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Goethe’s Romantic Science

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Chapter Summary

Goethe was one of the first people to systematically develop what is known as "Romantic Science," but the problems to which Romantic Science addressed itself in the early 19th century by no means disappeared as science was inundated by the triumphs of abstract empirical and positivist natural science. Goethe was personally a direct influence on Hegel , Marx , Vygotsky and Luria , each of whom frequently cited Goethe in their own work. As will be demonstrated, what were with Goethe some brilliant insights and some generalities, through Hegel, Marx and Vygotsky developed into a rounded out and powerful approach to science. In particular, Goethe's claim that complex phenomena could be understood only by means of a simple prototypical phenomenon which captures the properties of the whole process of development, was to be taken up by Hegel , and later by Karl Marx and Lev Vygotsky.

Keywords: 19th century; Goethe; karl marx; lev vygotsky; romantic science



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