Goethean Science Workshop

Class 6 Geometry
Class 6 Geometry
Class 6 Geometry

You are warmly invited to the Goethean Science Workshop. This is an opportunity to gain an insight into this approach to science.

Event:    Goethean Science Workshop
Date:        Saturday 14th January (9.30 am to 1pm)
Venue:    Goethean Science Building, Elmfield School
Contact: 01384 394633 or Judyth Sassoon (js7892@bristol.ac.uk)

Anyone interested, please register interest by calling or emailing. Booking is not essential but an idea of numbers would be useful.

This workshop will demonstrate as clearly as possible how Goethean Science differs from mainstream science. The workshop is open to anyone (teachers, parents, members of the community) and no prior knowledge is assumed.

Goethean Science: What is it?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the 17th Century poet-naturalist, stood as a key point in the growth of Western thought. His scientific publications include detailed accounts of ideas, observations and deeply personal experiences of nature.

They are intensely autobiographical and totally in keeping with Goethe’s approach to science, as a reciprocal, participatory activity between observer and the observed. Goethe studied nature with scientific exactitude, combined with highly evolved artistic sensitivities. He strove towards developing a new method of perception, through which he could discover the underlying unity in nature.

In his time Goethe presented a comprehensive theory of metamorphosis and evolution, based on a mutable, “protean” concept. For Goethe the leaf represented the protean potential within the world of plants, and the vertebra that for animals.

However, many scientists misinterpreted the meaning of Goethe’s “protean archetypes”, regarding them either as physical manifestations or as Platonic ideals. This led to their rejection once Darwin’s magnificent theory of evolution had entered the mainstream. However, these “protean archetypes” should not be interpreted as either concrete physical entities from which the phenomena emerge, nor as detached spiritual “ideals” standing behind the phenomena.

Instead, they can be discovered within the actual phenomena of nature by a correctly tuned human consciousness. The starting point is to recognise what it is that one is looking for. With a certain amount of training, it is possible to recognise that Goethe was working with the productive forces behind nature.