The science of knowing

For the conference “Evolving agriculture and food“, September 2018, an English summary was made of the-science-of-knowing. (GA2)

Luc Ambagts will contribute to this conference in the form of a working group and an oral presentation. Below you will find a description of both the presentation and the working group.

Presentation: The gap between scientific relevance and scientific acceptance
Research question
What experiences are there where results of research beyond the boundaries of materialism are included in the scientific discourse without losing their specific value?

In “The Science of Knowing” (GA2) Rudolf Steiner challenges us to choose a method for research that fits to the subject. For the research into vitality specific methods are developed like crystallisation, chroma’s, etc. These methods require personal training in order to learn to feel and read the images. This makes it difficult to talk about it in general. Attempts to present the results in quantitative terms may yield successful correlations but lose the qualitative image descriptions.
Some researchers apply their intuitively found values when advising on agriculture and nutrition, without worrying about their scientific communicability. Others design their research in such a way that this communicability is a very important element.
The view that finding applications for research results is more fruitful than trying to be successful in the scientific discourse can be supplemented by the need to include the person who applies the results in the process where the results were obtained.

Research method(s)
Interviews with researchers about their intentions and experiences.

Working group: Creating unknown research-methods for unknown individuals: encountering individuality
In Grundlinien einer Erkenntnistheorie… Rudolf Steiner challenges us to choose a method for research that fits to the subject. But to do so you must know the subject before you start to investigate it. This is the paradox of scientific research always risking on being on a falls track.
Steiner gives an answer by dividing subjects is three groups: inorganic nature which benefits from an approach from cause and effect, organic nature which relates to the ‘type’ and spiritual sciences that has to work with “individuality” as such. Especially in the last subject the paradox of the need of creating a research method that is suitable for the subject is felt in an extreme way. There is a need for further development of research methods there.
Goethe wrote: In vain we try to describe the character of a person: but when we put together his actions, his deeds, an image of his character will oppose us. This can inspire us to look at our own work and investigate together what forms of dealing with individuality we can develop.

The participants will have a clear understanding of the epistemology from Steiner, will be aware of the impact a scientific approach has on the outcome of an investigation and will be able to describe specific individualities in different ways.