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The Metamorphosis of Plants

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The Metamorphosis of Plants, published in 1790, was Goethe's first major attempt to describe what he called in a letter to a friend "the truth about the how of the organism." Inspired by the diversity of flora he found on a journey to Italy, Goethe sought a unity of form in diverse structures. He came to see in the leaf the germ of a plant's metamorphosis--"the true Proteu ...more
Hardcover, 156 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by The MIT Press (first published 1798)
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May 31, 2015 Aloha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where are the pictures?

According to the publication review, there are pictures. Nothing. I feel gypped. Granted, $5 iis a fancy cup of coffee, but I purchased because there were mention of pictures.
Nature is an open book, but Nature loves to hide her secrets.

Living organisms appear as external manifestations of an inner principle, but manifestation is also illusion.

Sense-perceptible manifestation is a revealing that conceals a supersensible operating -- the way that a finished painting hides the long process of the artist's labors: it only shows the final product. So too in Nature: we only see the outer manifestation of a concrete living process that just happens to be hidden from view.
Sep 07, 2008 Halliday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny that when Goethe was wrong he was righter than most people are when they're right. But there you go.
CX Dillhunt
Mar 15, 2010 CX Dillhunt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Magnificent, stunning, so wonderful to see the scientist side of Goethe, which was news to me until I was given this book as a gift by my son! I think an exciting read for everyone: the philosopher, scientist, artist, writer, and anyone else on earth!
Feb 28, 2014 Gary added it
Finally, a good translation -- with illustrations!

My rating : Skyful of blossoming stars.
Feb 19, 2017 Andrew rated it liked it
The introduction is insightful. The editor frames what it was that Goethe was doing and the introduces the key concepts and ideas that guide the work. Polarization, refinement of fluids, homology of plant structures - these ideas belong not just to plant physiology, but are empirically observable details that give us insight into the greater physical and metaphysical unity of nature. This edition contains many new photographs, as well as older drawings, that helpfully illustrate somewhat Goethe' ...more
Michael Janakis
Mar 03, 2016 Michael Janakis rated it it was amazing
I did my Senior Essay at St. John's College on this book. I love it so much. I still get new things out of it. Absolutely beautiful edition, really gorgeous, with the vast majority of the plants Goethe refers to shown in high-quality photographs. I HIGHLY recommend this edition.
Apr 04, 2015 Fatma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goethe was more than a poet - the proof is this book
Jan 26, 2013 Tomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
nawoord niet vergeten lezen
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer. George Eliot called him "Germany's greatest man of letters... and the last true polymath to walk the earth." Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science. Goethe's magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include h ...more
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