Johann GoetheThis is a featured page

-------Johann Goethe ns
Johann Goethe (Latin name)
Evolution theory (progenitor)
Morphology (founder)
Human chemistry (founder)
Color theory
Alma matterUniversity of Leipzig
University of Strasbourg
Arthur Schopenhauer
Known for
Goethe-Helmholtz equation
Goethean philosophy
Total: 5,000+ books
Collected works
Total: 142+ publications
Eponyms Goethean revolution
Goethe’s affinity table

Torbern Bergman, William Shakespeare, Benedict Spinoza, Carl Linnaeus
--------Goethe signature
In science, Johann Goethe (1749-1832) (pronounced: GU(R)-tuh or gu(r)-te) (audio) (299-382 PE) (107-190 ME) (RE=83) (IQ=230) (CR:1|914) (LR:2) (SN:1) was a German polyintellect and or polymath, depending, known famously as: "last universal genius" (Wadepuhl), "prince of the mind" (Pestalozzi), the "know-it-all" (Grass), man of "a hundred scholarly disciplines" (Pelikan), "wisest of us all" (Carlyle), "highest IQ in the history of mankind" (Cox), “the thinker” (Vietor), a top 3 "evolution theory pioneer" (Darwin), "smartest person ever" (Cox-Buzan), "last person to know everything" (SmithExternal link icon (c)), intellectual mentor to: Schopenhauer (him to Nietzsche), Einstein, Tesla, and Freud, among other epitaphs—wielder of a 5,000+ book personal library, 100,000+ word vocabulary, and polyglot (7+ languages)—renowned, in the niche field of hmolscience, for his self-defined greatest theory (or best book), namely his 1796 incredibly-advanced revolutionary-view (see: Goethean revolution) that human relationships and interactions are in fact large-scale evolved or "metamorphized" types of bond changing chemical reactions, i.e. human chemical reactions, in which people, as chemical entities, in his own words "attract and reply, neutralize each other, separate again, and reestablish themselves", actuating according to the laws and principles of affinity chemistry—a subject known currently or rather subsumed as chemical thermodynamics—hence, he pioneered the modern field of "human chemical thermodynamics". The following 1809 incident concerning a women who attacked Goethe in the street, claiming that his book, and inherent theory, was immoral, summarizes this well:

“I’m sorry you feel that way. It is my "best book", and don’t think that this is the mere whim of an aging man. I grant you that one loves most deeply the child of one’s last marriage, the product of one’s late power of generation. But you wrong me and the book.

The principle illustrated in the book is true and not immoral.

But you must regard it from a broader point of view and understand that the conventional moral norms can turn into sheer immorality when applied to situations of this character.”

The issue here, in retrospect, since the translation of the Rosetta stone, by Thomas Young (1814) and Jean Champollion (1822), of course, is that "conventional moral norms", are those rooted in the big three religions of the world, as told through the Bible, Quran, and Rig Vida, collectively known as Anunian theology, each framed on the Egyptian life-death theory of the negative confessions and the weighing of the soul, and the various afterlife theories (resurrection or reincarnation) derived therefrom—whereas, correctly, as Goethe viewed things, morality, from the modern day perspective, does not derive from religion, but correctly is rooted in framework of physical science, namely the “moral symbols” of physical chemistry, as Goethe put it on 24 Jul 1809—and as such the reading of his great morality revising theory has been the "Robe of Nessus" to may, over the decades, as Goethe put (21 Nov 1827). Interestingly, not much has changed in the last 200-years, and these very same debates can be found, only re-clothed in chemical thermodynamic terms, the 2006 Rossini debate being a prime example.

Labels | Occupations
The number of labels, jobs, occupations, and/or pastimes attributed to Goethe is large. To get a rough estimate, American writer Arnold Jacobs, who in 2004 documented his experience of reading the 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica, something his PhD engineer, MBA lawyer, almost MD father attempted in 1982 (making it to the mid-Bs), lists 20 titles: [77]

“Goethe’s curriculum vitae—from Britannica—when [he] wasn’t busy explaining to people how to pronounce his name, he found time to be a: critic, journalist, lawyer, painter, theater manager, statesman, educationalist, alchemist, soldier, astrologer, novelist, song writer, philosopher, botanist, biologist, color theorist, mine inspector, and issue of military uniforms, irrigation scheme supervisor. I was familiar with the phrase ‘Renaissance Man’, but Goethe was like a renaissance man with access to amphetamines. He makes Leonardo da Vinci look like a lazy bum. Did I mention that Goethe’s scientific writings alone fill fourteen volumes? And that he also found the time to write fifteen hundred passionate letters to Charlotte von Stein? Remember that his Faust was all about the dangers of the quest for knowledge.”

To this we can add: anatomist, agriculturist, horticulturist, miner/mineralogist, dramatist, evolutionist, human chemist, geologist, mathematician, meteorologist, morphologist, physicist, playwright, poet, and religion scholar—a grand total of 35 as a ball park estimate; not to mention his polyglot, polymath, last universal genius labels (38), thus giving weight to his “polyintellect” umbrella label. Quick estimates, to give some comparison, tend to cite Leonardo da Vinci with 14+ job titles (Ѻ), which no doubt is an underestimate.

Goethe is said to have commented, at some point, that after William Shakespeare and Benedict Spinoza he was influenced most strongly by Carl Linnaeus, particularly with respect to his early botanical studies for form change (see: his tripartite metamorphology theory of form change), who in turn was the doctoral advisor to Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman, whose 1775 A Dissertation on Elective Attractions, Goethe specifically credits as being the main scientific reference behind his 1809 Elective Affinities, his claimed-to-be "best book" of his vast intellectual output. [75]

Posthumous influence
The following is a synopsis of Goethe's world influence, by Hjalmar Boyesen, from his The Life of Goethe (1885):

“It is difficult to overestimate the value of Goethe’s work to humanity. The bequest which he left to the world in his writings, and in the whole intellectual result of his life, is not as yet appreciated at its full worth; because, intellectually, the world has not yet caught up to him. His influence today asserts itself in a hundred minute ways—even where no one suspects it. The century has received the stamp and impress of his mighty personality. The intellectual currents of the age, swelled and amplified by later tributaries, flow today in the directions which Goethe indicated.”
Goethe in love (celebrity)
A depiction of Goethe, from the 2010 film Young Goethe in Love, at age 26, becoming world famous for his great tale Werther, written at age 24, a novel that Napoleon Bonaparte (IQ=175) claimed to have red six times during battle.

In this peculiar paragraph, there is an unusually-great-truth stated, namely "the world has not yet caught up to him". The reason that the statement is "unusually-great", is that 125-years have since passed since Boyesen envisaged that Goethe was ahead of us in the intellectual race, and somehow the situation has only compounded? As as of the early 2010s, over two-hundred years have now past, since the publication of his self-defined greatest theory—his human chemical theory—and we—a collective mass of some 72-million human molecules, come and gone—are still struggling to decode his enigmatic puzzle-laden best book publication (see: Elective Affinities: Illustrated, Annotated, and Decoded), in which the theory is embedded in codded layers of gestalt, a process greatly hindered by (a) the knowledge fanning effect of the two cultures and (b) Willard Gibbs' 700-equation laden On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances, which one has to master if one is to uncode the secrets of Goethe's novella; as a result of which, the theory is still stuck in the "ridicule" stage of scientific acceptance, as defined by Schopenhauer, Goethe's sole human chemistry prodigy:

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

and is a subject labeled as "crackpot" by the blind ignorance of the modern hard science community blind to reality of the situation. As German poet Heinrich Heine put it: the theoretical implications contained in “novel overturns everything holy [alles Heilige]” and is a direct attack on religion, morality, and social forms.” [7]

Goethe reading
A sketch of Goethe reading, during his Roman adventure years, by Johann Tischbein (1751-1828) (check).

Works | Libraries | Correspondences
Goethe’s personal home library comprised over 5,000 books. His collected works set amounts to over 140+ publications (14 volumes of which are devoted to scientific studies). Nearly 3,000 drawings by Goethe survive, as do the villa he built, the palace he rebuilt, and the park he first laid out. In 1796, Goethe began to keep a regular diary. Some of this, along with his daily activities following his move to Weimar, have been published in seven volumes by Robert Steiger. Accounts of conversations with him run some 4,000 printed pages; over 12,000 letters from him are extant, as are about 20,000 letters addressed to him. [68] At the turn of the millennium (2000), Goethean biographer Nicholas Boyle comments on this: [69]

“As the age of paper passes, so [Goethe] seems its supreme product.”

Whosoever comes to surpass the age of the Internet will no doubt build on the shoulders of Goethe.

Blue baby
See main: Early parental death and genius
Goethe came into the world—as he reports in his autobiography—just as the town’s clocks struck noon (in late summer, August 28, 1749) and, as is dramatically depicted in his most absorbing autobiography of the earlier years of his existence, Dichtung und Wahrheit (“Poetry and Truth”), he almost died as a “blue baby” at birth, a significant part of his “fragments of great confusion” as he called it in his writings; and he had to endure several severe life-threatening illnesses during his eight plus decade long existence (see: convalescence and genius, e.g. Newton). [51]

Stages of existence | Philosophy
See main: Goethean philosophy
The following excerpt by Goethe, from his posthumously-published 1833 Maxims and Reflections, is said to depict how his philosophical views changed as he stepped through the various stages of existence (see: Goethe timeline):

Realism“Every stage of life corresponds to a certain philosophy. A child appears a realist; for it is as certain of the existence of pears and apples as it is of its own being.Goethe (age 9) 75ns
(age 9)
Goethe (age 15) 75
(age 15)
IdealismA young man, caught up in the storm of his inner passions, has to pay attention to himself, look and feel ahead; he is transformed into an idealist.Goethe (age 24)
(age 24)
Goethe (age 38)
(age 38)
SkepticismA grown man, on the other hand, has every reason to be a skeptic; he is well advised to doubt whether the means he has chosen to achieve his purpose can really be right. Before action and in the course of action he has every reason to keep his mind flexible so that he will not have to grieve later on about a wrong choice.Goethe (age 42)
(age 42)
Goethe (age 59) 75 color (new)
(age 59)
MysticismAn old man, however, will always avow mysticism. He sees that so much seems to depend on chance: unreason succeeds, reason fails, fortune and misfortune unexpectedly come to the same thing in the end; this is how things are, how they were, and old age comes to rest in him who is, who was and ever will be.”Goethe (age 69)
(age 69)
Goethe (age 81)
(age 81)

The core of his philosophy, in retrospect, revolved around a natural science philosophy, a chemical philosophy in particular. In another sense, as summarized by German-born American translator Ludwig Lewisohn (1882-1955), in the preface to his two-volume 1949 Goethe: the Story of a Man: [60]

“He was, as he himself was fond of saying, no formal philosopher, not even a very attentive reader of formal philosophy. Yet it is correct to state that his final speculative conclusions coincided, while they transcended them, with the late Sir Arthur Eddington’s re-confirmation of Kant according to the last implications of contemporary science.”

