Epistemology, Technology, and Spiritual Science

Authors

  • Bo Dahlin

Keywords:

Post-materialist/Spiritual Science, Participatory epistemology, Aristotelian causality, Technology

Abstract

This paper has two main parts; one about epistemology and another about technology. Both are related to the possibility of a spiritual science. Over the latter decades a new paradigm of science has been slowly emerging, containing various strands such as post-materialism, panpsychism, or panspiritism. One basic presumption of the paper is that this new paradigm must be consolidated with a participatory epistemology, as well as a revival of the Aristotelian concept of causality as a basis for a new technological rationality. Participatory epistemology overcomes the dualism of consciousness and world and the Kantian notion of limits to knowledge. Aristotelian causality builds on the notion of Form and the formative forces of Nature. This can be taken as the basis for a technology that cooperates with Nature rather than strives to conquer it. Throughout the paper the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner (Anthroposophy) is used as an example of how this alternative epistemology and technology can be formulated and expressed. At the end the anthroposophical technologies of water purification and Waldorf pedagogy are shortly presented as illustrations.

Author Biography

Bo Dahlin

Retired prof of education, Karlstad university, Sweden

References

Amrine, F. (1998). The metamorphosis of the scientist. In D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (Eds.), Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature (pp. 33-54). New York: SUNY Press.

Bartholomew, A. (2010). The spiritual life of water. Its power and purpose. Rochester & Toronto: Park Street Press.

Bennett, J. G. (1977). The masters of wisdom. London: Turnstone Books.

Benz, E. (1983). The mystical sources of German Romantic philosophy. Allison Park: Pickwick Publications.

Berger, M. (2000). Friedrich Fröbels Konzeption einer Pädagogik der frühen Kindheit. In W.E. Fthenakis & M.R. Textor (Eds), Pädagogische Ansätze im Kindergarten (pp. 10-22). Weinheim, Basel: Beltz. [Friedrich Fröbel’s conception of an early childhood pedagogy.]

Bockemühl, J. (1998). The transformation in the foliage leaves of the higher plants. In D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (Eds.), Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature (pp. 115-128). New York: SUNY Press.

Bortoft, H. (1998). Counterfeit and authentic wholes: finding a means for dwelling in Nature. In D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (Eds.), Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature (pp. 277-298). New York: SUNY Press.

Brady, R. H. (1998). The idea in nature: Rereading Goethe's organics. In D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (Eds.), Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature (pp. 83-114). New York: SUNY.

Burke, O.M. (1973). Among the dervishes. London: Octagon Press.

Chalmers, D. J. (2010). The character of consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chalmers, D. J. (2015). Panpsychism and panprotopsychism. In T. A. Alter (Ed.), Consciousness in the physical world: perspectives on Russellian monism. (pp. 246-276). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chown, M. (1995, Dec 9, 1995). Meandering rivers keep themselves in check. New Scientist, 148(2007), 19.

Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and repetition. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Dyck, M. (1960). Novalis and mathematics: A study of Friedrich von Hardenberg’s fragments on mathematics and its relation to magic, music, religion, philosophy, language, and literature. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Ergas, O. (2016). Knowing the unknown: Transcending the educational narrative of the Kantian paradigm through contemplative inquiry. In R. L. Oxford, T. E. Culham, & J. Lin (Eds.), Toward a spiritual research paradigm: Exploring new ways of knowing, researching and being (pp. 1-24). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Engell, J. (1981). The creative imagination. Enlightenment to Romanticism. Cambridge, Mass. & London, England: Harvard UP.

Ewen, S. (1976). Captains of consciousness. Advertising and the social roots of the consumer culture. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Faivre, A., & Needleman, J. (Eds.). (1992). Modern esoteric spirituality. New York: Crossroad.

Feenberg, A. (1996). Marcuse or Habermas? Two critiques of technology. Inquiry, 39(1), 45-70.

Feenberg, A. (2002). Heidegger und Marcuse: Zerfall und Rettung der Aufklärung. Zeitschrift für kritische Theorie, 14, 39-55.

Fichte, J. G. (1998). Foundations of transcendental philosophy: (1796/99) = (Wissenschaftslehre) nova methodo. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press.

Gare, A. (2011). From Kant to Schelling to process metaphysics: on the way to ecological civilisation. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 7(4), 26-69.

Gadamer, H.-G. (2001). Education is self-education. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 35(4), 529-537.

Gjesdal, K. (2009). Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg [Novalis] http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2009/entries/novalis/

Guénon, R. (2001 [1945]). The reign of quantity & the signs of the times. Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis.

Habermas, J. (1972). Knowledge and human interests. London: Heinemann.

Hadot, P. (1995). Philosophy as a way of life: Spiritual exercises from Socrates to Foucault. Cambridge, MA.: Blackwell.

Hanegraaff, W. J. (1998). Romanticism and the esoteric connection. In R. van den Broek & W. J. Hanegraaff (Eds.), Gnosis and hermeticism from antiquity to modern times (pp. 237-268). Albany: SUNY Press.

