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(5,921 words)

Author(s): Leijenhorst, Cees
The term anthroposophy has been used by various hermetic and philosophical authors in the modern era, the earliest one being the English alchemist → Thomas Vaughan (1622-1666). In the 19th century the title was used by, among others, the philosopher Immanuel Hermann Fichte (1797-1879), son of the famous Johann Gottlob Fichte, and Robert Zimmermann (1824-1898), professor of philosophy at the university of Vienna. One of his students was → Rudolf Steiner, with whom the term anthroposophy is now us…


(3,407 words)

Author(s): Leijenhorst, Cees
From the second half of the 12th century the Latin West witnessed an enormous wave of translations of Aristotle's works from Arabic and Greek, which reached its peak around the middle of the 13th century with William of Moerbeke. As a consequence, philosophers and theologians were faced with the formidable task of reconciling this new influx of pagan wisdom with Christian faith. They did so in the institutional context of one of the most enduring inventions of the Middle Ages, namely the university. These new institutions developed curricula dominated by the Corpus Aristotelicum. Just …

Steiner, Rudolf

(6,286 words)

Author(s): Leijenhorst, Cees
Steiner, Rudolf, * 25 Feb 1861 (Kraljevec (Croatia)), † 30 Mar 1925 (Dornach (Switzerland)) Rudolf Steiner was born in Kraljevec, Croatia (then part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire) on 25 February 1861, although his official birthday is the 27th, the day he was baptised. He was an eldest son, with a sister and a younger brother born later. Having worked originally as a forester, Steiner's father was employed at the Austrian railways, mostly in the more remote parts of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Steiner r…


(9,753 words)

Author(s): Shaw, Gregory | Leijenhorst, Cees
Neoplatonism I: Antiquity Neoplatonism was a philosophical school based on Platonic doctrines whose founder, Plotinus (205-270 C.E.), claimed only to be an exegete of the teachings of Plato ( Enn. V.1.8.10-14) and, before him, of the “ancients”, including the Pythagoreans. In the more than seven centuries after Plato, however, several philosophical schools – the Stoics and Aristotelians especially – had attained a powerful influence among thinkers in the Hellenic world, and Plotinus' writings, collected and edited by his st…