Goethe timeline
The horizontally-scrolling Goethe timeline, a screen-shot of which is partially shown below (click on), depicts the main steps in the course of the development of Goethe's self-defined "best book" (of his 142 plus collected works publications), namely his 1809 Elective Affinities, up through its impact in modern times:

Goethe timeline (full) 1000px
Goethe presented the final version of his human chemical reaction theory in his famous 1809 novella Elective Affinities, a treatise on the chemical principles and mechanisms of human relationships, a publication that he considered, in his own words, his "best book", which was based primarily on Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman's 1775 textbook A Dissertation on Elective Attractions. [1] The following 1827 comment by Goethe, to his associate, German author Johann Eckermann, surmises the retrospect weight of this novella in Goethe's mind: [8]

“The only production of greater extent, in which I am conscious of having labored to set forth a pervading idea, is probably my Elective Affinities.

The following equation, relating the chemical affinity A to Gibbs free energy change ΔG, as proved in 1882 by German physicist Hermann Helmholtz in his "The Thermodynamics of Chemical Processes":

A = – ΔG
Goethe-Schiller-Humboldt brothers (1797)
Friedrich Schiller (IQ=175), the Humboldt brothers (Wilhelm (IQ=175) and Alexander (IQ=185)), and Goethe (IQ=230) in Jena, 1797, discussing, in Goethe's own words, “all of nature from the perspectives of philosophy and science”. [36]

shows that Goethe’s Elective Affinities was a modern-day treatise on the explication of Gibbs free energy changes involved in the determination of human chemical reactions. In reduced modern format, Goethe showed, over two-hundred years ago, that the affinities, or the forces of love and hate, which are balanced in stability ratios in successful relationships, of human relationships are functions of enthalpy change ΔH, entropy change ΔS, and temperature T:

A = TΔS – ΔH

which, noting that H = U + PV, equates to:


meaning that human affinity, or the affinity between two people, i.e. the force of reaction between people, according to Helmholtz and Goethe, is a function of temperature, entropy, internal energy, pressure, and volume.

This means that affinity will be favored, between two people, when there is an increase in entropy, a decrease in internal energy, and a decrease of volume, of the interactive system, over time. One can expand on this equation in more detail, by noting that Rudolf Clausius defined internal energy of the system, which in this case concerns a system of interacting people or human molecules, as the sum of the vis viva and the ergal, or U = T + J, which referring to a change Δ over time is:

ΔU = ΔT + ΔJ
Faust homunculiGoethe (circa 1808)
Wagner, a famed sorcerer's former student, creating Homunculus in the chemical laboratory using fire (or heat) and some type of chemical apparatus, as described in Goethe's 1832 Faust part II (see: laboratory produced life); in his talk with Eckermann, Goethe is supposed to have said that Homunculus is virtually the same as the Leibnizian entelechy or monad, according to John Williams. [37]Goethe in 1808/09 the time when he wrote his famous physical chemistry base novella.

Subsequently, the measure of the affinity between two people, wherein A > 0 for spontaneously favored relationships (or ΔG < 0, thermodynamic sense, i.e. according to the spontaneity criterion), is expressed by the equation:


meaning that in addition to an entropy increase, ΔS > 0, or transformational content increase (meaning that heat was transformed in to system internal evolution work), which signifies that the body or boundaried system of the relationship has transformed or evolved over time, and a volume decrease, ΔV < 0, associated with favorable relationships, meaning that spatial movements of the pair come together over time rather than diverging (simplified by saying that two homes become one), a vis viva decrease, ΔT < 0, and an ergal decrease, ΔJ < 0, will also be associated with favored relationships. A decrease in vis viva seems to make intuitive sense, in that a couple nearing their golden wedding anniversary will invariably tend to have less kinetic energy then a newly minted couple, in the sense that the former's daily movements will often be slow and tending to be confined to the kitchen, bathroom, and television room. The subject of an ergal decrease over time as associated with stable relationships requires more thought. In formulaic terms, ergal change over time is defined as:

ΔJ = Jfinal Jinitial

Thus, a negative ergal change, which be the above reasoning is associated with favored relationships, implies that the ergal at the start of the relationship, Ji, must be greater than the ergal at the end of the relationship, Jf. In the terminology of William Hamilton, this is expressed by saying that the was a decrease in the force function of the relationship over time or in the terminology of William Rankine, this is expressed by saying that there was a decrease in the potential energy of the relationship over time.

Johann Goethe and Carl August (in the courtyard of Jena Castle)
Goethe, Minister of State, of the independent German state Saxe-Weimar, and Grand Duke Karl August (who appointed Goethe a member of the privy council in 1776 and later Minister of State) in the courtyard of the Jena Castle. [29]

The affect of free energy coupling, discovered in 1941 by Fritz Lipmann, however, compounds this description, in the sense the human relations must thus be coupled to each other if coupling is a universal phenomenon in the biosphere. In direct extrapolation, it means that the energy (bond energy) released from the cleaving of certain high energy human chemical bonds will function to drive many endergonic human chemical reactions (relationships and processes that would not normally go on their own).

Said another way, Goethe showed that human relationships (affinity relationships) are governed by the laws of chemical thermodynamics. In addition, with the publication of German-born American biochemist Fritz Lipmann’s 1941 paper “Metabolic Generation and Utilization of Phosphate Bond Energy”, which showed that, in nature, endergonic reactions are coupled to exergonic reactions, we know that human chemical reactions between people are coupled to each other, as Goethe showed in his novella, or that bond energy released from some certain energy dense human bonds, acts to drive less energetic human reactions that would not otherwise go on their own. Thus, wherein affinity equates to free energy G and elective affinity reaction equates to chemical reaction in modern terms, Goethe pioneered the science of human chemical thermodynamics, two-hundred years ahead of its time.

Goethe's fields of expertise are varied, he was a lawyer, poet, painter, architect, playwright, governor, statesman, botanist, chemist, physicist, biologist, anatomist, novice mathematician, philosopher, scientist, in the general sense of the word, and as been called: "the last true person to know everything". Goethe is also considered to be the founder of two sciences: morphology (1790) and human chemistry (1809). [22] In the latter sense, he is considered as the world's first human chemist. [4]
Goethe photos
Left: A Goethe barometer used by Goethe in 1822 in his studies of meteorology. [21] Center: the Goethe-Schiller statue in Weimar; it was to German writer Friedrich Schiller, in 1799, that Goethe first confided his newly forming theory that the passions of human relationships are governed precisely in the same manner as are the reactions of chemicals of affinity tables. Right: the Goethe-Schiller bust (circa 1805).

Goethe is also a pioneer of human thermodynamics for his theories on human energies and affinities in relation to human work productivities, the latter of which was determined to be a measure of "free energy" (in 1882). Goethe, along with William James Sidis, both of which who were driven to outline a thermodynamic theory of life, are coincidentally both among the only three people to have had adulthood intelligences estimated at the IQ: 225+ range. Goethe, according to English novelist Georgi Eliot, is: [2]

“Germany's greatest man of letters ... and the last true polymath to walk the earth.”

Goethe, by way of his 1809 theory of human elective affinities, as found in coded story form in his Elective Affinities, in which, as he wrote to many people, he had not only placed numerous different elements within the text, but that many of these were hidden within it and that past the transparent or non-transparent veils in the novel one may be able to see the ‘truly intended Gestalt’, is truly the all-time greatest mind to have ever walked the face of the earth, beyond that of either Newton, Einstein, or Da Vinci. [3] The genus and logic of Goethe's mind, for instance, who had stated: [7]

“How I look forward to the effect that this novel [Elective Affinities] will have in a few years on many people rereading it.”

is now only beginning to come into light, some 200-years after publication. [4] The logic of Goethe's human affinity theories, for instance, is currently forming the basis of the new beta-stage, science-based pair matching site, situated on the premise of "matching affinities in love the chemical reaction." Noted researchers on Goethe's Elective Affinities include: German science historian Jeremy Adler, who did his 1969 PhD dissertation on the chemists, particularly Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman, affinity reactions, and affinity theory used by Goethe in his novella, and American Germanic studies scholar Astrida Tantillo, author of the 2001 book Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics.

Goethe genealogy
In genealogies, Goethe's genealogy is unique in that although it can be traced back through eleven generations, his seed only carried forward through two generations, and in this sense, it is more apt to say correctly that we are the progeny of his prolific output. [63]

First generation



Johann Caspar Goethe 75Johann Caspar Goethe (1710-1782)+Catharina Elisabeth Textor 75Catharina Textor (1731-1808)Goethe (age 15) 75Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832)+Cornelia Goethe 75Cornelia Goethe (1750-1777)

Second generation


JoGoethe (1787) 75hann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832)+Christiane Vulpius 75Christiane Vulpius (1765-1816)August von Goethe 75August von Goethe (1789-1830)

Third generation


C + D + E
August von Goethe 75August Goethe (1789-1830)+Ottilie Goethe 75Ottilie Pogwisch (1796-1872)Walter Goethe 75Walter Wolfgang von Goethe (1818-1885)

Maximilian Goethe 75Maximilian Wolfgang von Goethe (1820-1883)

Alma Goethe 75Sedina Alma Henrietta Cornelia von Goethe (1827-1844)

Goethe’s grandchildren Walter and Maximilian, as it has been noted, turned homosexual in mating behaviors, thus producing no offspring, and their sister Sedina (Alma), ended at the age of 17 during the typhoid epidemic, thus producing no offspring—hence, stands the 1885 passage on Walter's tombstone:

“With him went Goethe’s seed, whose name survives forever.”

