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.