The Formation of a Western Sage

  • Bo Dahlin
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


This chapter describes Steiner’s life from his boyhood years until the time when he joined the Theosophical Society. It recounts how Steiner grew up in the borderland between nature and culture and between traditional country life and the growth of modern technology. How as a young boy he had clairvoyant experiences of the spiritual world and how it led him to study philosophy, especially epistemology, in his youth. These personal interests were added to his studies of engineering at the Vienna College of Technology. Steiner edited Goethe’s scientific writings and developed a Goetheanistic epistemology. He had a personal encounter with Nietzsche, obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy and wrote the book Die Philosophie der Freiheit (The philosophy of freedom). He was part of cultural life in Berlin at the end of the nineteenth century, working as a writer and literary critic in journals and as a teacher in the educational movement of the working class. Steiner’s open and non-dogmatic relation to Christianity, as the result of a period of inner struggles and trials, is dealt with in a special section. Finally, how Steiner gained practical pedagogical experience by working as a private tutor in his student years is described.


Spiritual experience Goetheanistic philosophy of science 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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