There, no doubt, is some unnamed principle or law at work here, in the neighborhood of "having one's cake and eating it to", in regards to elite geniuses and progeny, something akin to the two being inversely proportional to each other, as in Beckhap's law.
Goethe family (1763)
Goethe family in Schäfertracht (1762), from left to right: Katharinea Elisabeth Goethe (1731-1808), Johann Caspar Goethe (1710-1782), Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832), and Cornelia Goethe (1750-1777). (see: Genealogy)

Goethe's early education was attended by his father Johann Caspar Goethe, i.e. "Rat Goethe", a prominent lawyer, who was determined that his son and daughter, Cornelia, should not be contaminated by attending a public school. [19] Goethe’s early education has been described as irregular; he went to no school, and his father stimulated rather than instructed him. [18]

Goethe's only formal education took place from 1765 to 1767, where, at the age of 16, Goethe entered the University of Leipzig, studying the classics, and graduating with a degree in law. The bulk of Goethe’s education, however, can best be described as autodidactic in style, or a self-directed type of self-education; he was a self-taught genius.

Goethe had an association with Estonian-born German physician and physicist Thomas Seebeck, noted for his 1821 experimental discovery of the thermoelectric effect or of thermo-electricity, who helped Goethe in his scientific investigations, supposedly in his color theory. [30]

Born into a Lutheran family, Goethe's early faith was shaken by news of such events as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the Seven Years' War. [63]
Scene from the 2011 film Young Goethe in Love, wherein he is told that his Christianity-dismantling law degree dissertation failed.

Goethe had questioned the traditional concept of God at an early age; in Dichtung und Wahrheit he describes, in poetic language, how at age 9 he built his own altar to nature out of his father’s natural history collection, surmounting it with sulfur, and lit a candle, when making his devotions. It has been argued that his readings of the works of Benedict Spinoza later confirmed these feelings. [52]

At age 21, at the University of Strasbourg, completing a dissertation (rejected on the grounds that it was unorthodox) on “The Legislature, On the Power of the Magistrate to Determine Religion and Culture”, in which he contended, among other things, that “Jesus Christ is not the author of Christianity, but rather a subject composed by a number of wise men and that Christian religion is merely a rational, political institution.” [53]

The dissertation was rejected being that it was attack on orthodoxy—as a result, he only achieved the “licentiate” to practice law. Following dissertation rejection, to show contempt for university authorities he offered a series of 56 theses for disputation, e.g. “natural law is what nature has taught all creatures” (thesis 1), “should the woman who kills her newly born child suffer the death penalty? (thesis 55), a moral issue reoccurs in Faust, etc., all themed on his distaste for learned authority, and casting for a new way of looking at the relationship between humans to nature, society, and tradition.

In July 1782, he described himself as"not anti-Christian, nor un-Christian, but most decidedly non-Christian."In his Venetian Epigram 66, Goethe listed four things that he loathed:"tobacco smoke, bugs, garlic, and †." [63]

In his collected works of poems, Goethe famously stated the following famous synopsis:

“He who possesses science and art,
Possesses religion as well;
He who possesses neither of these,
Had better have religion.”
Preparation of corrosive water for etching (Goethe)
One of Goethe’s first chemical experiments: the preparation of corrosive water for etching. [24]

It does seem to be the case that Goethe had some type of belief in the existence of God—some have summarized this to be similar to the embodiment of nature(pantheistic) type of god held in the mind of Benedict Spinoza, one of Goethe’s intellectual mentors. In a 21 November 1827 letter to his friend, German composer Carl Zelter, the same letter that he famously comments how people have treated his Elective Affinities like the “garment of Nessus”, to exemplify, Goethe comments in ending: [62]

“With the kindest greetings, let me exhort and cheer you on to persevere in that activity, to cultivate which—in the midst of peace—we are encouraged and compelled by the hostile pressure of the world. If we help ourselves, God will help us.”

In 1831, a year before his end, Goethe commented the following: [56]

“I have found no confession of faith to which I could ally myself without reservation.”

Interesting, indeed.

See main: Goethe and chemistry
In 1758, at age 9, Goethe erected an altar of natural products, derived largely from his father’s natural history collection, surmounting it with a candle, which he lit when making his devotions, the whole surmounted by sulphur, signifying the unity of nature. [79]

In 1768, at age of 19, during his convalescent year at home in bed (1768-69), through the direction of Susanne Klettenberg (1723-1744), he studied the works of Paracelsus, Anton Kirchweger’s The Golden Chain of Homer: a Description of Nature and Natural Things (1723), Georg von Welling’s Opus Mago-Cabalisticum, the writings of Hermann Boerhaave, and others; and was conducting chemical experiments in his attic using a draught furnace to reveal the ‘principle that permeates the whole universe’.

Some have argued that Goethe was drawn into the science of chemistry during his 1768 spell of illness during his return home from the University of Leipzig wherein he was treated by a physician who claimed to have found an infallible panacea or mysterious drug which he did not dare use because he was afraid of the legal action against him, but that was convinced into using, after his patient was suddenly seized with an attack of violent illness which threatened his life, after which Goethe began to mend and soon recover. [32]

In 1769, at the age of 20, Goethe was conducting chemical experiments in his attic using a draught-furnace. As Goethe wrote, at age 21, in a 1770 letter to writer Susanne von Klettenberg, age 47, who had helped Goethe during his Leipzig disease two years prior: [24]

Chemistry is still my secret love.”

Books on chemistry and alchemy, according to Goethe’s biographer Heinrich Düntzer, became “almost a craze with him”, though, seeking exact knowledge, he was sometimes made desperate by their strange mystifications. [12] Goethe’s reading of Bavarian alchemist Georg von Welling’s 1735 Opus Mago-Cabalisticum, a sort of religious-chemistry mixture, for instance, led him to the clearer chemistry of Dutch physician and chemist Herman Boerhaave’s 1724 Elements of Chemistry, a book greatly influential to French chemist Antoine Lavoisier and his 1787 Elements of Chemistry. [13] Goethe also studied the works of Swiss physician and chemist Paracelsus. [14]

Johann Goethe (human chemistry founder)
Opening section of chapter the "Goethe's Affinities" of the 2007 textbook Human Chemistry, by American chemical engineer by Libb Thims, specifically defining Goethe as the "founder" of the science of human chemistry.

In 1770, at the University of Strasbourg, Goethe began attending the chemistry courses of French chemist Jacob Spielmann, his first chemistry teacher.

One of Goethe’s first mentors in chemistry was German physician-chemist Wilhelm Buchholz, who presented the latest findings in chemistry at the weekly Friday Society meetings at Weimar, from 1791 to 1797, of which Goethe was a member. [32] It may be that Buchholz was the model for the Captain in Elective Affinities (see: Geothe's human affinity table).

In a 2 Jul 1792 letter to German physician Samuel Sommerring, Goethe stated the following: [76]

"It seems to me at least for the moment, that everything connects well when you in this teaching for Barbie takes the concept of polarity to guide. Like ... it was impossible to connect the previously chemical experience with optical, you only see the first chapter of each Dyeing, even the newest of Berthollet, in which the progress of chemistry, we must admire the way so much. Because basically ... the thing itself must be very simple, as all higher, the general principles of acting. As you pointed out quite rightly, the effect of acids and friendship is to the Yellow Red and Yellow, the alkalis to the Blue Red and Blue brought in a great relationship, what offers us the countless chemistry experiments. "

“Mir scheint wenigstens für den Augenblick, daß sich alles gut verbindet, wenn man auch in dieser Lehre zum Versch den Begriff der Polarität zum Leitfaden nimmt. … Wie unmöglich war es bisher die chemischen Erfahrungen mit den optischen zu verbinden, man sehe nur die ersten Kapitel einer jeden Färbekunst, selbst der neuesten von Berthollet, in welcher wir die Fortschritte der Chemie übrigens so sehr bewundern müssen. … Denn im Grunde muß die Sache an sich sehr einfach sein, wie alle höhere, ins Allgemeine wirkende Prinzipien. Wie Sie ganz richtig bemerkten, wird die Wirkung und Freundschaft der Säuren zu dem Gelben und Gelbroten, der Alkalien zum Blauen und Blauroten in einen schönen Zusammenhang gebracht, wozu uns die Chemie unzählige Versuche anbietet.”

At some point, Goethe came across Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman's 1775 chemistry textbook A Dissertation on Elective Attractions (likely the 1785 German edition by Heinrich Tabor, as most scholars have argued), which became his core anchor point for developing his theory of human chemical reactions or human elective affinity reactions and human morality based on measurable chemical affinity tendencies. To exemplify this, in 1809, Goethe explained to his friend Friedrich Riemer that:

“The moral symbols used in the natural sciences were the elective affinities discovered and employed by the great Bergman.”

In 1810, Goethe began attended the weekly lectures of German chemist Johann Dobereiner, one of Goethe’s lifelong friends, who taught Goethe about chemical analysis and stoichiometry. [17]

In 1826, at age 77, on the paradoxical issue of French chemist Claude Berthollet’s 1799 theory of split affinities (or color theory and chemical affinity), Goethe commented that: "for decades I have been struggling with Berthollet in the matter of affinities" (see: Berthollet's affinity theory). [16] Goethe was said to have exchanged letters with Swedish chemist Jacob Berzelius (noted for his "electrochemical theory") whom he met at one point. [14]
Newcomen engineSocerer's apprentice

Fantasia (bucket carrying brooms)
Goethe's 1797 poem "The Socerer's Apprentice", the poem behind Disney's 1940 Fantasia, in which a broom is animated via incantation to carry buckets of water, is said to have been inspired by his 1780s studies of the Newcomen engine in Upper Silesia and the flooded mine problem (pump problem).

