On the Origins and Renaissance of Goethe’s Morphology
Herbsttagung «Evolving Morphology»
The science of morphology proposed by Goethe was initially conceived as both an autonomous and auxiliary discipline within the still emerging field of biology of his time. By tracing morphology back to its origins, some historical aspects of its agenda and development are presented in order to reassess potential contributions of Goethe’s morphological approach to contemporary botany. Additionally, I will argue, based on recent studies in floral evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo), that Goethe’s morphology is not only at the inception of such research, but also if rightly comprehended, it can be both descriptive and explanatory, since it provides a more process-oriented thinking with its unique notion of form and causality.