- Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
- (1749–1832)German man of letters. As a philosopher the great writer is mainly interesting as an influence on others, particularly Schiller and Schelling . Goethe was influenced by Spinoza's pantheism, Leibniz's panpsychism, and the moral philosophy of Kant, but he confessed his own lack of a ‘proper organ for philosophy’; something of his lack of rigour can be seen in the remark that ‘we are pantheists when we study nature, polytheists when we write poetry, monotheists in our morality’. However his work on colour, inspired by a temperamental revulsion from Newton's purely mathematical theory of the spectrum, has been rediscovered and re-evaluated in the light of recent work.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.
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