Steam engine
In 1788, the first steam engines to hoist water were operating in Upper Silesia; sometime thereafter, Goethe was introduced to the Newcomen engine and a water column engine during his visit there. (Ѻ) Goethe’s 1797 poem “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, a ballad in fourteen stanzas, the story line behind Disney’s 1940 Fantasia, about an apprentice who evokes a spell to bring animation to a broom so to carry buckets of water from the river, was supposedly inspired by or, according to Norbert Wiener, has something to do with the Newcomen engine. [80]

Ethics author Julie Prandi (1993) stated that Goethe believed in the essential unity of nature to the effect that he hoped to develop a sort of unified field theory that would connect magnetism, electro-chemical reactions, and colors. [72]

The reference to electro-chemical reactions seems to be a bit of an anachronism, as the battery was not developed until 1800 by Alessandro Volta, who built on the pioneering work of Luigi Galvani, after which electrochemistry came into the mainstream. The attribution, however, could refer to German physicist Johann Ritter (1776-1810) who made discoveries in galvanism, electrochemical properties of elements, and effects of light on chemical reactions, to whom Goethe's name is associated. [73]

It is also known that Goethe, together with Alexander Humboldt and Wilhelm Humboldt, prior to 1797, had conducted electrical experiments on frog preparations, in testing the subject of galvanism or animal electricity theories of Luigi Galvani. [74]

Human chemistry | Elective Affinities
▬▬▬See main: Goethe's human chemistry
Goethe spent a period of over 50-years studying chemistry, human life, and its driving passions. His conclusion on the phenomenon of human life was that human beings are chemical species and that both the work of life and the underlying vicissitudes of relationships, in all varieties, e.g. marriage, friendships, social interactions, etc., are chemical reactions, pure and simple. Using Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman's 1775 chemistry textbook A Dissertation on Elective Attractions, particularly his 69-diagrammed affinity reactions, Goethe outlined a 36-chapter novella in which each character is considered as different type of chemical species and each chapter plays out a variation on a different type of elective affinity reaction. The following would be a combination reaction, according to Goethe:

♂ + ♀ → ♂♀ (Goethe's view)
A + B AB (Bergman's view)

The following would be a single elective affinity (single displacement reaction), in Goethe's view, wherein a new female species two acts to displace female species one, with whom the male has a weaker chemical affinity to than as compared to species two:

1 + ♀2 → ♂♀2 + 1 (Goethe's view)
AB + C AC + B (Bergman's view)

A year before publication, Goethe, who had been studying chemistry for a period of forty-years, told his friend Riemer that:

“My idea for the new novella is to portray social relationships and their conflicts symbolically.”

In this statement, Goethe meant that his idea would be to define people as chemical units, lettered using Bergman's pioneering conception of using letters, a, b, ac, abd, abcd, etc., to represent chemical species. The idea of symbols and symbolic relationships is a statement in reference to a Scottish physician and chemist William Cullen’s 1757 pioneering development of affinity reaction diagrams, where in during lecture he invented the use of brackets and darts to represent the change in reaction on going from reactants to products in time, or in a sense the way in which the force of affinity would act in the process of the reaction. The following affinity reaction diagram is one example:

▬▬▬Cullen's reaction diagram (modern view)
Elective Affinities (1996) (s)Elective Affinities IAD 3
The 1996 French-Italian film adaption of Goethe's 1809 Elective Affinities, written and directed by: Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani; produced by: Jaen-Claude Volpi with modified chemical equation overlay (by Libb Thims), showing the basic double elective affinity reaction threading the chapters of the book together (see: history). [28]The equation overlaid cover design to 2012-launched online, planned 2013-book published, Elective Affinities: Illustrated, Annotated, and Decoded by American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, based the 1885 cover illustration by Philipp Johann and translation by Hjalmar Boyesen.

in which chemical species (or people) A and B are attached in a weakly bonded chemical union, signified by the bonding bracket “{“, ordered such that if species C (a third person) were introduced into the system, the greater affinity preference of A for C would cause A to displace B and to thus form a new union with C (a new relationship), which equates to the following in modern terms:

▬▬▬AB + C → AC + B

In short, Goethe wrote out 36 of these types of reactions in story form in his 36-chapter novella Elective Affinities. In the famous chapter four of this, his magnum opus, the characters discuss among themselves what chemical dissection means or implies in the context of human choice, free will, love, and the interconnectedness of human relationships. The following is a 1899 summary of Goethe’s theory of human chemical affinities by German biologist Ernst Haeckel: [31]

“Goethe, in his classical romance, Affinities, compares the relations of pairs of loves with the phenomenon of the same name in the formation of chemical combinations. The irresistible passion that draws Edward to the sympathetic Ottilie, or Paris to Helen, and leaps over all bounds of reason and morality, is the same powerful unconscious attractive force which impels the living spermatozoon to force an entrance into the ovum in the fertilization of the egg of the animal or plant—the same impetuous movement which unities the two atoms of the hydrogen to one atom of the oxygen for the formation of the a molecule of water. This fundamental unity of affinity in the whole of nature was recognized by the great Greek scientist Empedocles in the fifth century BC in his theory of the love and hatred of the elements.”

(add discussion)

Prigogine 75
"Dobbs, op. cit., also examined the role of the ‘mediator’ by which two substances are made ‘sociable’. We may recall here the importance of the mediator [Mittler] in Goethe’s Elective Affinities (Engl. Trans. Greenwood 1976). For what concerns chemistry, Goethe was not far from Newton."
Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine and his famous footnote 2.5 (Order Out of Chaos, 1984), the one that led American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims to the work of Goethe, which thus became the main stimulus behind the writing of the world's first textbook on "human chemistry" in 2007 (see: Libb Thims (history)).

Scientists to have cited Elective Affinities
See main: Scientists who've cite Elective Affinities
The following is a list of chemists, chemical engineers, and chemistry historians and other scientists who have cited Goethe’s 1809 human elective affinity theory:

1905 | Wilhelm Ostwald | Sixth Lecture: Affinity Lecture at MIT.
1910 | Fielding Garrison | comment: "seems so plausible and fascinating".
1969 | Jeremy Adler | Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinity’ and the Chemistry of his Time
1978 | Pierre Laszlo | “All Kinds of Affinities”
1984 | Ilya Prigogine | Order Out of Chaos (pgs. 64, 319)
1995 | Jean-Marie Lehn | Supramolecular Chemistry (pg. 2)
1995 | Roald Hoffmann | The Same and Not the Same (pgs. 58, 88-89, 179-80, 256) [43]
1995 | Joel Janin | protein thermodynamics article “Elusive Affinities”. [41]
1997 | Kevin Yee | The Captain as Catalyst in Goethe's Wahlverwandtschaften
2000 | Jurgen Mimkes | "Society as a Many Particle System" (pg. 2)
2003 | Mi Gyung Kim | Affinity, That Elusive Dream (pgs. 1-2)
2004 | Tominaga Keii | Heterogeneous Kinetics (section: Chemical Affinity in 1806, pgs. 16-17)
2007 | Libb Thims | Human Chemistry (ch. 10: Goethe's Affinities, pgs. 371-422)
2008 | Philip Ball | "Literary Reactions" in Science World
2010 | Sam Kean | The Case of the Disappearing Spoon (ch. 14: Artistic Elements)

What is curious (Ѻ) in this list (Thims aside), is the number of people (particularly Prigogine, Keii, and possibly Janin), knowledgeable about chemistry and in particular chemical thermodynamics, to have seemingly been unmoved, so to speak, by Goethe's theory, discussing it only as a passing amusement? Ostwald, in fact, translated Gibbs' Equilibrium into German in 1892, gave lectures on affinity, and wrote books on the subject, and had an "energy theory of culture."

Goethe wrote to many people about Elective Affinities, informing them of a unified ‘Gestalt’, hidden meanings, and the necessity of multiple re-readings. [23] In 1817, Goethe explained Gestalt as follows: [22]

“The Germans have a word for the complex of existence presented by a physical organism: Gestalt. With this expression they exclude what is changeable and assume that an interrelated whole is identified, defined, and fixed in character. But if we look at all these Gestalten, especially the organic ones, we will discover that nothing in them is permanent, nothing is at rest or defined - everything is in a flux of continual motion. This is why German frequently and fittingly makes use of the word Bildung to describe the end product and what is in process of production as well. Thus in setting forth a morphology we should not speak of Gestalt, or if we use the term we should at least do so only in reference to the idea, the concept, or to an empirical element held fast for a mere moment of time”

Morphology | Evolution
Goethe had discovered a universal principle of evolution, specifically "morphology" as he termed it, as early as 1784, some 75+ years before Charles Darwin’s 1859 Origin of Species. Darwin, in his book, in fact, attributes the discovery of evolution to three people: Saint-Hilaire (1833), Erasmus (1791), and Goethe (1784). Goethe is said to have discovered evolution in 1784 as pronounced in a missive to Herder from Jena, March 27, at night (quote to right):

Goethe intermaxillary bone

“I have found neither gold nor silver, but something that unspeakably delights me—the human Os intermaxillary! I was comparing human and animal skulls with Loder, hit up the right track, and behold—Eureka! Only, I beg of you, not a word—for this must be a great secret for the present. You ought to be very much delighted too, for it is like the keystone to anthropology—and it’s there, no mistake! But how?”
— Goethe, on his discovery of the human intermaxillary bone, 1784
This formal illustration from Goethe’s publication (1784) shows his discovery of a bone that anatomists of his time had claimed was missing from humans. This was used to support the argument of continuity of human anatomy with the rest of the biotic world. [46]

In this instance, according to Carl Becker, as discussed in his 2003 book A Modern Theory of Evolution, Goethe had “discovered the evolution of the human being from the ape”, a concept that prior to him had only existed as a metaphor in occult tradition: the ape representing man untransformed by alchemy. [35]

As explained by German physician-physicist Hermann Helmholtz, in his In the 1853 essay “On Goethe’s Scientific Researches”, Goethe’s studies of comparative botany and comparative anatomy led him to “a happy glimpse of an all-pervading law” of the conception that the differences in the anatomy different animals or morphology of different plants are to be “looked upon as variations from a common phase or type, induced by differences of habit, locality, or food.”
Goethe poem
Sketch of Goethe’s research and poem entitled Ginkgo Biloba which gives a hint of what he was digging for in his work on comparative botany: [45]

The specific observation that led Goethe to this fertile conception of evolution, is found in Goethe’s monograph on the intermaxillary bone, written as early as 1786. Prior to this publication, it was known that in most vertebrates (mammalia, birds, amphibia, and fishes) that the upper jaw consists of two bones, the upper jaw-bone and the intermaxillary bone. The former always contains in the mammalia the molar and canine teeth, the latter the incisors. Humans, being distinguished from all other animals by the absence of the projecting snout, have, on the contrary, on each side only one bone, the upper jaw-bone, containing all the teeth. This being so, according to Helmholtz, Goethe discovered in human the skull faint traces of the sutures, which in animals unite the upper and middle jaw-bones, and thus concluded from it that man had originally possessed an upper jaw-bone.

