A Phenomenology of Nature
Author: David Seamon
Publisher: SUNY Press
Examines Goethe's neglected but sizable body of scientific work, considers the philosophical foundations of his approach, and applies his method to the real world of nature.
The Dynamic Way of Seeing in Goethe and European Thought
Author: Henri Bortoft
Publisher: Floris Books
The history of western metaphysi from Plato onwards is dominated by the dualism of being and appearance. What something really is (its true being) is believed to be hidden behind the 'mere appearances' through which it manifests. Twentieth-century European thinkers radically overturned this foundation. With Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer came a major step towards taking appearance seriously, exploring a way of seeing that draws attention back 'upstream', from what is experienced into the act of experiencing. Understood in this way, perception is a dynamic event, a 'phenomenon', in which the observer participates. Henri Bortoft guides us through this dynamic way of seeing in various areas of experience -- in distinguishing things, the finding of meaning, and the relationship between thought and words. He also explores similarities with Goethe's reflections on the coming-into-being of the living plant. Here, in another reversal of classical thinking, we find that even in their 'diversity of appeareances', living things are not separate but in relation. Diversity is the dynamic unity of life itself. Expanding the scope of his previous book, The Wholeness of Nature, the author shows how Goethean insights combine with the dynamic way of seeing in continental philosophy to offer us an actively experienced 'life of meaning'. This book will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the contribution and wider implications of modern European thought in the world today.
Author: Ernst Lehrs
Publisher: Rudolf Steiner Press
Now a classic, this is the fundamental text for those seeking a "Spiritual Understanding of Nature on the Basis of Goethe's Method of Training Observation and Thought." Working out of a detailed history of science, Lehrs reveals to the reader not only how science has been inescapably led to the illusions it holds today, but more importantly, how the reader may correct in himself these misconceptions brought into his world view through modern education.
Holism in German Culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler
Author: Anne Harrington
Publisher: Princeton University Press
By the 1920s in Central Europe, it had become a truism among intellectuals that natural science had "disenchanted" the world, and in particular had reduced humans to mere mechanisms, devoid of higher purpose. But could a new science of "wholeness" heal what the old science of the "machine" had wrought? Some contemporary scientists thought it could. These years saw the spread of a new, "holistic" science designed to nourish the heart as well as the head, to "reenchant" even as it explained. Critics since have linked this holism to a German irrationalism that is supposed to have paved the way to Nazism. In a penetrating analysis of this science, Anne Harrington shows that in fact the story of holism in Germany is a politically heterogeneous story with multiple endings. Its alliances with Nazism were not inevitable, but resulted from reorganizational processes that ultimately brought commitments to wholeness and race, healing and death into a common framework. Before 1933, holistic science was a uniquely authoritative voice in cultural debates on the costs of modernization. It attracted not only scientists with Nazi sympathies but also moderates and leftists, some of whom left enduring humanistic legacies. Neither a "reduction" of science to its politics, nor a vision in which the sociocultural environment is a backdrop to the "internal" work of science, this story instead emphasizes how metaphor and imagery allow science to engage "real" phenomena of the laboratory in ways that are richly generative of human meanings and porous to the social and political imperatives of the hour.
Introductions to Goethe's Scientific Writings
Author: Steiner, Rudolf,Barnes, John
At the young age of twenty-one, Rudolf Steiner was chosen to edit Goethe's scientific writings for the principle Geothe edition of his time. Goethe's literary genius was universally acknowledged; it was Steiner's task to understand and comment on Goethe's scientific achievements. Steiner recognized the significance of Goethe's work with nature and his epistemology, and here began Steiner's own training in epistemology and spiritual science. This collection of Steiner's introductions to Goethe's works re-visions the meaning of knowledge and how we attain it. Goethe had discovered how thinking could be applied to organic nature and that this experience requires not just rational concepts but a whole new way of perceiving. In an age when science and technology have been linked to great catastrophes, many are looking for new ways to interact with nature. With a fundamental declaration of the interpenetration of our consciousness and the world around us, Steiner shows how Goethe's approach points the way to a more compassionate and intimate involvement with nature.
