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In: KulturPoetik 2002, Heft 1

Autor

Alexander Honold

Titel

Goethes Farbenkrieg

Kategorie

Beitrag

Abstract

The subject of Goethe’s Farbenlehre is not optics but colours, conceived as a cultural phenomenon. The essay argues that for the epistemological development of his theory on colours, Goethe’s experiences during his Campaign in France in 1792 proved to be decisive. The battlefield stimulated Goethe’s conception of polarity as a dynamic and antagonistic factor in nature itself. Goethe’s writings on the Farbenlehre, although of doubtful scientific validity in their anti-Newtonean polemics, tend towards an interdisciplinary understanding of the effects and meanings of colours. They should be regarded as an advanced testimony of eighteenth-century cultural knowledge.