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Anthroposophy and Science

An Introduction

Peter Heusser

This book is the first thorough introduction into the scientific basis of anthroposophy and anthroposophical medicine in the context of academic science. On a sound epistemological basis and in the context of current debates it analyses basic concepts of physics, chemistry, genetics, morphogenesis, biology, neurobiology, psychology, and philosophy of mind, with an emphasis on the problems of life, mind-body interactions, and free will. The result is a non-reductionistic anthropology acknowledging the emergent properties of body, life, soul, and spirit as equally real entities. This concurs with the basic concepts of anthroposophy and anthroposophical medicine, the justification of which is discussed in relation to the history and methodology of science as well as evidence based medicine.

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Preface to the first edition

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In the biological and psychological sciences and in human medicine in par- ticular, the time has come to think in a new and serious way about the nature of the human being. The successful explanation of the physical-material conditions for life, the soul and the spirit in human beings, has led to the belief that life, soul and spirit are caused by matter, lacking a reality of their own. The scientific view has indeed focused very successfully but very one-sidedly on the material level. However, this has led to the progressive loss of what is essentially human in the human being. For at the level of molecules, the difference between man, animal and other living creatures becomes blurred. And living creatures even share the elements of these mol- ecules with the non-living world of matter. Where is the uniquely human now to be found? It cannot be found in the realm of substance, leading John Martin to state in 2000: “Perhaps the great problem of the next 100 years in biology will be to understand what makes a human being a human be- ing” (Martin, 2000, 934). In this book I have attempted to make a contribution to solving this prob- lem and to show that it is possible to have a scientific view of mankind which not only recognises the reality of the material side of the human being, but the living, emotional and spiritual sides as well. This work was produced in 2009 under its German title “Anthroposophische...

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