Reviews - What do customers think about Goethe and the Sciences: A Reappraisal (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science)?
An essential item in my library. Aug 31, 2003
This is a book of essays contributed by numerous historans, philosophers of science and scientific researchers specially focusing on Goethe's scientific work as well the philosophy of nature inherent in his approach to studying natural phenomena.
The book is separated into three parts: I. Goethe in the history of science, II. Goethe in Scientific methodology and Ontology and III. The contemporary use of Goethe's approach.
Each section has contributions which are deep analytical studies in their area, recapitulations of Goethe's stance and in some instances a remarkably insightful and philosophically/spiritually deep comprehension of the scale of Goethe's aim in science which explains the degree to which he himself considered his scientific work as more important than his artistic achievements. As an example consider (not all):
Jeffrey Barnouw: a study on Helmholtz's comments on Goethe's work.
Douglas E. Miller: Goethe's colour science and its translation from the German into English.
Carl Friederich von Weizsaecker: a very deep study of Goethe's concept of metamorphosis.
Dennis L. Sepper: Sepper's superb, in depth, study of both Newton's Optics and The Farbenlehre which led to the book published by CUP.
Arthur G. Zajonc: The comprehension required in order to know what Goethe meant when saying that "the phenomenon is already the theory".
Ronald H. Brady: The understanding of both form and cause in Goethe's phenomenology.
Frederick Amrine: A study of the contemporary work of Jochen Bockemuehl in plant metamorphosis.
and finally a postscript summarising the individual contributions and their overall standing regarding the current view of Goethe's scientific contribution.
This is a must book for anyone wanting to not only get some understanding of Goethe's contribution to science, the philosophy of science but of the spirit of science as well. Ever since reading the superb book "The Wholeness of Nature" by Henri Bortoft I have attempted to purchase a copy of this text which unfortunately has been much too expensive. Luckily I obtained one second hand. It has been worth it. Along with the aforementioned book by Bortoft, Portmann's work on "Animal Forms and Patterns" and Jack Turner's "Abstract Wild" it becomes a member of essential items in my library.