Advertisement

From Descartes’ Dream to Husserl’s Nightmare

  • Alfred I. Tauber
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 182)

Abstract

The conjunction of aesthetics and science conjures up a mixed reaction. Their connection dates at least to the Pythagoreans who sought harmony and order in nature as underlying principles of cosmic law. And a wrenching disjunction occurred sometime in the mid-nineteenth century, when in a series of final complex cultural and intellectual blows, the natural philosophers became scientists and the moral-philosophers, humanists. A widening schism over the next century evolved into what C. P. Snow called the Two Cultures (Snow, 1959). To be sure, the respective roots of art and science separated at the beginning of the modern period, but did not clearly diverge until quite recently. The distinctions between scientist and poet was well underway by the Victorian period. We note that in 1839, when Charles Darwin invoked the “philosophical naturalist” (Beagle Journal) or Robert Knox employed the term, “Philosophic anatomy”, such philosophical workers were interested in discovering the laws of nature, not merely in describing nature. In the process they re-defined natural history and established the science of biology (Rehbock, 1983). Hermann Helmholtz initiated and then completed a materialistic and mechanical program to study organic phenomena, by leading the German reductionist revolt in the 1840s that aspired to reduce organic phenomena to the principles of chemistry and physics (Galaty, 1974; Kremer, 1990).

