Why did Goethe champion his Theory of Colours so ardently for years, even after it was largely dismissed by physicists? In answering this question, this essay will attempt to add to the existing scholarship by considering Goethe’s Theory of Colours in the context of his natural philosophy. In doing so it will generalize a variety of the concepts invoked by his colour theory and their relationships to Goethe’s epistemology and Newton’s mechanics. The essay shows that the reason for Goethe’s pride in his Theory of Colours is less perplexing than first appears from its examination solely as a work of physics.
Overall, a wonderful essay that draws upon many sources and builds a historical context that is of assistance to the reader in understanding the enigma mentioned above.
Reproduced from the Cornell University Library, with permission from Alex Kentsis