[stahy-ner; Ger. shtahy-nuhr]
Steiner, Jakob, 1796-1863, Swiss mathematician. He was largely self-taught and was professor of geometry at the Univ. of Berlin from 1834. A pioneer in the development of synthetic, or pure, geometry (i.e., deduced by axiomatic methods, as Euclid's geometry), particularly projective geometry, he was considered by many the greatest geometer since Apollonius of Perga and exerted an important influence on his students, who included Bernhard Riemann.
Steiner, Rudolf, 1861-1925, German occultist and social philosopher. He was a leader in the founding of the German Theosophic Association (see theosophy). In time he abandoned theosophy and developed a distinctive philosophy which he called anthroposophy; this philosophy attempts to explain the world in terms of man's spiritual nature, or thinking independent of the senses. Translations of his works include Investigations in Occultism (1920) and Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (1922). He also wrote many works on Goethe.

See his autobiography (rev. tr. 1951, repr. 1970).

Steiner is a German surname that is derived from the word Stein, meaning stone.

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