All science strives to bring together perceived outer facts and ideas grasped in thinking to create understanding. Anthroposophy extends natural science by embracing the phenomenology of J W von Goethe and by developing ideas which seek to include in their oversight the full spectrum of human experience over and beyond the sense-perceptible material realm.  

The Natural Science Section supports and encourages an approach to Nature which includes a recognition not only of the principles at work in the perceptible outer world but also of the spiritual activity of the scientist striving for knowledge. Observation of thinking is a fundamental step in the development of Anthroposophical research and extends and deepens natural scientific enquiry.

The significance of the researcher and the questions they pose for the experiment and its outcomes are now recognised more widely but are still contrary to the popular belief in the pure objectivity of scientific endeavour. The section recognises the value of the path of knowledge cultivated in the School of Spiritual Science based at the Goetheanum in Switzerland.

The foundations for this way of natural science which remains open to the spiritual are to be found in Rudolf Steiner’s written texts beginning with his introduction to Goethe’s scientific works, GA1.  There are also several lecture courses on natural science given between 1920 and 1923. GA 320, 321, 322, 323, 324 and 326. These do present challenges to our ways of thinking about the world and to the reductionism we have inherited, however Steiner’s ideas and suggestions for ways of looking at phenomena can lead us into wonderful avenues of research. One can gain valuable insights and move towards a truly holistic understanding of Nature.  Many scientists especially in Europe and America have taken up the approach in the last hundred years and it has proved especially valuable in the life sciences. It has enabled the development of new medicines, new agricultural practices, new ways of blending liquids and of supporting living systems.

Simon Charter E:

Some links which might be of interest:

The Natural science section at the Goetheanum

The UK Mathematics and Science group of the Anthroposophical Society

The North American Natural science section


The Nature Institute in USA