By 1795, following more studies in osteology, Goethe had become convinced of the universality of his “newly discovered principle”, and was able to define the idea in his “Sketch of a General Introduction to Comparative Anatomy”, wherein he laid down with the utmost confidence and precision, that “all differences in the structure of animals must be looked upon as variations of a single primitive type, induced by the coalescence, the alteration, the increase, the diminution, or event the complete removal of singe parts of the structure.”

In his 1790 treatise on the metamorphosis of plants, according to Helmholtz, Goethe had worked out the principles behind the transformation of stem-leaves into sepals and petals, and of sepals and petals into stamens, nectaries, and overaies, just as the “anterior extremity of vertebrate animals takes different forms, becoming in man and apes an arm, in other animals a paw with claws, or a forefoot with a hoof, or a fin, or a win, but always retains the same divisions, the same positions, and the same connection with the trunk, all resembling each other to a certain extent in origin and composition, and even under certain conditions passing from one form into the other.” [20]

Goethe's triangle
Goethe’s color triangle: has the primary colors at the corners, with the secondaries along the triangle’s sides and the tertiaries filling the inner spaces. Scottish physicist James Maxwell developed a chart in 1872 from his studies of the electromagnetic theory of light, which was in the form of a triangle, similar to Goethe’s. Isaac Newton had said that the seven basic colors created by a prism were elementary and unmixable, but Maxwell proved that only three colors—red, green, blue—were necessary to create all the others—a conclusion that became the basis for color photography (first made by Maxwell), and later color printing. [42]

Goethe's 1786-1795 theories on metamorphosis and variation of plant and animal species, as being descendant common ancestors, through a process of transformation, had a significant influence on English naturalist Charles Darwin and the reception of his 1859 Origin of Species.

Helmholtz reiterated in 1892, on Goethe’s metamorphosis theory, that Goethean morphology had so shaped nineteenth-century biology that it paved the way for Darwin’s theory. [25]

Darwin, in his work, gives credit on this matter by stating that the three precursor theories to his own were his Erasmus Darwin (his grandfather), French naturalist Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, and Goethe: [26]

“It is rather a singular instance of the manner in which similar views arise at about the same time that Goethe in Germany, Erasmus Darwin in England, and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in France, came to the same conclusion on the origin of species, in the years 1794-95”

Erasmus had expressed the view, in his Laws of Organic Life (1794), that "all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament".

Goethe expressed his views, on evolution in three different occasions: in his 1786 monograph on the intermaxillary bone, where he showed that humans had originally possessed an upper jaw-bone similar to other vertebrates, but that over time the upper-jaw and lower jaw of humans had fused through a process of morphogenesis; his 1790 Metamorphosis of Plants, where he showed how the various parts of the plant had evolved from earlier precursors over time; and his 1809 Elective Affinities, where he showed that the evolution of humans (and by implication all species) originated at the chemical level.

Geoffroy remarked in his 1794 and 1795 work that “there is no doubt that Goethe was an extreme partisan of similar views” to his own; and who, in his 1795 History Making or Monkeys from Madagascar, expressed his view that there is a unity of organic composition and that nature presents us with only one plan of construction, the same in principle, but varied in its accessory parts.

On these pioneers of the theory of "variation of species" as French botanist Henri Lecoq wrote in 1854: [27]

“We see that our researches on the fixity or the variation of the species, lead us directly to the ideas issued by two men justly famous, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Goethe.”

This passage was also cited by Darwin. In total, in his in his 'Historical Sketch', on those who advocated variations on a theory of origin of species, prior to 1859, Darwin gives thirty-four authors who believe in the modification of species, or at least disbelieve in separate acts of creation, of which twenty-seven have written on special branches of natural history or geology, in which the two foremost of these, according to Darwin, are Goethe and Geoffroy.

Goethe’s last writings were said to have been devoted to defending Saint-Hilaire. [44]

It should be noted that Ernst Haeckel and Lester Ward considered Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire's contributions to evolutionary theory to be relatively insignificant and instead ranked Jean Lamarck along side Erasmus Darwin and Goethe. While both Haeckel and Ward agree that Erasmus Darwin was the least important of the three they disagree on whom was most important. Haeckel ranks his fellow countryman Goethe at the top while Ward considers Lamarck's body of work to be superior. [78]

Theme | Freedom, choice, and circumscriptions
According to English German-cultures scholar Carl Krockel, three of Goethe’s main works circled around the issue of freedom of choice of an individual embedded in a system: [70]

“In Faust, the Wilhelm Meister novels, and Die Wahlverwandtschaften Goethe explored the freedom of each individual to choose his path in life, while revealing how this choice was circumscribed by oppressive social demands.”
IQ scale (ceiling fitted)IQ 225+ (1-3)
IQ 225+ (4)
Right: Known individuals with an estimated adulthood IQ of 225+; four which have theories surrounding the concept of entropy S, two of which (Goethe and Hirata) applying affinity or free energy to human relationships.

Goethe's IQ
See main: Genius IQs
Goethe, being generally known as polymath of great and varied knowledge, is also regarded as having one of the world's highest IQ. [5] In fact, Goethe is one of the only three people to have had independently estimated adulthood age IQs at or above 225.

Famously, in 1926, psychologist Catherine Cox, assisted by psychologists Lewis M. Terman, Florence L. Goodenaugh, and Kate Gordon, published the results of her studies of 301 ratings of individual case histories of the behavior and performance of 301 eminent young men and women, between 17 and 26 years of age, born 1450 to 1850, prepared from 1,500 biographical sources, reported as estimated intelligence quotients based on The Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale, and corrected for regression to the mean, in her book Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses. The following quote by Cox summarizes the general view of Goethe's IQ:

Goethe Napoleon (1808)
Goethe meeting with Napoleon in 1808; Napoleon's famous greeting of the author Werther on 2 October, «Voilà un homme!» (‘Now here is a real man!'). [47]

“One rater (M) has scored on the basis of the record of Goethe’s youth an IQ of 225. Goethe’s true IQ may in the history of mankind have been equaled in a few instances; one may well wonder whether it has ever been exceeded.”

The result of Cox's studied was that Goethe was assigned the highest intelligence quotient of all geniuses with a ceiling IQ value of 210. [6] A second independent study on assigning IQs to the all-time top 100 geniuses to have ever lived, as found in the 1994 Book of Genius, conduced by English accelerated learning expert Tony Buzan (and Raymond Keene), assigned Goethe with the second highest IQ of 215, behind Shakespeare who was assigned an IQ of 220.

Beauty according to Goethe, from his 1809 Elective Affinities, is “everywhere a welcome guest”. Goethe stated that human beauty “acts with far greater force on both inner and outer senses, so that he who beholds it is exempt from evil and feels in harmony with himself and with the world.”

Napoleon | 1808
In 1808, Goethe famously met Napoleon, a great fan of Goethe, who had read his Werther, supposedly, six time during battle. [47] After meeting with Beethoven, four years later (below), Goethe famous commented something along the lines of how he admired the former, but despised (?) the latter, or there to this affect.
Beethoven and Goethe
The “incident at Teplitz”, as depicted by Carl Rohling (1849-1922), Beethoven and Goethe meeting the imperial family, July 1812: Goethe stepped aside and gave them respect; whereas Beethoven pushed through commenting “they should make way for us, not us for them”, or something along these lines.

Beethoven | 1812
In 1812, Goethe spent four days visiting with Beethoven, a great fan of Goethe, the interactions of which have been retold many times. Beethoven was 42, Goethe 63, with the publication of the first part of Faust four years behind him.

Of this meeting, the following vignette has come down to us. - As Beethoven and Goethe walked, some of the nobility passed with their entourage. Goethe politely stepped aside and bowed deferentially to the nobles - while Beethoven, in a typical gesture, strode almost defiantly right through their midst, with his hands behind his back and without acknowledging the presence of the nobles, who had no alternative but to give him clear passage. When Goethe asked Beethoven how he could so disrespectfully treat these nobles, the composer replied, again characteristically, "There are countless 'nobles', but only two of us."

"His talent astonished me, but his is a totally untamed personality, and he is not entirely wrong in finding the world detestable, though this attitude does not make it more pleasant, either for himself or others … To think of teaching him would be an insolence even in one with greater insight than mine, for he has the guiding light of genius, whilst the rest of us sit in total darkness, scarcely suspecting the direction from which daylight will break upon us."
— Goethe, of his meeting with Beethoven

"The Court suits him too much. It is not becoming of a poet."
— Beethoven, of his meeting with Goethe
A 1918 poster for Goethe's Faust, by Richard Roland Holst, the story of a main who strives to learn everything that can be known so to gain power over the physical world.

The the so-called "incident at Teplitz" (adjacent) was famously remade in the 1994 film Immortal Beloved, albeit not with Goethe, but with one of Beethoven's lovers.

From the age of 4½, in 1753, wherein he learned the story of Faust, through his puppet stage, till the last two months of his reaction existence, in 1832, when he finished the second part to his epic drama version of the Faust legend—the subject of a man striving to learn everything that can be learned—seemed to occupy a large part of his thoughts. As summarized by Jaroslav Pelikan, in his 1997 Faust the Theologian: [67]

“Doctor Faust the polymath is — as was Goethe the polymath — a man of "a hundred scholarly disciplines" [and] also a natural scientist.”