Goethe's Philosophy of Nature
Author: Astrida Orle Tantillo
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
Better known as a poet and dramatist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) was also a learned philosopher and natural scientist. Astrida Orle Tantillo offers the first comprehensive analysis of his natural philosophy, which she contends is rooted in creativity. Tantillo analyzes Goethe's main scientific texts, including his work on physics, botany, comparative anatomy, and metereology. She critically examines his attempts to challenge the basic tenets of Newtonian and Cartesian science and to found a new natural philosophy. In individual chapters devoted to different key principles, she reveals how this natural philosophy—which questions rationalism, the quantitative approach to scientific inquiry, strict gender categories, and the possibility of scientific objectivity—illuminates Goethe's standing as both a precursor and critic of modernity. Tantillo does not presuppose prior knowledge of Goethe or science, and carefully avoids an overreliance on specialized jargon. This makes The Will to Create accessible to a wide audience, including philosophers, historians of science, and literary theorists, as well as general readers.
A Path Towards Living Attentively
Author: Emma Kidd
Publisher: Floris Books
In the twenty-first century we are confronted with a rapidly changing world full of social, economic and environmental uncertainties. We are all inherently connected to this changing world and in order to create the best possible conditions for life to thrive, we must each develop an inner capacity to respond and adapt to life in new, creative and innovative ways. The author of this visionary book argues that the path to a happy, healthy and peaceful world begins with the individual. By learning to recognise our cognitive habits of interrupting and defining life through our fixed ideas, labels and judgements, we can begin to develop a dynamic way of seeing that enables us to perceive and respond to life with greater attentiveness. First Steps in Seeing reveals a practical set of stepping stones that guide the reader into this dynamic way of seeing and relating. Using personal stories, practical exercises and real-world case studies in development, education and business, the author takes the reader on a journey to explore how to give our full attention to life, and how to enliven the world that we each co-create. An inspiring guide for all those working for social change in youth work, business, education or research, or simply seeking fresh paths in life.
Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe
Author: Robert J. Richards
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
"All art should become science and all science art; poetry and philosophy should be made one." Friedrich Schlegel's words perfectly capture the project of the German Romantics, who believed that the aesthetic approaches of art and literature could reveal patterns and meaning in nature that couldn't be uncovered through rationalistic philosophy and science alone. In this wide-ranging work, Robert J. Richards shows how the Romantic conception of the world influenced (and was influenced by) both the lives of the people who held it and the development of nineteenth-century science. Integrating Romantic literature, science, and philosophy with an intimate knowledge of the individuals involved—from Goethe and the brothers Schlegel to Humboldt and Friedrich and Caroline Schelling—Richards demonstrates how their tempestuous lives shaped their ideas as profoundly as their intellectual and cultural heritage. He focuses especially on how Romantic concepts of the self, as well as aesthetic and moral considerations—all tempered by personal relationships—altered scientific representations of nature. Although historians have long considered Romanticism at best a minor tributary to scientific thought, Richards moves it to the center of the main currents of nineteenth-century biology, culminating in the conception of nature that underlies Darwin's evolutionary theory. Uniting the personal and poetic aspects of philosophy and science in a way that the German Romantics themselves would have honored, The Romantic Conception of Life alters how we look at Romanticism and nineteenth-century biology.
A Selection of Goethe's Writings
Author: Jeremy Naydler
Category: Literary Criticism
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is most famous for his work on colour theory, but he was also an accomplished all-round scientist, studying and writing on anatomy, geology, botany, zoology and meteorology. This book draws together, in Goethe's own words, his key ideas on nature, science and scientific method.Goethe believed that we should study our world and nature as people at home in it, rather than removedly, as if we were aliens from another planet. He adopted a qualitative approach to science at odds with Newton's quantitative methods that were so popular in his day. His is a sensitive science which does not ignore our relationship to nature.The extracts in this book are fascinating and essential reading for anyone who feels that we've lost our spiritual connection to nature.
Author: Frederick Amrine,Francis J. Zucker,Harvey Wheeler
Publisher: D Reidel Pub Co
Category: Literary Criticism
This book will be of interest to both historians and philosophers of science ' M. Riegner, The Quarterly Review of Biology, vol. 63, September 1988
Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,Gordon L. Miller
Publisher: MIT Press
Goethe's influential text, newly illustrated with stunning colorphotographs.
The Idea of the Type as a Key to Vertebrate Evolution
Author: Ernst Michael Kranich
Considers the evolution of vertebrae and shows that there is a common principle underlying the disparate animal forms.
An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism
Author: Fritjof Capra
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
Studies similarities between the concept of a harmonious universe that emerges from the theories of modern physics and the vision of a continuously interactive world conceived by Eastern mystics.
