Fields of Research

Fields of Research at ibugi

  • Consciousness and Reality: The topic includes epistemological aspects, questions on the philosophy of consciousness and methods of contemporary meditative consciousness culture.
  • Gender and diversity: The focus here lies on questions of identity and self-determination of the individual in relation to gender, descent and globalised culture.
  • Social justice and social innovation: Research focused on questions of designing and shaping society as a whole, and strengthening civil society.
  • Ethics as a field of shaping one's life and as an orientation in societal fields of action.

Project: The Actuality of Rudolf Steiner

Despite the far-reaching influence that Rudolf Steiner's texts, reflections and ideas have had on his contemporaries and cultural-creative persons from various fields up to the present day, academic discussion of his writings and ideas remains limited. His philosophical work is little known outside anthroposophical groups, despite some recent developments. Moreover, the existing controversies rarely seem to be an expression of an open discourse, but rather appear either dogmatically affirmative or dogmatically dismissive. What is decisive for the present project are constructive investigations and discussions of Steiner's ideas which are related to contemporary issues and are part of the field of interest of the persons involved.

In the present project, we want to enter into an open dialogue with Steiner's ideas and discourses and investigate where and whether approaches to the topics described above can be found. As an interdisciplinary research team we do not claim to provide a final interpretation and reading. Rather, we are interested in a multifaceted, individual and creative perspective in order to promote our own academic examination of research questions that seem relevant to us. We will publish and present the results in a loose order.

Erste Ergebnisse dieser Forschung werden voraussichtlich 2022 unter dem Titel „Re-Reading Steiner“ in englischer Sprache publiziert werden.

The project is currently divided into the following sub-projects:

  • Reality in digital space and Steiner's analysis of experience in the cognitive process (Marcelo da Veiga)
  • A meeting of the minds? – A neurophilosophical examination of Rudolf Steiner’s and Markus Gabriel’s theory of mind (Annika Walter)
  • Individualism and the Woman Question - Steiner and Mayreder on the Issue of Gender Equality (Eva Fürst)
  • The Social Problem Unanswered: Steiner’s Threefold Social Organism and Contemporary Society (Andrew Brogan)
  • Love – a moral concept? On the value of love in Rudolf Steiner's ethics (Leonie Overwien)

Prof. Dr. Marcelo da Veiga

Research projects

  1. Translation project with annotation:
  1. Reality in digital space and Steiner's analysis of experience in the cognitive process (chapter in: The Actuality of Rudolf Steiner)
    Geplanter Abschluss Dezember 2022
    • This project constitutes one aspect within a larger context: it deals with the development of basic ideas in R. Steiner's basic works and the question of to what extent they can be the starting point for understanding and shaping life in the present day. On the one hand, the present is characterised by the erosion of trust in values and institutions that have been handed down over the years and, to put it positively, by a fundamental openness and possibility to shape life itself. On the other hand, living in the present requires new initiative and skills for individual and social life, which at the same time can be understood as a starting point for a modern spiritual culture.
  1. Independent work in education management

Dr. Andrew Brogan

Research projects

  1. The Social Problem Unanswered: Steiner’s Threefold Social Organism and Contemporary Society
    • Andrew’s primary research project focuses on the political and social theory of Rudolf Steiner. The project is a critical engagement with Steiner’s ideas of social threefolding: the organization of autonomous but related spheres of society on the basis of politics, economics and culture. Along with an analysis of these ideas in the context of more established political and social theories, Andrew is also interested in the various contemporary expressions of Steiner’s work as responses to dominant forms of societal organization through neoliberal capitalism.

A thread running through Andrew’s various research interests is the everyday theory and practice of resistance to dominant oppressive social forms and so he maintains an active research interests in anarchism, feminism, critical pedagogy and non-hierarchical forms of organization and relationship.

Dr. Fergus Anderson

Research projects

  1. Researching the experience of conscious, occurrent thinking
    • My primary research interest is to better understand the nature of thinking. The notion that thinking can be explained in terms of what it’s like to experience has recently become a subject of debate in philosophy of mind in the so-called cognitive phenomenology debate. This also opens up the possibility that attending to thinking experiences is a valid and appropriate way of researching and investigating what thinking actually is. However, attending to occurrent thinking experiences opens up a range of problems that have been well documented in the literature. My current area of research is to use meditative methods to explore thinking experiences. One of my main reference points for this research is Rudolf Steiner who had a lot to say on this subject, though his work in this field is more or less completely unknown. I am currently engaged in both exploring and understanding Steiner’s many comments in this domain and doing my own first-person research supported by other relevant literature.

Eva Fürst M.A.

Research projects

  1. Individualism and the Woman Question - Steiner and Mayreder on the Issue of Gender Equality
  2. Rosa Mayreder – A fin-de-siècle artist re-visited

    • Although Rosa Mayreder was one of the most important German-speaking feminists of the turn of the century and adorned the 500-Schilling banknote in Austria, her name is not commonly known in Germany. In this research project, I am on the one hand concerned with Mayreder's philosophical essays, in which she introduces gender as a social category and takes a critical and thorough look at the leading philosophers of her time. Especially her differentiated consideration of gender, nature and culture allows the interpretation that Mayreder is a pioneer of gender studies in the German-speaking world. An interest in literature and cultural studies leads me to Mayreder's play Anda Renata, das als feministische Antwort auf Goethes Faust bezeichnet wird. Durch meine Auseinandersetzung mit dem Faustmythos und dem literarischen sowie kulturellen Phänomen der Doppelgängermotive in meiner Masterarbeit, sowie meine ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit in zwei Theatervereinen, sehe ich hier das Potential, sowohl eine geisteswissenschaftliche Forschungsarbeit zu verfassen, als auch das Stück kreativ neu adaptiert auf die Bühne zu bringen.

Leonie Overwien M.A.

Research projects

  1. Love – a moral concept? On the value of love in Rudolf Steiner's ethics
    • The research project is intended to provide a general introduction to Rudolf Steiner's individualistic ethics and focuses in particular on his interpretation of the concept of love. Against the background of a reflection on other moral theories which give fundamental importance to prosocial emotions, the significance of human emotionality for moral philosophy as a whole will also be addressed.

The project fits into a general area of research dealing with the significance of emotions and emotionality in moral philosophy, an interest in holistic approaches of philosophical anthropology (especially the concept of corporeality) as well as in intersections between ethics and art (especially ethics - theatre - personality development).

Annika Walter M.Sc.

Research projects

  1. A meeting of the minds? – A neurophilosophical examination of Rudolf Steiner’s and Markus Gabriel’s theory of mind
    • When it comes to the philosophy of the mind, our cognition and intelligence, a lot has been said on the matter by philosophers and neuroscientists alike. However, one of the voices which have been rather neglected in that very critical debate is that of Rudolf Steiner. This research project seeks to rectify this oversight and aims at looking into Steiner’s hypotheses on the cognitive process and to compare these to the notions of contemporary philosopher Markus Gabriel. Special emphasis lies on the duality of perception and thinking, as postulated by Steiner, and its contemporary counterpart of thinking itself being considered an act of perception. These ideas will be discussed in the light of current neuroscientific findings, with a particular focus on the distinction or possible synergies between the default and executive network, as well as the neuronal foundations of cognition and meta-cognitive states. Finally, possible applications of these models of human thinking and cognition to the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and the potential misapprehensions of such an analogy will be introduced.