Educational science

A true educational science can only arise from the supernaturally-derived knowledge of the human nature complete in its physical, psychic and spiritual being. A knowledge keeping solely within the limits of what is attainable to natural science cannot be called a foundation of a true educational science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 215 – Philosophy, Cosmology and Religion: CHAPTER X: ON EXPERIENCING THE WILL-PART OF THE SOUL – Dornach, 15th September, 1922

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on June 10, 2019

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Morality cannot be established by ethical preachings (1 of 2)

The philosopher, Schopenhauer, in spite of much that is entirely erroneous in his philosophy, made this very true statement regarding the principles of morality. “To preach morals is easy, but to give them a foundation is difficult.” This statement is very true, for there is scarcely anything easier than to pronounce in a manner appealing to the commonest principles of human feeling and perception, what a person ought to do or leave undone in order that he may be a good man.

Many people no doubt are offended when it is asserted that this is easy, but it is easy, and one who knows life, and knows the world, will not doubt that scarcely anything has been spoken about so much as the right principles of ethical action, and the man who speaks upon general ethical principles meets with almost universal approval. One might say it pleases listening minds, for they feel they can agree in an unqualified manner with what the speaker says when he discourses on the very commonest principles of human morality.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 155 – Anthroposophical Ethics – I – Norrköping, 28th May, 1912 

Translated by Harry Collison

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Arthur Schopenhauer

Previously posted on December 12, 2017

To preach morality is like preaching to a stove

The higher worlds convey to us the impulses and powers for living, and in this way we get a basis for morality. Schopenhauer once said: “To preach morality is easy, to find a foundation for it, difficult.” But without a true foundation we can never make morality our own. People often say: Why worry about the knowledge of higher worlds so long we are good men and have moral principles? In the long run no mere preaching of morality will be effective; but a knowledge of the truth gives morality a sound basis. To preach morality is like preaching to a stove about its duty to provide warmth and heat, while not giving it any coal. If we want a firm foundation for morality, we must supply the soul with fuel in the form of knowledge of the truth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science – Lecture II: The Three Worlds – Stuttgart, 23rd August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on May 14, 2015

Morality cannot be established by ethical preachings (2 – End)

Notwithstanding this, morals are certainly not established by ethical teachings or moral sermons. Truly not. If morals could thus be founded there would be no immorality at the present day, for one might say that the whole of humanity would be overflowing with moral activities. For undoubtedly everyone has the opportunity of hearing the finest moral principles, since people are so fond of preaching them.

But to know what one ought to do and what is morally right is of least importance compared with the fact that there should be within us impulses which, through their inward strength, their inward power, are themselves converted into moral actions, and thus express themselves externally.

It is well known that ethical sermons do not produce this result. A moral foundation is laid when a man is guided to the source whence he must draw the impulses which shall supply him with forces leading to ethical activity.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 155 – Anthroposophical Ethics – I – Norrköping, 28th May, 1912

Translated by Harry Collison

To preach morality is like preaching to a stove

The higher worlds convey to us the impulses and powers for living, and in this way we get a basis for morality. Schopenhauer once said: “To preach morality is easy, to find a foundation for it, difficult.” But without a true foundation we can never make morality our own. People often say: Why worry about the knowledge of higher worlds so long we are good men and have moral principles? In the long run no mere preaching of morality will be effective; but a knowledge of the truth gives morality a sound basis. To preach morality is like preaching to a stove about its duty to provide warmth and heat, while not giving it any coal. If we want a firm foundation for morality, we must supply the soul with fuel in the form of knowledge of the truth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science – Lecture II: The Three Worlds – Stuttgart, 23rd August 1906

Previously posted on February 16, 2014

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