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Goethean Science,

Goethe the Scientist,
Nature's Open Secret,
Einleitung Zu Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften.

Rudolf Steiner
(Written 1883; GA 1 / Bn 1 / CW 1)

(See below: Bn 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, and 1e)

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Rudolf Steiner went to Weimar to edit the scientific writings of Goethe for the Kürschner edition of the “German National Literature.” Along with sorting and arranging Goethe's works, Steiner wrote introductions and commentaries that have been collected and published in English translation under the titles, Goethe the Scientist, Goethean Science or Nature's Open Secret. Originally published in German as, Einleitung Zu Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften, 1883.

Chapter titles:
    How Goethe's Theory of Metamorphosis Arose,
    How Goethe's Thoughts on the Development of the Animals Arose,
    The Nature and Significance of Goethe's Writings on Organic Morphology,
    Concluding Remarks on Goethe's Morphological Views,
    Goethe's Way of Knowledge,
    The Arrangement of Goethe's Natural-scientific Writings,
    From Art to Science,
    Goethe's Epistemology,
    Knowing and Human Action in the Light of Goethean Way of Thinking,
    Relationship of the Goethean Way of Thinking to Other Views,
    Goethe and Mathematics,
    Goethe's Basic Geological Principle,
    Goethe's Meteorological Conceptions,
    Goethe and Natural-scientific Illusionism,
    Goethe as Thinker and Investigator,
    Goethe Against Atomism,
    Goethe's World View in his "Aphorisms in Prose."

Known Publications:

  • Einleitung zu Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften, German language editions: 1883-97, 1926, 1949, 1973, 1975, 1987. ISBN 3-7274-5180-7,
  • Goethe the Scientist, Anthroposophic Press, New York, N. Y., 1950, 280 pp., translated from the German edition of 1926 by Olin D. Wannamaker
  • Goethean Science, Mercury Press, Spring Valley, N. Y., 1988, 277 pp., translated from the German by William Lindeman, ISBN 0-936132-92-2, Paperback
  • Nature's Open Secret, Anthroposophic Press, Hudson, N. Y., 2000, 320 pp., translated from the German by John Barnes and Mado Spiegler, ISBN 0-88010-393-0,
  • J. W. Goethe: Natural Scientific Writings with Introductions, Footnotes, and Explanations in the Text by Rudolf Steiner. Originally published in the “Kuerschner edition of the German National Literature,” 1883–1897, and Reprinted in Dornach. Bibliography Numbers: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e. Information on parts is given below. [J. W. Goethe: Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften. Mit Einleitung, Fussnoten und Erlaeuterungen im Text, herausgegeben von Rudolf Steiner. In “Kuerschners Deutsche National-Literatur” 1883 bis 1897. Nachdruck Dornach]
    • Form and Metamorphosis In Organic Nature, BN 1a German language editions: 1975 ISBN ?-
      [Erster band. Bildung und Umbildung Organischer Naturen]
    • Natural Science in General. Minerology and Geology. Meteorology, BN 1b German language editions: 1975 ISBN ?-
      [Zweiter Band. Zur Naturwissenschaft in Allgemeinen Mineralogie und Geologie. Meteorologie]
    • Contributions to Optics. Color Theory – I, BN 1c German language editions: 1975 ISBN ?-
      [Dritter Band. Beitrage Zur Optik. Zur Farbenlehre – I]
    • Contributions to Optics. Color Theory – II], BN 1d German language editions: 1975 ISBN ?-
      [Vierter Band(Erste Abteilung.) Zur Farbenlehre – II]
    • Contributions to Optics. Color Theory – III], BN 1e German language editions: 1975 ISBN ?-
      [Fuenfter Band(Zweite Abteilung) Zur Farbenlehre – III]

GA 1 / Bn 1 / CW 1 ... Selections ...


Goethes Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften

Book Cover Image In den Jahren 1884–1897 besorgte Rudolf Steiner für Kürschners «Deutsche National-Litteratur» die Herausgabe von Goethes Naturwissenschaftlichen Schriften (siehe GA 1 a-e).

Sämtliche seiner dazu verfaßten Einleitungen sind in diesem Band enthalten. Die intensive Beschäftigung mit der Anschauungsweise Goethes war der Ausgangspunkt für Steiners erkenntnistheoretische Arbeiten und hat sich auch auf sein gesamtes Werk ausgewirkt.


Goethean Science

Book Cover Image This book is a cornerstone of the foundations of Anthroposophy. Consider this famous passage from it: “Inasmuch as thinking takes possession of the idea, thinking fuses with the primal ground of world existence; what is at work outside enters into the spirit of man: he becomes one with objective reality in its highest potency. Becoming aware of the idea within reality is the true communion of man.”


Side by Side Compare

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