Towards a Phenomenology of Person and World
Author: David Seamon,Robert Mugerauer
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
themes among the essays resurface and resonate. Though our request for essays was broad and open-ended, we found that topics such as seeing, authenticity, interpretation, wholeness, care, and dwelling ran as undercur rents throughout. Our major hope is that each essay plays a part in revealing a larger whole of meaning which says much about a more humane relation ship with places, environments and the earth as our home. Part I. Beginnings and directions At the start, we recognize the tremendous debt this volume owes to philosopher Martin Heidegger (1890-1976), whose ontological excavations into the nature of human existence and meaning provide the philosophical foundations for many of the essays, particularly those in Part I of the volume. Above all else, Heidegger was regarded by his students and colleagues as a master teacher. He not only thought deeply but was also able to show others how to think and to question. Since he, perhaps more than anyone else in this century, provides the instruction for dOing a phenomenology and hermeneutic of humanity's existential situation, he is seminal for phenomenological and hermeneutical research in the environmental disci plines. He presents in his writings what conventional scholarly work, especially the scientific approach, lacks; he helps us to evoke and under stand things through a method that allows them to come forth as they are; he provides a new way to speak about and care for our human nature and environment.
Phenomenology, Lifeworlds, and Place Making
Author: David Seamon
Life Takes Place argues that, even in our mobile, hypermodern world, human life is impossible without place. Seamon asks the question: why does life take place? He draws on examples of specific places and place experiences to understand place more broadly. Advocating for a holistic way of understanding that he calls "synergistic relationality," Seamon defines places as spatial fields that gather, activate, sustain, identify, and interconnect things, human beings, experiences, meanings, and events. Throughout his phenomenological explication, Seamon recognizes that places are multivalent in their constitution and sophisticated in their dynamics. Drawing on British philosopher J. G. Bennett’s method of progressive approximation, he considers place and place experience in terms of their holistic, dialectical, and processual dimensions. Recognizing that places always change over time, Seamon examines their processual dimension by identifying six generative processes that he labels interaction, identity, release, realization, intensification, and creation. Drawing on practical examples from architecture, planning, and urban design, he argues that an understanding of these six place processes might contribute to a more rigorous place making that produces robust places and propels vibrant environmental experiences. This book is a significant contribution to the growing research literature in "place and place making studies."
Author: David Peat
Publisher: Weiser Books
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
"The modern version of The Tao of Physics. . . We gain tantalizing glimpses of an elusive alternative to the thing we know as science. . . . Above all, Peat's book is an eloquent plea for a fair go for the modes of enquiry of other cultures." --New Scientist One summer in the 1980s, theoretical physicist F. David Peat went to a Blackfoot Sun Dance ceremony. Having spent all of his life steeped in and influenced by linear Western science, he was entranced by the Native American worldview and, through dialogue circles between scientists and native elders, he began to explore it in greater depth. Blackfoot Physics is the account of his discoveries. In an edifying synthesis of anthropology, history, metaphysics, cosmology, and quantum theory, Peat compares the medicines, the myths, the languages—the entire perceptions of reality of the Western and indigenous peoples. What becomes apparent is the amazing resemblance between indigenous teachings and some of the insights that are emerging from modern science, a congruence that is as enlightening about the physical universe as it is about the circular evolution of humanity’s understanding. Through Peat’s insightful observations, he extends our understanding of ourselves, our understanding of the universe, and how the two intersect in a meaningful vision of human life in relation to a greater reality.
how to be happy in an imperfect world
Author: John Armstrong
Publisher: Allan Lane
Category: Literary Criticism
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is often remembered only as a figure of literary genius, with little relevance to the way we live today. Yet Goethe was driven by much more than the desire for literary success: he wanted (much the same as us) to live life well. In Love, Life, Goethe, John Armstrong subtly and imaginatively explores the ways that we can learn from Goethe, whether in love, suffering, friendship or family. At the centre of this project is happiness: in am imperfect world, how can we live well with what we have, and accept what we haven't? From our lives at home, to our relationships, the politicians we choose, and our relationship with money, John Armstrong explores the main themes of our lives through the life of Goethe, and helps us learn how to live.
Healing Our Fragmented Culture
Author: Brian C. Goodwin
Brian Goodwin, author of How the Leopard Changed Its Spots, argues for a view of nature as complex, interrelated networks of relationships. He proposes that, in order for us to once again work with nature to achieve true sustainability on our planet, we need to adopt a new science, new art, new design, new economies and new patterns of responsibility. We must be willing to pay nature its due: to recognize what we owe to the natural world and resist exploiting it solely for our own ends.