The Wholeness of Nature

Goethe's Way of Science

By Henri Bortoft

Format: Paperback

Examines the phenomenological and cultural roots of Goethe's approach to science, and argues that Goethe's insights represent the foundation for a future science of nature.

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Floris Books

Floris Books is an independent publishing company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2016 Floris won the Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year. Floris Books is the largest children's book publisher in Scotland and are well known for the Kelpies range of Scottish children's books. They also publish international children’s books and an extensive list of non-fiction books, including alternative education, agriculture, health, parenting and religion.

Product Description


The scientific work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) represents a style of learning and understanding which is largely ignored today. Modern science tends to break objects down in a purely analytical way; by contrast, Goethe was interested in the 'whole' of a phenomenon, and in particular the relationship between the object and the observer.In this illuminating study, Henri Bortoft examines the phenomenological and cultural roots of Goethe's approach to science. He argues that Goethe's insights, far from belonging to the past, represent the foundation for a future science respectful of nature.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Floris Books
Publication Date 24 Oct 1996
ISBN 9780863152382
Number of Pages 432

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Press Reviews

'Henri Bortoft is one of the world's foremost experts on Goethean science.'David Lorimer, Scientific & Medical Network'This is a gem of a book. Bortoft has made Goethe's thinking available in a particularly clear way.'-- David Peat, author of Blackfoot Physics'Bortoft shows how the contemporary impulse for participatory science can be realized. What's more, the book is beautifully written.'-- Brian Goodwin, author of Nature's Due and How the Leopard Changed Its Spots

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