The only English translation of Die Philosophie der Freiheit (1894) sanctioned by Rudolf Steiner was done by Prof. and Mrs. R. F. Alfred Hoernle in 1916. It was written in philosophical and scientific terms, sometimes broadening the meanings, and entitled The Philosophy Of Freedom. Around 1900 Steiner began lecturing to theosophists and adopted the terminology of Theosophy. In order to adapt The Philosophy Of Freedom to his new terminology he revised the book in 1918 and also changed the books intention from ethical individualism to a preparation for spiritual perception, a goal for theosophy/anthroposophy. Since then most, if not all, commentary about the book has been on its relation to spiritual perception rather than ethical individualism. An article today on the perception of the spiritual world would attract the same crowd that is also investigating Big Foot and UFO's. The Philosophy of Freedom is a scientific investigation of the act of cognition, which it seems cognitive science is becoming a trending topic today, with all the brain scan articles trying to explain the human being.
In 1922 Steiner recommended a new more theosophical sounding title, The Philosophy Of Spiritual Activity. He said, "Therefore today we need above all a view of the world based on Freiheit -- one can use this word in German, but here in England one must put it differently because the word 'freedom' has a different meaning -- one must say a view of the world based on spiritual activity, on action, on thinking and feeling that arise from the individual human spirit."
So today you have two books, The Philosophy Of Freedom and The Philosophy Of Spiritual Activity. I have been calling them both The Philosophy Of Freedom, but this week I realized that each of the two versions should be identified by its proper name. This distinction will be helpful in a discussion of the books. The later translations have been called The Philosophy Of Spiritual Activity, even Hoernle's 1922 revised translation (though he was sloppy and didn't incorporate all the revisions). The exceptions are Wilson's 1964 translation who had the audacity to break from the ranks and disagree with Steiner and not change the title and the 1995 Lipson Intuitive Thinking As A Spiritual Path that decided to add "intuition" and "spiritual path" to the title making it sound more "spiritual" and more compatible for its publisher's (SteinerBooks) book list of New Age spirituality. All the later editions are really The Philosophy Of Spiritual Activity with only one edition being the real The Philosophy Of Freedom. (at least until we can publish a better translation of the original)