Monday, September 12, 2011
Philosophy of Freedom is one of the most influential texts in modern philosophy. It has influenced educators, politicians and theologians and tens of thousands of ordinary people whose names will never be publicly declared. It is Steiner’s first major work and whilst it underpins his later development of Anthroposophy, the Philosophy of Freedom is a stand alone work in its own right. An understanding of the ideas contained in the Philosophy of Freedom can benefit anyone even if they have no interest in Steiner’s later ideas.
Unfortunately, the Philosophy of Freedom is a rather complex and impenetrable book. This is partly due to Steiner’s style - he tends to repeat and go over material to make the same point several times - and partly due to some of the older translations which are still in common circulation.
In his book “Key to Life” Iddo Oberski gives an outline of the main arguments contained in the Philosophy of Freedom and explains how Steiner came to those conclusions. The book is written in an enthusiastic style with many practical examples from the author’s own life. Oberski also gives some advice on the best way to approach and read the Philosophy of Freedom.
Before reading this book I had two abortive attempts at reading the Philosophy of Freedom. Having now read “Key to Life” I have gained the confidence to read have another go and will be able to refer back to this book as I read. I would recommend “Key to Life” as the first step for anyone considering exploring the Philosophy of Freedom.