As far as authors go, according to WorldCat Identities, Shakespeare is #1 and Goethe is #2, based predominately on the following two main works of each author:

Hamlet (by Shakespeare)
3,641 editions published between 1603 and 2009 in 72 languages and held by 6,941 libraries worldwide

Faust (by Goethe)
4,422 editions published between 1787 and 2008 in 55 languages and held by 5,204 libraries worldwide

As far as minds go, regarding density of knowledge base and vocabulary variety, however, Goethe far excelled Shakespeare, in that, language ability aside, Goethe mastered every field of knowledge; mathematics and astronomy, aside—although he did eventually write a short treatise on mathematics. The references state that Goethe had three-times the vocabulary of Shakespeare.
Goethe at mountain hut (1831) color
Goethe at his mountain hut (1831), by Woldemar Friedrich, a place where he carved poems into the walls. [61]

Last year
The following is a recounting of the last year of Goethe's activities, as recounted by Johann Eckermann (1792-1854), German poet and Goethe's literary assistant, 1823-forward: [57]

"At the close of this (20 Jul 1830), and in the beginning of the next year, Goethe turned again to his favorite studies, the natural sciences. At the suggestion of Boisseree, he occupied himself with deeper inquiries into the laws of the rainbow; and also, from sympathy with the dispute between Cuvier and St. Hilaire, with subjects referring to the metamorphoses of the plant and animal world. He, likewise, revised with me the historical part of the "Theory of Colors," taking also lively interest in a chapter on the blending of colors, which I, by his desire, was arranging to be inserted in the theoretical volume.

During this time, there was no lack of interesting conversation between us, or of valuable utterances on his side. But, as he was daily before my eyes, fresh and energetic as ever, I fancied this must always be the case, and was too careless of recording his words till it was too late, and, on the 22d of March, 1832, I, with thousands of noble Germans, had to weep for his irreparable loss."

Last words
Throughout his life, Goethe had a deep fascination for the physical and metaphorical effects of light on humans. Whilst being best remembered now for his literary works, he himself believed the scientific treatise The Theory of Colours, which he published in 1810, to be his most important work. Although a confirmed non-believer for almost all of his life, a year before dying Goethe sided with the eclectic Hypsistarian sect, writing in a letter to a friend that: "A joyous light thus beamed at me suddenly out of a dark age, for I had the feeling that all my life I had been aspiring to qualify as a Hypsistarian." He spent the evening before his death discussing optical phenomena with his daughter-in-law. All of the above might lead us to believe that his celebrated deathbed cry of Mehr Licht! (More light!) was a plea for increased enlightenment before dying. The truth appears to be more prosaic. What he actually said (in German) was: "Do open the shutter of the bedroom so that more light may enter". [59]
Bust of Goethe (1829)
Einstein kept a bust of Goethe in his study, along with pictures of Faraday, Newton, and Maxwell.

Serbian-born American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla owned a thorough collection of Goethe’s scientific texts and read these to the exclusion of all other philosophies; his idea for a self-starting electric motor came to him one evening as he was reciting a poem of Goethe and watching a sunset, at which point he imagined a magnetic field rapidly rotating inside a circle of electo-magnets. [48]

Goethe's version of nature was the reason Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud went to medical school.

German sociologist Max Weber, as a young student, secretly read Elective Affinities, in the classroom, hiding it behind his textbook. [50]

German-born American physicist Albert Einstein kept a bust of Goethe in his study, along with pictures of Faraday, Newton, and Maxwell, and in his personal library the most-represented author was the work of Goethe in a thirty-six volume edition and another of twelve volumes, plus two volumes on his Optics, the exchange of letters between Goethe and Schiller, and a separate volume of Faust. [49]

American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims worked on the problem of human free energies, in terms prediction, human chemical reactions, and free energy tables, for a period of eleven years (1995-2006), before even knowing who Goethe was and discovering (see: footnote #5) that he had, independently, worked on the very same problem, albeit in terms of affinity tables (vs. free energy tables), over two-hundred years ago (1799-1809), the influence of which on Thims has been unprecedented.

The following are videos related to or about Goethe. The third of which discusses the modern-day equation thermodynamics affinity equation according to which the vicissitudes, formations, and dissolutions of friendships, working relationships, and intimate relationships are determined by the measure of the affinity A of the reaction or process; the latter quantifications of affinity, as A = TdS – dH, in terms of entropy S, enthalpy H, and temperature T, were determined later by those as Helmholtz (1882), Nernst (1893), and de Donder (1921). [9]

Goethe's single elective affinity reaction to explain love; and a discussion of the modern equations that quantifies “affinity” via free energy measurements.A discussion on the world's collective individuals with IQs at or above 200 and a discussion as to who is the smartest person of all time (hypothesis: Goethe). A note on the essence of life according to German polymath Johann Goethe, in honor of the 200th anniversary of his classic novella Elective Affinities.

The following are pictures of Goethe or related images:

Goethe in youthGoethe sketchGoethe 1808-1809Goethe (1800) full
Goethe in youth [58]Sketch of Goethe by Eugène Delacroix.Goethe 1808-1809 An 1800 drawing of Goethe, supposedly, housed in the Pinacoteca, Rome.

Goethe (age 15)
Goethe maskGoethe (young) (c)
Johann von Goethe
Goethe, age 15, painting in oil by Johann Adam Kern. [15] Goethe: life mask found in the rubble of Frankfurt after the Second World War (The Laurence Hutton collectionExternal link icon (c)at Princeton. Goethe in his circa 20s.Goethe, age 26, by Georg Melchior Kraus (1775).
Stieler's Portrait of GoetheGoethe silhouette (1775)
Goethe (age 38)
Goethe (age 42)
Stieler's Portrait of Goethe Goethe's silhouette (around 1775 or shortly thereafter created). The original black from a deposited white paper is kept in the Foundation of Weimar Classics.) Goethe, age 38, painted by Swiss-born Italian artist Angelika Kauffmann (1787).Goethe, age 42, from a pastel sketch by Libs (1791).
1823 portrait of Goethe by Orest KiprenskyGoethe (extra pic)goethe and schillerGoethe (self portrait) (c.1777)
1823 portrait of Goethe by Orest Kiprensky.

Goethe self portrait (c.1777, Weimar, The Weimar Classics Foundation).
Goethe (1808-09)
Goethe (1822-1826)
Goethe (200px)
Goethe (1819) 250px
Goethe, age 59-60, in 1808/1809, by Franz Gerhard von Kügelgen. Goethe (1822/26) by Heinrich Kolbe. Goethe, age 69, painted in 1828 by Joseph Karl Stieler. Goethe, age 70, in 1819, from the painting by Georg Dawe at the Goethe Museum, Weimar.
Goethe (1779) 250px
Goethe 1779 (color)Goethe (older)Goethe (Hjalmar Boyesen)
Goethe, circa age 30, Goethe, painting in oil by Georg Oswald May (1779), left, and a later engraving, right.Color postcard rendition of painting of Goethe (1979), based on original by George May.
Goethe bust (New York)
Above: Bust of Goethe by Karl Fischer, designed c. 1832; this is a 20th-century copy in bronze of the original iron-and-copper piece, located in Bryant Park, New York, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, near 40th Street (just east of the carousel).
Engraving of  Goethe, at Weimar (c. 1830)
Goethe in study
Goethe bust (1789)

Above: photo of 1789 bust of Goethe by Alexander Trippel (1744-1793).
Goethe (engraving)
Goethe, age 81, at Weimar, engraving by artist Charlotte Amalia Schwerdgeburth (c. 1830). An oil painting of Goethe in his study, dictating to his scribe, John, by Johann J. Schmeller, 1829-1831, from the Nationale Forschungs-und Gedenkatten, Weimar. [33] A side-profile engraving of Goethe (year?). [38]

Weimar's Golden DaysGoethe and Beethoven
Goethe and Beethoven at Teplitz.
"Weimar's golden days", before Schiller Dowager Duchess Amalia, the Duke and Duchess Luise and Karl August, Goethe, Wieland, Herder, Musus, including the Humboldt Brdern; the color print of Gemlde of Theobald Reinhold Freiherr von Oer, 1860, Bellevue Palace, Berlin.
Weimar 1803 (right side) 1000px
A vivid depiction of the “Weimar 1803” painting (right side), drawn by German painter Otto Knille (1884), giving a well-imaged viewing of Goethe's erudite intellectual circle, showing, from left to right:

Back row: Wilhelm Humboldt (1767-1835) (IQ=175), Alexander Humboldt (1769-1859) (IQ=185), Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) (IQ=160), Carl Gauss (1777-1855) (IQ=195), who knew of Goethe's poetry works, and August Schlegel (1767-1845).

Middle row: Barthold Niebuhr (1776-1831) (IQ=185), Johann Herder (1744-1803) (IQ=165), in whom in 1784 Goethe first confided his discovery of evidence for human evolution from lower animals, and Johann Gleim (1719-1803).

Front row: Goethe (1749-1832) (IQ=230)—the big intellectual, standing at the center of attention—followed by Christoph Wieland (1733-1813) (IQ=170), seated right front, who in 1810 called Goethe's self-defined greatest theory "childish nonsense and fooling around", August Iffland (1759-1814)—and last but not least Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) (IQ=175)—Goethe’s closest intellectual friend—in whom, in 1796, he first confided his newly-forming human elective affinities theory—and a bench mark point for the launching of the science of human chemistry.

See the Goethe timeline, for full size color version (showing both the left and right side of the original image).

