2013
Darrell Wheeler
Darrell Wheeler rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2013
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Translated by 1995 Michael Lipson (USA) 1 2 Jun 12, 2013 10:24PM  
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Steiner was a philosopher, social thinker, architect, and esotericist.

"Steiner led this movement through several phases. In the first, more philosophically oriented phase, Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism; his philosophical work of these years, which he termed spiritual science, sought to provide a connection between the cognitive path of Western philosophy and t
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