A Theory of Knowledge

Steiner on organics

‘A Theory of Knowledge Inherent in Goethe’s World View’ – 1886

Chapter: Organic Nature

At the end of the eighteenth century the universally prevailing view was that there was no science to explain living phenomena in the sense in which physics, for example, is a science that explains things. Kant, in fact, tried to establish a philosophical basis for this view.

Above all, one has committed a serious error in this. One believed that the method of inorganic science should simply be taken over into the realm of organisms. One considered the method employed here to be altogether the only scientific one, and thought that for “organics” to be scientifically possible, it would have to be so in exactly the same sense in which physics is, for example.