Goethe's Science of Living Form, by Nigel Hoffmann
$ 25.00

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. Combining scholarly-scientific acuity with artistic insight, Hoffmann first characterizes these four different ways of knowing. He then applies them, leading us ever more deeply into the dynamic qualities of specific plants, animals, and the landscape they live in. In doing so, he demonstrates how this four-step methodology provides a comprehensive framework for the life sciences. This beautifully illustrated book will appeal to all who are interested in gaining deeper insights into nature. Contents: Art and the Emergence of an Authentic Organic Science Goethe and the Phenomenological Method Toward an Authentic Method in the Life Sciences A Goethean Methodology through the Elemental Modes Earth Cognition-Physical Thinking-the Mechanical Water Cognition - Imagination - the Sculptural Air Cognition - Inspiration - the Musical Fire Cognition - Intuition - the Poetical Evolution as Creative Process The Landscape and its Organs The Human Being and the Evolution of Landscape The Yabby Ponds: A Goethean Study of Place