Keywords

Aesthetic Experience Aesthetic Judgement Organic Phenomenon Aesthetic Evaluation Mathematical Beauty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abrams, M. H., The Mirror and the Lamp. Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953).Google Scholar
  2. Amrine, F., Zucker, F. J. and Wheeler, H., ed., Goethe and the Sciences: A Reappraisal [Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 97] (Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Co., 1987).Google Scholar
  3. Anand, N., Bindra, J. S. and Ranganathan, S., Art in Organic Synthesis (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1988).Google Scholar
  4. Barnouw, J., ‘Goethe and Helmholtz: Science and Sensation’, in F. Amrine et al., Goethe and the Sciences: A Reappraisal (Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Co., 1987), pp. 45–82.Google Scholar
  5. Bernard, C, An Introduction to Experimental Medicine [1865], trans, by H. C. Green (New York: Dover Publications Inc. (Reissue of 1927 English edition)).Google Scholar
  6. Buchwald, J. Z., The Rise of the Wave Theory of Light. Optical Theory and Experiment in the Early Nineteenth Century (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  7. Canguilhem, G., The Normal and the Pathological (New York: Zone Books, 1989).Google Scholar
  8. Cassirer, E., The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms. Vol. 2, Mythical Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955).Google Scholar
  9. Chandrasekhar S., Truth and Beauty. Aesthetics and Motivations in Science (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  10. Dirac, P. A. M., ‘The evolution of the physicist’s picture of nature’, Sci. Am. 208: 45–53, 1963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dirac, P. A. M., ‘Pretty mathematics’, Int. J. Theor. Phys. 21: 603–605, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ellenberger, H. F., The Discovery of the Unconscious. The History and the Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry (New York: Basic Books, 1970), pp. 271–278.Google Scholar
  13. Fink, K. J., Goethe’s History of Science (Cambridge University Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  14. Forbes, E. G., ‘Goethe’s vision of science’, in Common Denominators of Art and Science (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1983), pp. 9–15.Google Scholar
  15. Galaty, D. H., ‘The philosophical basis of mid-nineteenth century German reductionism’, J. Hist. Med. Allied Sci. 29: 295–316, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gauguin, P., Intimate Journals (New York: Liveright, 1921).Google Scholar
  17. Goethe, J. W., [1790] ‘The metamorphosis of plants’, in Goethe’s Botanical Writings, trans. and ed. by B. Mueller (Woodbridge: Oxbow Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  18. Goethe, J. W., [1792] ‘The experiment as mediator between object and subject’, in Scientific Studies, ed. and trans, by D. Miller (New York: Suhrkamp Publishers, 1988), pp. 11–17.Google Scholar
  19. Goethe, J. W., [1794] ‘The extent to which the idea “Beauty is Perfection in Combination with Freedom” may be applied to living organisms’, in Scientific Studies, ed. and trans, by D. Miller (New York: Suhrkamp Publishers, 1988), pp. 22–23.Google Scholar
  20. Goethe, J. W., [1810] ‘Theory of colours’, in Scientific Studies, ed. and trans, by D. Miller (New York: Suhrkamp Publishers, 1988), pp. 157–298.Google Scholar
  21. Goethe, J. W., [1817a] ‘The influence of modern philosophy’, in Scientific Studies, ed. and trans, by D. Miller (New York: Suhrkamp Publishers, 1988), pp. 28–30.Google Scholar
  22. Goethe, J. W., [1817b] ‘History of the printed brochure’, in Goethe’s Botanical Writings, trans. and ed. by B. Mueller (Woodbridge: Oxbow Press, 1989), pp. 170–176.Google Scholar
  23. Goethe, J. W., [1823] ‘Significant help given by an ingenious turn of phrase’, in Scientific Studies, ed. and trans, by D. Miller (New York: Suhrkamp Publishers, 1988), pp. 39–41.Google Scholar
  24. Golumb, J., Nietzsche’s enticing Psychology of Power (Iowa State University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  25. Grosholz, E. R., Cartesian Method and the Problem of Reduction (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  26. Hartshorne C, ‘Science as the search for the hidden beauty of the world’, in D. W. Curtin (ed.), The Aesthetic Dimension of Science, 1980 Nobel Conference (New York: Philosophical Library, 1982), pp. 85–106.Google Scholar
  27. Harvey, C. W., Husserl’s Phenomenology and the Foundations of Natural Science (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  28. Heidegger, M., Nietzsche Vol. 1, trans, by D. F. Krell (San Francisco: Harper, 1979).Google Scholar
  29. Heisenberg, W., ‘The teachings of Goethe and Newton on colour in the light of modern physics’, in Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics (Woodbridge: Oxbow Press, 1979), pp. 60–76.Google Scholar
  30. Hoffmann, R., ‘Molecular beauty’, J. Aesth. Art Crit. 48: 191–204, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holmes, F. L., Claude Bernard and Animal Chemistry (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974).Google Scholar
  32. Husserl, E., The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology [1935] (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970).Google Scholar
  33. Jung, C. G., Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (2 volumes) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  34. Kant, I., Critique of Judgement [1790], trans, by W. S. Pluhar (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1987).Google Scholar
  35. Kappraff, J., Connections. The Geometric Bridge Between Art and Science (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991).Google Scholar
  36. Kragh H., Dirac, A Scientific Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  37. Kremer, R. L., The Thermodynamics of Life and Experimental Physiology 1770–1880 (New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1990).Google Scholar
