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The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s Way toward a Science of Conscious Participation in Nature

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Whereas most readers are familiar with Goethe as a poet and dramatist, few are familiar with his scientific work. In this brilliant book, Henri Bortoft (who began his studies of Goethean science with J. G. Bennett and David Bohm) introduces the fascinating scientific theories of Goethe. He succeeds in showing that Goethe’s way of doing science was not a poet’s folly but a genuine alternative to the dominant scientific paradigm. 


Bortoft shows that a different, "gentler" kind of empiricism is possible than that demanded by the dualizing mind of modern technological science and demonstrates that Goethe’s participatory phenomenology of a new way of seeing—while far from being a historical curiosity—in fact proposes a practical solution to the dilemmas of contemporary, postmodern science. 


If you read only one book on Goethan science, this should be the one!



"If I were asked to recommend one book on Goethe’s contributions to natural science and philosophy, it would be this book." —Evan Thompson, coauthor, The Embodied Mind 


"This is a gem of a book. Bortoft has made Goethe’s thinking available in a particularly clear way. He has brought Goethe up-to-date, showing how relevant his thinking is for a post-quantum world. Goethe’s method, in fact, could well point toward a new direction in science—to the science of the 21st century." —David Peat, author, Synchronicity:The Bridge between Matter and Mind 


"Henri Bortoft offers us, here, a precise and much-needed guide to Goethe’s scientific imagination." —David Abram, author, Spell of the Sensuous 


"Bortoft shows how the contemporary impulse for a participatory science can be realized. What’s more, the book is beautifully written." —Brian Goodwin, author of How the Leopard Changed Its Spots 


Written by Henri Bortoft

424 pages

Published 1996