According to Rudolf Steiner's Human and Cosmic Thought lectures there are twelve equally justified conceptions of the world. They are Materialism, Spiritism, Realism, Idealism, Mathematism, Rationalism, Psychism, Pneumatism, Monadism, Dynamism, Phenomenalism, and Sensationalism. In our search for truth individual personalities usually let one or the other of these world-outlooks predominate. This can be the source of an individuals exceptional ability or the cause of stubborn one-sidedness. What is your world-outlook? Why is it important to know? How can you discover it?
By discovering our world-outlook we can understand why we are inclined toward a particular point-of-view. Are we progressive politically because of our Idealism or are we conservative because of an underlying influence of Realism? It is this predisposition that determines our view more so than some thought out correctness. So rather than dispute views it would be better to understand why it happens that people have different world-outlooks and how one-sidedness can be overcome.
By recognizing our world-outlook we can work on developing broadmindedness by realizing the truth-value of other views. In our life we experience the effects of our world-outlook so it will be helpful to know how to live with it.
As this is an emerging new science there is not a test you can take or a person you can ask to determine your world-outlook. Yet their may be one way available today. I have tried this and it works for myself. The Philosophy of Freedom presents all the world-views. So if you are able to identify your predominant views within the book you will have clues to your own world-outlook. Each chapter presents twelve views of the chapter theme. The first four are the most important for orienting yourself in the chapter. All the other views are transitions between these first four views of Materialism, Spiritism, Realism, and Idealism.
Which of the experiences described in the Philosophy of Freedom is most often your own? In Chapter 1 we look at motives of action. Which motive is dominant in your life? Is your activity more often compelled by a choice between possible actions (Materialism) or is it the result of choice determined by inner desire (Spiritism)? Do you most often act out of the necessity of an external cause (Realism) or do you act out of the necessity of inner character (Idealism)? Once you have chosen which of the first four views most describe you, examine the two adjoining views next to this view on the world-outlook diagram. For example, Rationalism and Psychism are positioned next to Idealism. Now you have three possibilities. One of these may be the view most dominant in your life.
If this process is followed each chapter and the result is marked on the world-outlook diagram, you may see a pattern developing that will give you insights into your conception of the world.