Anthroposophy (A Fragment)

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Anthroposophy (A Fragment) A New Foundation for the Study of Human Nature

Written in 1910 (CW 45)

This written attempt to create a spiritual anthropology was found among Rudolf Steiner’s unpublished works after his death.

Although fragmentary, this key work on “Anthroposophy” is of enormous interest and importance. It is work whose time has finally arrived. Here are the first steps toward the development of a true psychology of spirit, using a phenomenological approach to the human senses, the life processes, the “I”-experience, the human form, and the human relationship to higher spiritual worlds. Steiner struggled to express the concepts related in this book, since many of the terms used in neurology, psychology, and cognitive studies did not yet exist in 1910. Since then there has been much progress, and this translation benefits from more than eighty years of development in the study of the human senses, cognition, and, neurology.

Steiner’s Anthroposophy lies halfway between anthropology and theosophy, serving as a means to study the whole human being. By contrast, anthropology studies the human being with the physical senses and an empirical scientific method, while theosophy recognizes the spiritual nature of the human being based on inner experience and attempts to understand human nature in the realm of spirit.

Anthroposophy takes the middle way, studying human beings as presented to physical observation, while also trying to derive indications of the spiritual foundations of phenomena through a process of “phenomenological intensification.” The results of such “intensification” are vitally important and constitute the first steps toward a truly cognitive psychology.

This volume includes an introduction by neurologist Dr. James Dyson, an anthroposophic doctor; a foreword by Robert Sardello, co-founder and co-director of The School of Spiritual Psychology; and a translator’s preface by Detlef Hardorp.

This is not an easy text, but Anthroposophy (A Fragment) is essential for understanding Steiner’s view of the human body—especially its formation and function in relation to spirit.

Anthroposophy (A Fragment) is a translation from German of Anthroposophie: Ein Fragment aus dem Jahre 1910 (GA 45).

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction by Dr. James A. Dyson
Foreword by Robert Sardello
Editor/Co-translator Preface
Publisher’s Foreword to the 1970 German Edition

1. The Character of Anthroposophy
2. The Human Being as a Sensory Organ
3. The World Underlying the Senses
4. The Life Processes
5. Processes in the Inner Human Being
6. “I”-Experience
7. The World Underlying the Sense Organs
8. The World Underlying the Organs of Life
9. The Higher Spiritual World
10. The Human Form


About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Dr. James A. Dyson, MD, has worked as an anthroposophic physician for nearly 30 years, developing a special interest in the fields of mental health and child development. He was the co-founder, with Dr. Michael Evans, of Park Attwood Clinic in 1979, an anthroposophic residential and out-patient facility, where he continued to practice until 2003. James has also worked as a school doctor for over 20 years in several Steiner-Waldorf Schools in the UK and as a medical adviser in the field of learning disabilities for the Camphill Village Trust and Garvald Centre (Edinburgh). Since leaving Park Attwood Clinic, James has increased his commitments in adult education, where he has established wide experience as a teacher and lecturer in the field of anthroposophic health and social care. He has been a faculty member of the Medical Section Mental Health Seminar (UK) for 20 years and was co-founder of the “Psychosophy Seminar” in USA (2001-2004). Currently his principal professional involvement is as Medical and Educational Adviser to the Hiram Academy, which is developing an accredited staff training for three adult education colleges for young adults with special needs, sponsored by Ruskin Mill Education Trust. He is also currently a visiting contributor to the UK Eurythmy Therapy, Rythmical Massage and Anthroposophic Doctor’s Trainings and to the Dorian School of Music Therapy (US). James has a strong commitment to extending current paradigms in the field of anthroposophic psychology and is currently completing a Masters’ Degree through the Institute of Psychosynthesis in London.

Robert Sardello, PhD, is cofounder (with Cheryl Sanders-Sardello, PhD, in 1992) of the School of Spiritual Psychology. At the University of Dallas, he served as chair of the Department of Psychology, head of the Institute of Philosophic Studies, and graduate dean. He is also cofounder and a faculty member of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, as well as author of more than 200 articles in scholarly journals and cultural publications, and is a former faculty member of the Chalice of Repose Project in Missoula, Montana. Having developed spiritual psychology based in archetypal psychology, phenomenology, and the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner from more than thirty-five years of research in this discipline, as well as holding positions in two universities, Dr. Sardello is now an independent teacher and scholar, teaching all over the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., as well as the Czech Republic, the Philippines, and Australia. He is a consultant to many educational and cultural institutions and a dissertation adviser at numerous academic institutions. He is author of several books, including Facing the World with Soul; Love and the World; Freeing the Soul from Fear; The Power of Soul: Living the Twelve Virtues. and Silence.

Detlef Hardorp was born in 1955 in Germany. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton in mathematics, which he taught at Rudolf Steiner Schools in Hessen and Bavaria. He currently speaks on politics and education at Rudolf Steiner Schools in Berlin and Brandenburg.

Additional information

Weight 18 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 0.5 × 8.5 in


Catherine E. Creeger, Detlef Hardorp


Robert Sardello


James A. Dyson, M.D.




April 1996






CW 45


Steiner Books


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