The Founder of Anthroposophy was Rudolf Steiner, PhD, an Austrian natural scientist and philosopher, who was born on February 27, 1861, at Kraljevec in what is now part of Croatia. He entered the University of Vienna at age 18 and studied natural history, mathematics and chemistry. He read extensively in philosophy and attended philosophy lectures by Karl Julius Schröer, a leading philosopher and scientist of that time. Due to Professor Schröer, at age 22, Rudolf Steiner began to edit Goethe’s Natural Scientific Writings. At age 25, he wrote his Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World Conception. From 1890 to 1897, Rudolf Steiner lived in Weimar, Germany, where Goethe had lived most of his life and where most of Goethe’s writings are kept in archives. In 1891, Rudolf Steiner received his PhD at the University of Rostock. His thesis was: Die Grundfrage der Erkenntnistheorie (The Fundamentals of a Theory of Cognition). Rudolf Steiner became a leading scientist in the field of Erkenntnistheorie (Theory of Cognition, or Theory of Knowledge). In 1894, Rudolf Steiner wrote his first “anthroposophical” book, “Philosophie der Freiheit”, or, as it is currently translated “Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path”.
Also in 1894, a series of personal meetings with Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) took place in Weimar, where Nietzsche also lived, and at his home in Berlin. Rudolf Steiner died in his small studio in Dornach, Switzerland, in 1925. (“The Essential Steiner” by Robert A. McDermott., 1984. Harper San Francisco. ISBN 0-06-065345-0, gives a wonderful and thorough overview of the person and work of Rudolf Steiner).
Rudolf Steiner was not a physician. He therefore founded Anthroposophical Medicine and the Medical Section at the Goetheanum in association with the Dutch physician Ita Wegman, MD, (1876 to 1943). Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman co-wrote the basic book on Anthroposophical Medicine, “Fundamentals of Therapy” (Mercury Press, Spring Valley, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-929979-75-3).