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Theory of Colours Paperback – March 15, 1970
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Can you lend me The Theory of Colours for a few weeks? It is an important work. His latest things are insipid.(Ludwig van Beethoven, Conversation-book, 1820)
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Goethe, being fascinated by the colours generated from the prism conducted his own investigations and found to his great surprise that Newton's theory was, if not incorrect, but rather mechanical in nature and based on an "interpretation" of the phenomenon rather than the truth as it stands. Goethe through his investigations into natural phenomena gave rise to the idea of the archetypal phenomenon or Ur-phenomenon, in this case meaning the movement or active form present in the phenomenon which gives it its character rather than some static image such as a Darwinian ancestor. Goethe noted that it is possible to actually experience the fullness of the phenomenon ie the coming into being of the colours themselves and that the human being can not only theorise in the conventional sense of Kant but can in fact truly know the phenomenon as it is. Contemporary science as it also was then does not acknowledge such a possibility.
The book is basically a written account of experiments done by Goethe on the generation of colour in natural events and his own experiments to bring to the fore the ground of all colour generation.Read more ›
Ideas like Goethe's are the wellspring of new fashions in thought, whether they are 'right' or not.
Maybe Newton was supported by better evidence in his analysis of light and colour, but Goethe's views are a study in how the inquisitive human mind speculates on fascinating topics and comes up with answers that demand consideration and respect - whether they are 'right' in reality or just useful as ideas in themselves.
This book will provide insights into how we think, not just how we explain phenomenon.
This book is a fascinating look at the world of colors in which we live with the eye for detail of a scientist and the meditative appreciation of a philosopher. The attention to detail is very good. The experiments are reproducible. It's really nicely done.
The basic theory that Goethe seems to be striving for is a set of patterns which explain our perception of color in the world around us. His theories are thus almost more artistic than scientific. He looks a patterns in color change, including those in optical illusions relating solely to the eye. In these patterns he finds meaning.
I very much enjoyed this book. It helped me step back and enjoy the world a little more.
Although, the complete "Theory of Colours" also includes a "Historical Part" and a "Polemical Part"...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very science minded, hard to understand book (unlike the article which excerpted it) Thick reading.Published 8 months ago by Lisa Cox
Goethe's writings were, and still are, a source of inspiration for me. His "Theory of Colors", however, always puzzled me. Like going over a cliff. Read morePublished on September 15, 2013 by Blue Logician
I have u sed it as a resource book and not one I read from cover to cover...It will be good.Published on August 22, 2013 by Barbara Timberman
not at all what i thought and when i tried to return it amazon said to just keep it - that should say it allPublished on July 9, 2013 by Wye Watfore
This book is "Must have" for all serious Light Designers, for it's content that describes basic fundamentals for all the Light Designers that seriously perform their... Read morePublished on November 1, 2012 by Ranko Skansi
I bought Theory of Colours by Goethe because I thought I would gain insight into color in the most intimate way. To help me become a better painter. Read morePublished on April 25, 2012 by Karen Larson