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Goethe's Theory of Colors (wikipedia.org)
34 points by evolve2k on Dec 21, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

"Newton's error.. was trusting math over the sensations of his eye."

A trait very common amongst scientists. I tried to explain to my peers that you could see blue as lightened darkness and yellow and red as darkened light.

This makes a lot of sense perceptually, if you look at the sky and the sun as it transitions from night to day.

But all they had to say was newton and wavelengths and prisms. That stuff is all fine, but it does't talk about how we perceive colour.

This "lightening" and "darkening" you describe actually makes a lot of sense in terms of another way of connecting phycis and color, if we by "lightened" mean "higher color temperature", and for "darkened" "lower color temperature".

(Color temperature according to Wikipedia is "temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that of the light source")


Seems like he did at least one thing right: not mention indigo, unlike newton who used this not-even-tertiary color as a 7th color rather than e.g. put cyan between green and blue (ROYGCBV would have made more sense than ROYGBIV, color-wise)

I remember an article about a study in which some psychologists tried to estimate the IQ of the most important scholars, writers and scientist of all time.

As far a I remember Goethe had the second highest score, right after Leibniz.

German psychologists, I assume, or "of the most important German scholars"?

Newton or Archimedes vs Leibniz? I wouldn't dare make that call.

> "As Feigenbaum understood them, Goethe's ideas had true science in them. They were hard and empirical. Over and over again, Goethe emphasized the repeatability of his experiments. It was the perception of colour, to Goethe, that was universal and objective. What scientific evidence was there for a definable real-world quality of redness independent of our perception?"

In light of the recent scientific crisis it's interesting to look Gothe's work with new eyes.

It seems like we have many crises underway. Why focus on one as if it has a different source and meaning than another?

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