Schiller's garden house in Jena
Goethe bust
WorldCat Identities top 100
Image: "Schiller's garden house in Jena," 1797, seated from left: unknown, Caroline of Beulwitz, Charlotte Schiller (1766-1826), Johann Herder (1744-1803), and Caroline of Dachroeden, etc., Schiller, standing from left: Goethe, Wieland, William and Alexander von Humboldt. Goethe (#2), according to WorldCat Identities, is among the top seven biggest identities in world literature, along with Bach, Jesus Christ, Lincoln, Mary, Mozart, and Shakespeare. [11]

Goethe (freedom quote)
A woman holding up the famous Goethe quote on freedom, from Elective Affinities (P2:C5) at the Occupy Wall Street protests (Zuccotti Park, New York, 28 Sep 2011).
See main: Goethe (quotes)
The following are noted quotes by Goethe:

“The human has an unstoppable drive, at least to try, to detect the inmost force, which binds the world, and guides its course.”
– Faust [10]

“If one does not know what went on for the last three thousand years, he or she remains ignorant, merely surviving from day-to-day.”

“The history of science is science itself.”
Theory of Colors (1810) [64]

“A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself; it is a child of solitude.”

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”
— Johann Goethe (1830), a seeming variant (Ѻ) of one of his "conversations" (Ѻ)

“Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.”

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
("Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.") (Elective Affinities, P2:C5) [71]

“Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.”

“The first and last thing which is required of genius is the love of truth.” [65]

“What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
Goethe (original): “What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.” (source?)
Nietzsche (paraphrased): “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” (Twilight of the Idols 1888)

“He who is firm in will moulds the world to himself.”

Tributes | Praise
The following are noted tributes and or praise quotes:

Goethe opportunistically bowed to every invader. But as a thinker and man, he remained noncommittal and aloof… His aloofness, in these as in other matters, gained him the reputation of ‘the Olympian’; and the label was not always meant to be flattering. But his Olympian appearance was due least of all to an inner indifference to the fate of his contemporaries. It veiled his drama: his incapacity and reluctance to identify himself with causes, each an inextricable, tangle of right and wrong… All three – Jefferson, Goethe, and Shelley – were in a sense outsiders to the great conflict of their time, and because of this they interpreted their time with more truthfulness and penetration than did the fearful – the hate-ridden partisans on either side.”
— Isaac Deutscher (1950) (Ѻ) (Ѻ)

“All before Goethe are ancients, and all who have read him are modern.”
Ralph Emerson (date) [34]

“I was familiar with the phrase ‘Renaissance Man’, but Goethe is like a Renaissance Man with access to amphetamines. He makes Leonardo da Vinci look like a lazy bum.”
— Arnold Jacobs (2004), The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Be the Smartest Person in the World

The following are public monuments to Goethe:

goethe monument (1844)goethe-sculpture (lincoln-park) sGoethe writing (c.1770) s
The 1844 Goethe Monument, in Frankfurt-am-Main, made by Ludwig von Schwanthaler: A photo of the Goethe sculpture by sculptor Herman Hahn in Munich (1913), eventually placed in Lincoln Park, Chicago. Goethe's study in Frankfurt (c.1769/72, Weimar, The Weimar Classics Foundation).
Geothe (statue)

A Goethe statue (link).

Statue of book (Walk of Ideas, 2006)
A 40ft stack of books at the 2006 Berlin Walk of Ideas with Goethe as the foundation, in commemoration of Gutenberg’s 1445 invention of the movable printing press.

1. (a) Goethe, Johann. (1809). Elective Affinities. New York: Penguin Classics.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One), (preview). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(c) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two), (preview), (ch. 10: "Goethe's Affinities", pgs. 371-422). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
2. Eliot, George [1871] (2004). in Gregory Maertz (ed.): Middlemarch. Broadview Press. Note by editor of 2004 edition, Gregory Maertz, (p. 710).
3. Letter from Goethe to friend, composer Karl Friedrich Zelter as discussed in: Tantillo, Astrida, O. (2001). Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Critics. New York: Camden House.
4. (a) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One), (preview), (Google books). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2007).
Human Chemistry (Volume Two), (preview), (Google books). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(c) Thims, Libb. (2008). The Human Molecule, (preview). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(d) Sterner, Robert W. and Elser, James J. (2002). Ecological Stoichiometry: the Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere, (
chapter one), (pg. 3, 47, 135). Date: Oct. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
5. (a) Estimated IQs of the Greatest Geniuses
(b) Top 10 Geniuses of All Time (according to Buzan's Book Of Genius, 1994).
6. (a) Cox, Catharine, M. (1926). Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses (Genetic Studies of Genius Series) (pgs. 155, 163). Stanford Univ Press.
(b) Cox's IQ Estimates of 301 Geniuses - IQ Comparison
7. (a) Tantillo, Astrida, O. (2001). Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Critics (pgs. 6, 157, 198; Heine, pg. 8). New York: Camden House.
(b) Photo of Goethe at age 69, painted in 1828 by Joseph Karl Stieler.
8. (a) Tantillo, Astrida, O. (2001). Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Critics (pgs. 154-57). New York: Camden House.
(b) Eckermann, Johann P. (06 May 1827)
(c) Conversations with Goethe (Gespräche mit Goethe) – Wikipedia.

