Faustian phenomena: Teleology in Goethe's interpretation of plants and animals

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 15 (5):481-492 (1990)
Abstract
von Goethe was a daring and wide-ranging biologist as well as a great playwright. His work was a whole: for him, theory and theatre were both based on keen observation of life. Even ‘Faustian’ striving, the blind upward urge of life, can be found in significant details of organisms and their evolution, according to Goethe. Such observations cannot be dismissed as sheer poetry. On the contrary, his teleology provides a broad empirical background for the organismic approach in bio-medical science, while exposing inconsistencies in strict reductionist doctrines. Keywords: anastomosis, anatomical type, dialectic, Faustian, Platonic idealism, serial homology, sociobiology, teleology CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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