Hanegraaff, W. J. (2012). Esotericism and the Academy. Rejected knowledge in Western culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hanegraaff, W. J. (2015). The globalisation of esotericism. Correspondences, 3, 55-91.

Hansson, L. (2018). Science education, indoctrination, and the hidden curriculum. In M. R. Matthews (Ed.), History, philosophy, and science teaching. New perspectives (pp. 283-322). Cham, CH: Springer.

Healy, P. (2020). Living with technology: Human enhancement or human development? Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 16(2), 357-369.

Hegge, H. (1993). Mennesket og naturen. Naturforståelsen gjennom tidene - med saerlig henblikk på vår tids miljökrise. Oslo: Antropos Forlag. [Human being and nature. The conception of nature through time – with special regard to the ecological crisis of our time.]

Heidegger, M. (1993). The question concerning technology and other essays. New York: Harper & Row.

Heitler, W. (1998). Goethean science. In D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (Eds.), Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature (pp. 55-70). New York: SUNY Press.

Hensel, H. (1998). Goethe, science, and sensory experience. In D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (Eds.), Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature (pp. 71-82). New York: SUNY.

Hirst, N. (2008). Towards a science of life as creative organisms. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 4(1-2), 78-98.

Lear, J. (1995). Aristotle: the desire to understand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lehrs, E. (1985). Man or matter. Introduction to a spiritual understanding of Nature on the basis of Goethe’s method of training observation and thought. London: Rudolf Steiner Press.

Lévy-Bruhl, L. (1985). How natives think. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Lo Nostro, P. (Ed.) (2014). Aqua incognita. London: Lightning Source UK Ltd.

Madsen, J. (Transl.) (2000). The new testament. Edinburgh: Floris Books.

McGrath, S. J. (2012). The dark ground of spirit. Schelling and the unconscious. New York: Routledge.

Millán-Zaibert, E. (2005). The revival of Frühromantik in the anglophone world. Philosophy Today, Spring 2005, 88-108.

Nagel, T. (2012). Mind and cosmos. Why the materialist Neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Potari, A. D. (2020). The light of Hellenism. Paradigm Explorer, #132; 12-15.

Pribram, K. (2006). Holism vs. wholism. World Futures, 62(1), 42-46.

Radin, D. I. (1997). The conscious universe. The scientific truth of psychic phenomena. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Riegner, M., & Wilkes, J. (1998). Flowforms and the language of water. In D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (Eds.), Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature. (pp. 233-254). New York: SUNY.

Seamon, D & Zajonc, A. (Eds.) (1998). Goethe’s way of science. A phenomenology of Nature. New York: SUNY.

Shah, I. (1978). Learning how to learn. Psychology and spirituality in the Sufi way. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Steiner, R. (1977). Die Philosophie der Freiheit. Grundzüge einer modernen Weltanschauung. Seelische Beobachtungsresultate nach Naturwissenschaftlicher Methode (GA 04). Dornach, CH: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (1983). Von Seelenrätseln (GA 21). Dornach: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (1984). Philosophie und Anthroposophie 1904-1923. Dornach, CH: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (1991). Naturbeobachtung, Experiment, Mathematik und die Erkenntnisstufen der Geistesforschung (GA 324). Dornach, CH: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (1992). Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten? (GA 10). Dornach, CH: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (1993a). Die Stufen der höheren Erkenntnis (GA 12). Dornach, CH: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (1993). Die Suche nach der neuen Isis, der göttlichen Sophia (GA 202). Dornach, CH: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (1999). Das Geheimnis der Trinität (GA 214). Dornach, CH: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Steiner, R. (2000). Mein Lebensgang (GA 28). Dornach: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.

Tabachnick, D.E. (2013). The great reversal. How we let technology take control of the planet. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Taylor, S. (2018). Spiritual science: why science needs spirituality to make sense of the world. London: Watkins Publishing.

Waterman, A. S. (1990). The relevance of Aristotle’s conception of eudaimonia for the psychological study of happiness. Theoretical & Philosophical Psychology, 10(1), 39–44.

Welburn, A. (2004). The beginnings of Christianity. Essene mystery, Gnostic revelation and the Christian vision. Edinburgh: Floris Books.

Wood, D. W. (2014a). From “Fichticizing” to “romanticizing”. Fichte and Novalis on the activities of philosophy and art. Fichte-Studien, 41, 247-278.

Wood, D. (2014b). The “mathematical” Wissenschaftslehre – On a late Fichtean reflection of Novalis. In D. Nassar (Ed.), The relevance of Romanticism: Essays on German Romantic Philosophy (pp. 258-272). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zhao, J. (2020). The developing process of technological rationality and its humanistic relation. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 16(2), 430-447.

Downloads

Published

30-12-2021

How to Cite

Dahlin, B. (2021). Epistemology, Technology, and Spiritual Science. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 17(3), 68–103. Retrieved from https://www.cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/955