I gave these talks nearly 20 years ago at Emerson College to an audience of about 30 people living in the area. The work of the College is based on the teaching of Rudolf Steiner. His books ‘The Philosophy of Freedom’ and ‘Truth and Knowledge’ are important to understand how we acquire knowledge of the world. It seemed to me that it is also important to know how this question has been treated by some of the outstanding European philosophers since Plato. The question can be briefly stated, ‘Epistemology deals with the encounter of the self and the world.’ The nature of self and world and their relationship are not fixed but show a slow change, an evolutionary process. This is not about progress, rather about increasing awareness and responsibility of the self. I have dealt briefly with Steiner’s philosophy as I gave several talks on it at the time. These were not recorded.
Steiner’s ‘Riddles of Philosophy’ (1923) is the source of the perception concerning change of consciousness as revealed in philosophy. It is supported by the creations in the arts as well as religious, political, legal, social and other cultural factors that appear in different epochs. I end with the philosophy of Martin Buber as his ‘I and Thou’ was my introduction to philosophy in the 50’s and confirmed for me that philosophy has to do with how we live our lives.