  38. Langfeld, H. S., The Aesthetic Attitude (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Leder, D., The Absent Body (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  40. Lenoir, T., The Strategy of Life. Teleology and Mechanics in Nineteenth Century German Biology (Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publ. Co., 1982 and re-issued by University of Chicago Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  41. Levi-Strauss, C, The Savage Mind (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  42. Mayr, E., ‘The idea of teleology’, J. Hist Ideas 53: 117–135, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McAllister, J. W., ‘Dirac and the aesthetic evaluation of theories’, Meth. Sci. 23: 87–102, 1990.Google Scholar
  44. McFarland, T., Coleridge and the Pantheist Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  45. Mead, G. H., Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1936).Google Scholar
  46. Merleau-Ponty, M., Phenomenology of Perception, trans, by C. Smith (London: Routledge, 1962).Google Scholar
  47. Merz, J. T., A History of European Thought in the Nineteenth Century, Vol. 1–4 [1896] (New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1965).Google Scholar
  48. Morrissey, R. J., ‘Introduction. Jean Starobinski and Otherness’, in Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Transparency and Obstruction, trans, by A. Goldhammer (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  49. Neumann, E., The Origins and History of Consciousness (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954).Google Scholar
  50. Nietzsche, F., 1956, The Birth of Tragedy, trans, by F. Golffing (Garden City, New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956).Google Scholar
  51. Nietzsche, F., 1959a, Twilight of the Idols in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans, by W. Kaufmann (New York: Penguin Books, 1959), pp. 463–563.Google Scholar
  52. Nietzsche, F., 1959b, The Antichrist, in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans, by W. Kaufman (ed.) (New York: Penguin Books, 1959), pp. 568–656.Google Scholar
  53. Nietzsche, F., 1959c, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans, by W. Kaufmann (ed.) (New York: Penguin Books, 1959), pp. 112–439.Google Scholar
  54. Nietzsche, F., 1967a, The Will to Power, trans, by W. Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage Books, 1967).Google Scholar
  55. Nietzsche, F., 1967b, On the Genealogy of Morals, trans, by W. Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage Books, 1967).Google Scholar
  56. Nietzsche, F., 1982, Daybreak, trans, by R. J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  57. Olson, R., Science Deified and Science Defied. The Historical Significance of Science in Western Culture, Vol. 2, From the Early Modern Age through the Early Romantic Era (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  58. Patočka, J., Philosophy and Selected Writings, ed. and trans, by E. Kohak (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), pp. 223–238.Google Scholar
  59. Penrose, R., ‘The role of aesthetics in pure and applied mathematical research’, Bull, Instit. Math. Applic. 10: 266–271, 1974.Google Scholar
  60. Polanyi, M., Personal Knowledge. Towards a Post-critical Philosophy (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  61. Postlethwaite, D., Making it Whole. A Victorian Circle and the Shape of Their World (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  62. Prusinkiewicz, P. and Lindenmayer, A., The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1990).Google Scholar
  63. Rehbock, R. F., The Philosophical Naturalists. Themes in Early Nineteenth Century British Biology (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  64. Rentschler, L., Herzberger, B., and Epstein, D. (eds.), Beauty and the Brain. Biological Aspects of Aesthetics (Basel: Birkhauser Verlag, 1988).Google Scholar
  65. Rescher, N., Aesthetic Factors in Natural Science (Lanham: University Press of America 1990).Google Scholar
  66. Sepper, D. L., Goethe Contra Newton. Polemics and the Project for a New Sense of Color (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sepper, D. L., ‘Goethe against Newton: Towards saving the phenomenon’, in F. Amrine et al. (eds.), Goethe and the Sciences: A Reappraisal (Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Co., 1987), pp. 175–193.Google Scholar
  68. Shlain, L., Art and Physics. Parallel Visions in Space, Time and Light (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1991).Google Scholar
  69. Snow, C. P., The Two Cultures (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959).Google Scholar
  70. Sorell, T., Scientism: Philosophy and the Infatuation with Science (London: Routledge, 1991).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tauber, A. I., 1993, ‘Goethe’s philosophy of science: Modern resonances’, Perspect. Biol. Med. 36: 244–257, 1993.Google Scholar
  72. Tauber, A. I., 1994, ‘A typology of Nietzsche’s biology’, Biol. Phil. 9: 24–44, 1994.Google Scholar
  73. Tauber, A. I., ‘On the transvaluation of values: Nietzsche contra Foucault’, in K. Gavroglu and M. Wartofsky (eds.), Science, Mind and Art [Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 165], Papers in Honor of Robert Cohen (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995), pp. 349–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Thorn, R., Mathematical Models of Morphogenesis, trans, by W. M. Brookes (New York: Halsted Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  75. Thompson, D., On Growth and Form (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1917).Google Scholar
  76. Wells, G. A., ‘Goethe’s qualitative optics’, J. Hist. Ideas 32: 617–626, 1971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Weyl, H., Symmetry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952).Google Scholar
  78. Whitehead, A. N., Science and the Modern World (New York: Macmillan Co., 1925).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred I. Tauber
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations