published on September 5, 2016
Rudolf Steiner’s Idea of Freedom
As Seen in the Panorama of Hegel’s Dialectic
Rudolf Steiner’s work contains many different claims about human freedom spread out in over three hundred books. A basic challenge for the research on Steiner is to create an overview of his idea of freedom, but also to consider potential conflicting claims. One of the main tensions in Steiner’s work is the one between his early philosophical and later anthroposophical accounts of freedom. The former focuses on individual freedom while the latter puts the emphasis on the greater whole in which the human being exists. Hegel’s idea of freedom can be used to create a comprehensive and coherent understanding of Steiner’s different perspectives on freedom. In particular, using Hegel’s notion of being-with-oneself in otherness, the freedom that the individual can experience within the whole can be seen as an immanent development of the individual itself.