view of man

this is just one more example of a phenomenon that has been discussed numerous times. This time, it is a conference discussing the view of man. Of course — and here’s the reason for this post — there’s no mention of the specific view of the human being that is their starting point. I suppose that — explicitly stating that the anthroposophical view of man is the basis for all of this — would immediately make the entire enterprise look rather less academic. And, after all, academic credibility seems to be the aim here, for this Steiner organisation. The conferences’s intention

is to initiate a discussion on the meaning and consequences of different views of the human being in schools and in higher education. Empirically-oriented research will be presented alongside theoretical and conceptual approaches. In a broad range of areas including the economization of educational systems, the current debates about inclusion, the role of the arts in education and the development of learning theories and concepts, the  potential implications of both the explicit or implicit understanding of the human being and the supporting scientific paradigms (brain research, sociology, information technology, psychoanalysis, theology, philosophy, economy, biology, etc.) will be open to examination and discourse.

Yes, I think we can all agree that the explicit and implicit understanting of the human being is an essential topic to discuss — and to examine. It helps to have a word for it, though, and it helps to define and describe it honestly. Or else one might get the impression that this organisation’s sole purpose is to be there for show — with the intention of giving an old anthroposophical casket a veneer of mainstream  (better even scientific) respectability. It’s about what it looks like, not what it is. And what the waldorf movement in Europe needs right now is the appearance of scientific credibility, it needs to be making an impression that efforts are being made to have waldorf education enter the academic realm. Of course, you can hardly go on babbling about what that conception of the human being really consists of then. That would wreck everything. Presumably. I guess that’s what some people fear.

3 thoughts on “view of man

  1. Alicia,
    of course it would wreck too much by way of people´s food logistics (if you pardon the not too poetic ephemism). Antroposophy and waldorf education has become a way of living, far from subsistence level for far too many people, just like modern politics, visible in the internal and external parliamental (or parliadental?) processes in Sweden and many other countries. Democrature is a suitable word. Maffia proceedings another.

    The “scientific” drive is one way of brushing up the fading white smile of yonder years of youthful (and rather more truthful) pioneer work. The pioneers, not seldom scientists and professionals of certain merit, are retired or dead. Left on the field are those who learnt the craft, the grips, but not the process of thinking and re-thinking so central to their predecessors.

    After 40 years of antroposophical studies, the main theme to the abovementioned questions will be: No science can at present explain man and his complexities witout first solving the Theodicé problem. Period. Man is there, in the World, in his own right. Why is he there?
    Good question. Next question, please….
    As the antropops seem unwilling to penetrate the Theodicé, I fail to see any justification for their efforts. Someone´s surely going to stab me in the kidney area for writing this. They are wellcome, as long as the stab remains oral (not dental).

  2. Well, they will need to understand that whitening toothpaste is not going to help much if the teeth are decaying. (Can’t chew any bones with them then, mr Dog would say.)

    The question is not only what science can and cannot do — but also what it needs to do and where it is not necessary. Obviously, science can be used for a lot of good, without explaining all of man and all of his complexities.

  3. Precisely my view. I fail to understand why they (the antros) do not just do what they do best, teaching, therapizing, whatever, and explain to curious bystanders w h y they do what they actually do and on what grounds. It need not be more complex than that. If someone has issues from a scientific point of view, let them, it is not the movement´s problem. The movement´s problem is all the happy amateurs in the business who feel the calling to read lots of books and articles they do not fully understand, in order to satisfy people who are guaranteed not to understand anything at all, as the spiritual context is totally alien to them.
    Of course this boils down to money, the question of financing an activity that cannot and will not be understood on materialistic grounds, with taxpayers´ money.
    Long ago, in another time, in an altogether different world, the antro center in Järna was built entirely on gift money. All the houses, all the activities were financed by gifts from devout supporters and with student fees (they were expensive at that time, too). But what was done there had substance, as most people there knew that it is MY work and MY will that holds this thing together. When gift financing came to an end, the inspired, spirited activities came to an end, too. Regrettably.

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