Abstract

In his scientific writings, Goethe accords to that which is non-observable yet everywhere evident in the visible world a significant ontological status. Influenced by Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, Goethe’s morphology seeks to uncover patterns of natural organization while considering its own empirical and discursive activity to be a product of these very patterns. When Goethe turns the scientific gaze onto itself, he discovers that non-observability is constitutive of morphological observation. In his notebooks, the meta-observation of the morphological gaze is often represented poetically. As one may see from an analysis of the poem “Parabase,” literary representations become morphological objects just as morphology itself becomes coextensive with the creativity of the poetic subject. The morphological gaze functions poetically inasmuch as it posits a system that, although it ostensibly seeks a “primordial phenomenon,” holds open a space in which the totality of phenomenality itself remains obscured, leading to ever more differentiated acts of observation.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1934-2810
Print ISSN
0026-9271
Pages
pp. 389-406
Launched on MUSE
2013-11-08
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.