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Goethe Yearbook 239 Advocate (Taylor Hackford, 1997) and the Spawn comic-book series. Hedges appropriately concludes with Czech director Jan Svankmajer's Lekce Faust (1993), where both film and surrealism meet to produce a text that is undoubtedly Faustian while, at the same time, extending beyond the traditional framing of Faust. Iowa State University William H. Carter Fritz Breithaupt, Richard Raatzsch, and Bettina Kremberg, eds., Goethe and Wittgenstein: Seeing the World's Unity in its Variety. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 2003.172 pp. Goethe's influence on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is subtle and indirect. In his status as "canonical classic" Goethe was certainly part of Wittgenstein's education, but paradoxically his most profound influence was mediated through other thinkers. It is possible to trace, for instance, the roles of Emerson and William James with regard to nature, on one hand, and of Schopenhauer, Otto Weininger, and Oswald Spengler with regard to morphology , on the other. "Thus, the point of looking at parallels between Goethe and Wittgenstein," writes Joachim Schulte, a leading authority and one of the contributors to this volume, "cannot really be the discovery of this or that identifiable influence Goethe may have had on Wittgenstein" (56). Rather, the elucidation of parallels is important for grasping the character of each, "expressions of certain types of attitude or temperament" (56). In this the contributors to this volume are very successful. While this volume is sponsored by WittgensteinStudien , contributors also underline the modernity in much of Goethe's thought. The nine essays collected here grew out of a workshop hosted in Leipzig in Spring 2000. occasioned by the 250th anniversary of Goethe's birth and the 50th anniversary ofWittgenstein's death.They build on the foundational work done by Schulte, especially in his Chor und Gesetz (Frankfurt, 1990), and by M. W Rowe, now collected in his Philosopfry and Literature (Aldershot, 2004). James C. Klagge focuses directly on the problem of influence, noting that Wittgenstein never cites Goethe as an explicit influence. Nevertheless, he finds links, especially through their shared interest in the problem of causality as it relates to explanation. Alfred Nordmann also looks at causality and explanation, exploring parallels with both Goethe and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. Nordmann focuses on Wittgenstein's insistence that philosophy does not intervene in nature, but leaves things as they are. In a similar way Goethe's morphological approach claims no privileged access to truth, but is simply one intermediary case in a series of approaches. A number of the essays focus on Goethe's morphological method, especially as developed in the Metamorphosis of the Plants, finding affinities with several of Wittgenstein's philosophical strategies. Matthias Kross is interested in Wittgenstein's move from engineering to philosophy, pointing to the importance of Goethe's search for the Urphänomen. Fritz Breithaupt notes that both Goethe and Wittgenstein reject the notion of some "deeper" level or truth that underlies appearance, some Platonic idea or extra-linguistic reference. He sees an analogy between Goethe's Urphänomen and Wittgenstein's concept of the languagegame : for both appearance is about "and" without "end" (89). Nikos Psarros finds an exception to this. Where various scholars have found echoes of Goethe in 240 Book Reviews Wittgenstein's citation of Michael Faraday's The Chemical History of a Candle— "water is one individual thing—it never changes," Psarros argues that Wittgenstein uses the line to gloss the notion that linguistic facts are constructed by giving other rules of their use. Focusing especially on Wittgenstein's "Remarks on Frazier's Golden Bough" Joachim Schulte is also interested in the affinities between Goethe's morphological method and Wittgenstein's philosophical technique. He notes that Goethe and Wittgenstein are concerned with the problem of the arrangement of facts,"perspicuous representation" in Wittgenstein's phrase, and what it means. He suggests their use of the metaphors of ladders and chains is indicative of both similarities and differences . Thus Goethe preferred the ladder (one rung following another), which points to the importance of the proper sequence in a morphological description to bring out the laws of nature, while Wittgenstein preferred the chain, which shows how particular arrangements of facts make particular meanings. Schulte quips that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-9087
Print ISSN
0734-3329
Pages
pp. 239-240
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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