Goethe’s Science of Living Form
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A New Methodology for the Life Sciences
In this groundbreaking book, Nigel Hoffmann shows that understanding the dynamic, living qualities of nature requires artistic capacities. He distinguishes four stages of scientific inquiry that correspond to the four classical elements of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Modern analytical science with its causal thinking can be characterized as an Earth mode of cognition. A dynamic approach that follows transformation over time requires a sculptural sense of form and corresponds to the element of Water. The stages of Air and Fire engage yet more vital aspects of nature through musical and poetic capacities.