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Theory of Colours : Theory of Colours - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Theory of Colours

Theory of Colours

Paperback Published: 15th March 1970
ISBN: 9780262570213
Number Of Pages: 423
For Ages: 18+ years old

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By the time Goethe's Theory of Colours appeared in 1810, the wavelength theory of light and color had been firmly established. To Goethe, the theory was the result of mistaking an incidental result for an elemental principle. Far from pretending to a knowledge of physics, he insisted that such knowledge was an actual hindrance to understanding. He based his conclusions exclusively upon exhaustive personal observation of the phenomena of color. Of his own theory, Goethe was supremely confident: "From the philosopher, we believe we merit thanks for having traced the phenomena of colours to their first sources, to the circumstances under which they appear and are, and beyond which no further explanation respecting them is possible." Goethe's scientific conclusions have, of course, long since been thoroughly demolished, but the intelligent reader of today may enjoy this work on quite different grounds: for the beauty and sweep of his conjectures regarding the connection between color and philosophical ideas; for an insight into early nineteenth-century beliefs and modes of thought; and for the flavor of life in Europe just after the American and French Revolutions. The work may also be read as an accurate guide to the study of color phenomena. Goethe's conclusions have been repudiated, but no one quarrels with his reporting of the facts to be observed. With simple objects--vessels, prisms, lenses, and the like--the reader will be led through a demonstration course not only in subjectively produced colors, but also in the observable physical phenomena of color. By closely following Goethe's explanations of the color phenomena, the reader may become so divorced from the wavelength theory--Goethe never even mentions it--that he may begin to think about color theory relatively unhampered by prejudice, ancient or modern.

"Can you lend me The Theory of Colours for a few weeks? It is an important work. His latest things are insipid." Ludwig van Beethoven , Conversation-book, 1820

Introductionp. v
Translator's Prefacep. xxvii
Preface to the First Edition of 1810p. xxxvii
Introductionp. li
Physiological Colours
Effects of Light and Darkness on the Eyep. 2
Effects of Black and White Objects on the Eyep. 5
Grey Surfaces and Objectsp. 14
Dazzling Colourless Objectsp. 16
Coloured Objectsp. 20
Coloured Shadowsp. 29
Faint Lightsp. 38
Subjective Halosp. 40
Pathological Colours--Appendixp. 45
Physical Colours
Dioptrical Coloursp. 59
Dioptrical Colours of the First Classp. 60
Dioptrical Colours of the Second Class--Refractionp. 74
Subjective Experimentsp. 80
Refraction without the Appearance of Colourp. ib
Conditions of the Appearance of Colourp. 81
Conditions under which the Appearance of Colour increasesp. 86
Explanation of the foregoing Phenomenap. 90
Decrease of the Appearance of Colourp. 100
Grey Objects Displayed by Refractionp. 103
Coloured Objects Displaced by Refractionp. 106
Achromatism and Hyperchromatismp. 118
Advantages of Subjective Experiments--Transition to the Objectivep. 123
Objective Experimentsp. 125
Refraction without the Appearance of Colourp. 127
Conditions of the Appearance of Colourp. 128
Conditions of the Increase of Colourp. 134
Explanation of the foregoing Phenomenap. 139
Decrease of the Appearance of Colourp. 141
Grey Objectsp. 142
Coloured Objectsp. 143
Achromatism and Hyperchromatism
Combination of Subjective and Objective Experimentsp. 147
Transitionp. 150
Catoprical Coloursp. 154
Paroptical Coloursp. 163
Epoptical Coloursp. 177
Chemical Colours
Chemical Contrastp. 202
Whitep. 203
Blackp. 205
First Excitation of Colourp. 206
Augmentation of Colourp. 212
Culminationp. 214
Fluctuationp. 217
Passage through the Whole Scalep. 218
Inversionp. 220
Fixationp. 221
Intermixture, Realp. 223
Intermixture, Apparentp. 226
Communication, Actualp. 230
Communication, Apparentp. 235
Extractionp. 237
Nomenclaturep. 242
Mineralsp. 245
Plantsp. 247
Worms, Insects, Fishesp. 252
Birdsp. 259
Mammalia and Human Beingsp. 262
Physical and Chemical Effects of the Transmission of Light through Coloured Mediumsp. 266
Chemical Effect in Dioptrical Achromatismp. 270
General Characteristics
The Facility with which Colour appearsp. 274
The Definite Nature of Colourp. 276
Combination of the Two Principlesp. 277
Augmentation to Redp. ib
Junction of the Two Augmented Extremesp. 278
Completeness the Result of Variety in Colourp. 279
Harmony of the Complete Statep. 280
Facility with which Colour may be made to rend either to the plus or minus sidep. 281
Evanescence of Colourp. ib
Permanence of Colourp. 282
Relation to Other Pursuits
Relation to Philosophyp. 283
Relation to Mathematicsp. 286
Relation to the Technical Operations of the Dyerp. 289
Relation to Physiology and Pathologyp. 291
Relation to Natural Historyp. 292
Relation to General Physicsp. 293
Relation to the Theory of Musicp. 298
Concluding Observations on Terminologyp. 300
Effect of Colour with Reference to Moral Associations
Yellowp. 306
Red-Yellowp. 308
Yellow-Redp. 309
Bluep. 310
Red-Bluep. 312
Blue-Redp. 313
Redp. ib
Greenp. 316
Completeness and Harmonyp. ib
Characteristic Combinationsp. 321
Yellow and Bluep. 322
Yellow and Redp. ib
Blue and Redp. ib
Yellow-Red and Blue-Redp. 323
Combination Non-Characteristicp. 324
Relation of the Combinatons to Light and Darkp. 325
Considerations derived from the Evidence of Experience and Historyp. 326
Aesthetic Influencep. 326
Chiaro-Scurop. 331
Tendency to Colourp. 334
Keepingp. 335
Colouringp. 337
Colour in General Naturep. ib
Colour of Particular Objectsp. 338
Characteristic Colouringp. 339
Harmonius Colouringp. 341
Genuine Tonep. 342
False Tonep. ib
Weak Colouringp. 343
The Motleyp. 344
Dread of Theoryp. ib
Ultimate Aimp. 345
Groundsp. ib
Pigmentsp. 348
Allegorical, Symbolical, Mystical Application of Colourp. 350
Concluding Observationsp. 352
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262570213
ISBN-10: 0262570211
Series: Theory of Colours
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 423
Published: 15th March 1970
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.2  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.52