The significance of Goethe's scientific method for the development of responsibility?with examples from the realm of plant life

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... 33 Jochen Bockemuehl, Swiss botanist, explains that "Goethe demanded that the data for judging something be drawn from the sphere of phenomena itself, not from quantities defined by an a priori system." 34 In the case of modern science, the preconceived system is a materialistic and reductionist one. But if not from quantities, which are easily gleaned from chemistry and physics, then what data would we seek? ...
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While integrative practices in health care have grown over the past half-century, life sciences still view nature almost entirely through a reductionist lens. Contemporary research is described that complements this reductionist, non-holistic perspective with the methods of Goethean science. A rigorous approach to qualitative science and to wholeness in nature is outlined.
Scalar hierarchies represent the structure of the world of matter in motion, the overall extensive system. Subsystems within this undergo changes that can be dichotomized into development and evolution (individuation). At a higher scalar level these modes of change are united under the rubric ‘self-organization’. Development finds a very general, indeed, lawful description in non-equilibrium thermodynamics discourse. Subsystems in the scalar hierarchical world are all dissipative structures. In their development at least living dissipative structures traverse a specification hierarchy of increasingly intensive being. At a higher temporal scalar level, developing dissipative structures form ontogenetic trajectories, the seat of self-organization. At these higher scalar levels ontogenetic trajectories multiply to fill space as the dissipative structures that make them up access more and more geographical coordinates in a thrust outward toward what can be called a virtual thermodynamic equilibrium.
Pflanzengestalt und Lichtverhaltnisse-Gesichtspiinkte
  • J Bockemiihl
Bockemiihl, J. (1978). Pflanzengestalt und Lichtverhaltnisse-Gesichtspiinkte