Taking Appearance Seriously
The Dynamic Way of Seeing in Goethe and European Thought
The history of Western metaphysics, from Plato onward, is dominated by the dualism of being and appearance. What something really is (its true being) is believed to be hidden behind the “mere appearances” through which it manifests. Twentieth-century European thinkers radically overturned this way of thinking. “Appearance” began to be taken seriously, with the observer participating in the dynamic event of perception.
In this important book, Henri Bortoft guides the reader through this dynamic way of seeing, exploring issues of how we distinguish things, how we find meaning, and the relationship between thought and words.
Expanding the scope of his previous book, The Wholeness of Nature, Bortoft shows how Goethean insights combine with this dynamic way of seeing in continental philosophy, to offer an actively experienced “life of meaning.”
Taking Appearance Seriously will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the contribution and wider implications of modern European thought in the world today.