Goethe medal (s)
The Goethe medal, and annual award since 1955. [40]
9. 200th Anniversary Elective Affinities T-Shirt –
10. (a) Quote from Bayard Taylor’s translation of Faust.
(b) Pogany, Peter. (2006). Rethinking the World (pg. 21). iUniverse.
11. WorldCat Identities – Home.
12. Duntzer, Heinrich. (1884). Life of Goethe, Volumes 1-2 (pgs. 88-89). Estes.
13. (a) Georg von Welling – Wikipedia.
(b) Welling, Georg von. (1735). Opus Mago-Cabalisticum et Theosophicum (English). Publisher.
14. Magnus, Rudolf and Schmid, Gunther. (2004). Goethe as a Scientist (pg. 15-16; (chemistry, pgs. 2, 5, etc.) ). Kessinger Publishing.
15. (a) Popenoe, Paul. (1927). “The Childhood of a Genius: A Review” (extract), Journal of Heredity. 18(4): 145-51.
(b) Goethe age 15, painting in oil by Johann Adam Kern.
16. Adler, Jeremy. (1990). "Goethe's Use of Chemical Theory in his Elective Affinities" (ch. 18, pgs. 263-79) in Romanticism and the Sciences - edited by Andrew Cunningham and Nicholas Jardine, New York: Cambridge University Press.
17. Hoffmann, Ronald. (1995). The Same and Not the Same (Goethe, pgs. 58, 88-89, 179-80, 243, 256). Cambridge University Press.
18. Browning, Oscar. (1892). Goethe: his Life and Writings. S. Sonnenschein.
19. Robertson, John G. (1932). The Life and Work of Goethe, 1749-1832 (pg. 7). Taylor & Francis.
20. Helmholtz, Hermann and Cahan, David. (1995). Science and Culture: Popular and Philosophical Essays (ch. 1: On Goethe’s Scientific Researches (1853), pgs. 1-17; ch. : On the Interaction of the Natural Forces (1854), pgs. 18-45; ch. 5: On the Conservation of Force, pgs. 96-; ch. 14: Hermann von Helmholtz: an Autobiographical Sketch (1891), pgs. 381-92; ch. : Goethe’s Presentiments of Coming Scientific Ideas (1892), pgs. 393-412) . University of Chicago Press.
21. (a) The concept that 'decreasing atmospheric pressure predicts stormy weather' was postulated by Lucien Vidie, and it's the basis for a weather prediction device called a 'storm glass' or 'Goethe barometer' (who popularized it in Germany). It consists of a glass container with a sealed body, half filled with water. A narrow spout connects to the body below the water level and rises above the water level, where it is open to the atmosphere. When the air pressure is lower than it was at the time the body was sealed, the water level in the spout will rise above the water level in the body; when the air pressure is higher, the water level in the spout will drop below the water level in the body.
Goethe basalt trap
Goethe’s sketch of the conditions of basalt (trap) formation, in regards to his theory of the geology of lavas. [39]
(b) Goethe popularized the Goethe Barometer using a principle established by Evangelista Toricelli (1643). According to Hegel, 'Goethe has occupied himself a good deal with meteorology; barometer readings interested him particularly... What he says is important: the main thing is that he gives a comparative table of barometric readings during the whole month of December 1822, at Weimar, Jena, London, Boston, Vienna, Töpel... He claims to deduce from it that the barometric level varies in the same propoportion not only in each zone but that it has the same variation, too, at different altitudes above sea-level'. (Hegel's Philosophy of Nature, pp 128–129).
22. (a) Blunden, Andy. (2009). “Goethe’s Romantic Science”, March,
(b) Morphology (biology) – Wikipedia.
23. Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Critics (pg. 29). Camden House.
24. (a) Gebelein, Helmut. (2002). “Alchemy and Chemistry in the Work of Goethe”, In: The Golden Egg: Alchemy in Art and Literature, pgs. 9-30. Galda & Wilch.
(b) Susanne von Klettenberg (German → English) – Wikipedia.
25. Goethe, Johann. (1790). The Metamorphosis of Plants. (intro by Gordon L. Miller, 2009). MIT Press.
26. Darwin, Charles. (1872). Origin of Species (Goethe, pgs. 13, 22, 207; A Historical Sketch, pgs. 11-), 6th ed. New York: American Home Library Co.
27. Lecoq, Henri. (1854). “Edudes sur Geograph. Bot.,” tom. i. pg. 250.
28. The Elective Affinities - Wikipedia.
29. Kauffman, George B. (1999). “From Triads to Catalysis: Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner (1780-1849) on the 150th Anniversary of his Death” The Chemical Educator, 4(5): 186-97.
30. Kondepudi, Dilip. (2008). Introduction to Modern Thermodynamics (pg. 49). John Wiley & Sons.
31. Haeckel, Ernst. (1900). The Riddle of the Universe at the Close of the Nineteenth Century (affinity, pg. 224). Harper & Brothers.
32. House, Roy T. (1916). “Goethe and the Chemists, Popular Science, pgs. 332-37. Apr.
33. Fink, Karl J. (2009). Goethe’s History of Science (pg. 9). Cambridge University Press.
34. Tantillo, Astradia O. (2010). Goethe’s Modernisms (pg. 1). Continuum International Publishing Group.
35. Becker, Carl J. (2003). A Modern Theory of Evolution (pg. 97). iUniverse.
Goethe statue (1820)
The Goethe statue (1820).
36. Boerner, Peter. (2005). Goethe (pg. 72). Haus Publishing.
37. (a) Seung, T.K. (2006). Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner: their Spinozan Epics of Love and Power (pg. 67). Lexington Books.
(b) Faust image 19th century – Wikipedia.
38. Anon. (1911). “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: his relation to Science and the Useful Arts”, Scientific America, Jul 22.
39. Wells, George A. (1978). Goethe and the Development of Science, 1750-1900 (pg. 65). Springer.
40. (a) Goethe medal (about) –
(b) Goethe medal – Wikipedia.
41. Janin, Joel. (1995). “Elusive Affinities”, Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 21(1): 30-39.
42. Pipes, Alan. (2003). Foundations of Art and Design (pg. 156). Laurence King Publishing.
43. Hoffmann, Roald. (1995). The Same and Not the Same (Goethe, 58, 88-89, 179-80, 256). Columbia University Press.
44. Frenay, Robert. (2006). Pulse: the Coming Age of Systems and Machines Inspiried by Living Things (pg. 12). MacMillan.
45. Nicoaou, K.C. and Montagnon, Tamsyn. (2008). Molecules that Changed the World (pg. 160). Wiley-VCH.
46. (a) Goethe, J. W. v. (1784). Dem Menschen wie den Tieren ist ein Zwischenknochen der odem Kinnlade zuzuschreiben (An Intermaxillary Bone is Present in the Upper Jaw of Man as well as in Animals). Sämtliche Werke 2: 530-545.
(b) From: Goethe, 1784 and 1817; Plate I & Plate IX, original drawing by Waitz.
(c) Filler, Aaron G. (2007). The Upright Ape: A New Origin of the Species (Figure 2-2: Goethe’s Proof of the Human Intermaxillary bone). New Page Books.
47. Gerard, Gengembre. (date). “Erfurt 1808: the Emperor Honours German Literature”,
48. (a) Gruber, Gary R. (2005). Gruber’s Complete Preparation for the New SAT (pg. 790). HarberCollins.
(b) Tesla, Nikola. (2007). The Essential Tesla (Goethe’s Faust and AC Motor, pg. 132). Wilder Publications.
49. (a) Bust of Goethe by David d'Angers, Weimar, 1829. Galerie David d'Angers, Angers.
(b) Galison, Peter, Holton, Gerald J., and Schweber, Silvan S. (2008). Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture (ch. 1: Who Was Einstein? Why is He Still so Alive?, pgs 3-15; quote: pg. 10). Princeton University Press.
50. Dusek, Val. (1999). The Holistic Inspirations of Physics: the Underground History of Electromagnetic Theory (Elective Affinities, pgs. 221-23). Rutgers University Press.
51. Rauch, Irmengard. (1995). Across the Oceans: Studies from East to West in Honor of Richard K. Seymour (§:Goethe and Schiller, pg. 105). University of Hawaii Press.
52. (a) Friedenthal, Richard, Riedenthal-Haas, Marth. (2010). Goethe: His Life & Times (pg. 280). Transaction Publishers.
(b) Cox, Catharine, M. (1926). Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses (Genetic Studies of Genius Series) (pg. 694). Stanford University Press.
54. Fink, Karl J. (2009). Goethe’s History of Science (pg. 9). Cambridge University Press.
55. Goethe, Johann. (date). "Religion Quote", In: 'Gedichte' in Goethes Werke (1948, 1952), Vol. 1, 367. Cited in Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion (2002), 79.
56. Goethe, Johann. (1831). “Letter to Sulpiz Boisseree”, 22 March 1831; quoted in Peter Boerner, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1832/1982: A Biographical Essay. Bonn: Inter Nationes, 1981 p. 82.
These were the Subjects which Occupied his Activity
Title: “These Were the Subjects which Occupied his Activity”, photogravure from the drawing by Woldemar Friedrich. [61]
57. Goethe, Johann, Eckermann, Johann, Soret, Frederic, Oxenford, John. (1901). Conversations with Eckermann: Being Appreciations and Criticisms on Many Subjects (pg. 379). M.W. Dunne.
58. Johann Goethe – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
59. Last words –
60. Lewisohn, Ludwig. (1949). Goethe: the Story of a Man: Being the Life of Johann Wolfgang Goethe as Told in his Own Words and the Words of his Contemporaries, Volume 1 (elective affinities, pg. 79). Farrar Straus and Co.
61. (a) The Wanderer’s Night Song (1870 mountain hut) (2010) – Some Landscapes,
(b) Wanderer’s Nightsong - Wikipedia.
(c) Lewes, George H. (1902). Works: Life of Goethe (“Goethe at Ilmenau” (Goethe at mountain hut, color), photogravure from the drawing by Woldemar Friedrich, pgs. cover and ii; Portrait of Goethe, pg. 150; Goethe’s Interview with Napoleon at Erfurt, pgs. 312; “These were the Subjects which Occupied his Activity”, pg. 358; “More Light”). F.A. Niccolls & Company.
62. Goethe, Johann and Zelter, Carl F. (1892). Goethe’s Letters to Zelter: with Extracts from those of Zelter to Goethe (Nessus, pg. 307; God, pg. 308). G. Bell and Sons.
63. Goethe genealogy (see bottom) – The Esoteric Redux,
64. Goethe, Johann. (1810). Theory of Colors (pg. xxiv). Publisher.
65. Klopsch, Louis. (1896). Many Thoughts of Many Minds (106). Publisher.
66. Goethe, Johann and Boyesen, Hjalmar B. (1885). Goethe’s Works Illustrated by the Best German Artists, The Life of Goethe, Poems, Volume One The Life of Goethe, pgs. iii-xxxiv). George Barrie.
67. Pelikan, Jaroslav J. (1997). Faust the Theologian (pg. 37). Yale University Press.
68. Watson, Peter. (2010). The German Genius: Europe’s Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century (pg. 122). Harper Perennial.
69. (a) Boyle, Nicholas. (1992). Goethe: the Poet of Desire, Volume One. Oxford University Press.
(b) Boyle, Nicholas. (2000). Goethe: Revolution and Renunciation (1790-1803), Volume Two. Clarendon Press.
70. Krockel, Carl. (2007). D.H. Lawrence and Germany: the Politics of Influence (pg. 305). Rodopi.
71. Goethe, Johann. (1853). Goethe's Opinions on the World, Mankind, Literature, Science and Art, (translated by Otto Wenckstern) (pg. 3). John W. Parker and Son.
72. Prandi, Julie P. (1993). Dare to Be Happy!: a Study of Goethe’s Ethics (pg. 91). University Press of America.
73. Hardenberg, Friedrich (Novalis). (1798). “On Goethe” (Uber Goethe) (pgs. 102-07), in: German Aesthetic and Literary Criticism: the Romantic Ironists and Goethe, Volume 1 (edited by: Kathleen M. Wheeler). (note 13: pg. 239). CUP Archive, 1984.
74. Finger, Stanley and Piccolino, Marco. (2011). The Shocking History of Electric Fishes: from the Ancient Epochs to the Birth of Modern Neurophysiology (pg. 13). Oxford University Press.
75. Steiner, Rudolf. (1897). Goethe’s Conception of the World (contents) (§:Views concerning Nature and the Development of Living Beings: the Doctrine of Metamorphosis), Publication.
76. (a) Lillyman, William J. (1982). “Analogies for Love: Goethe’s Die Wahlverwandtschaften and Plato’s Symposium” (pg. 143). Goethe’s Narrative Fiction: the Irvine Goethe Symposium. Walter de Gruyter.
(b) H.A. Briefe II, 146.
(c) Samuel Thomas von Sommerring – Wikipedia.
77. Jacobs, Arnold. (2004). The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (pgs. 116-18). Simon & Schuster.
78. Ward, Lester F. (1879). Haeckel's Genesis of Man, or, History of the Development of the Human Race: Being a review of his "Anthropogenie", and Embracing a Summary Exposition of His Views and of Those of the Advanced German School of Science (pgs. 8-13). E. Stern & Co.
79. (a) Bailey, G.H. (1890). “Goethe as a Student of Chemistry” (abs), Transactions of the Manchester Goethe Society, Mar 5.
(b) Cox, Catharine, M. (1926). Early Mental Traits of Three Hundred Geniuses (Genetic Studies of Genius Series) (pg. 694). Stanford University Press.
(c) Friedenthal, Richard, Riedenthal-Haas, Marth. (2010). Goethe: His Life & Times (pg. 280). Transaction Publishers.
(d) Goethe, Johann. (1811-1833). Dichtung und Wahrheit (From My Life: Poetry and Truth). Publisher.
80. (a) Wiener, Norbert. (1964). God & Golem, Inc.: a Commentary on Certain Points Where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion (pg. 57). MIT Press.
(b) The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Wikipedia.

Further reading
● Goethe, Johann. (1874). Autobiography of Goethe: Truth and Poetry: From My Own Life. George Bell & Sons.
● Cook, Joseph. (1879). Marriage, with Preludes on Current Events (section: Goethe and elective affinities, pgs. 77-84). R.D. Dickinson.
● Chamberlain, Houston S. (1914). Immanuel Kant: a Study and Comparison with Goethe, Da Vinci, Bruno, Plato, and Descartes (Goethe, pgs. 13-100). The Bodley Head.
● Phelps, William L. (1915). Robert Browning: How to Know Him (Goethe’s elective affinities, pgs. 116-19). The Bobbs-Merrill Co.
● Gehrt, Albert J. (1934). “Goethe the Chemist” (abstract), J. Chem. Educ. 11(10): 534-.
● Yourgrau, Wolfgang. (1951). “Reflections on the Natural Philosophy of Goethe” (abstract), Philosophy, 26(96): 69-84.
● Gray, Ronald D. (1952). Goethe the Alchemist: a Study of the Alchemical Symbolism in Goethe’s Literary and Scientific Works. Cambridge University Press.
● Nicholls, Angus J. (2006). Goethe’s Concept of the Daemonic: after the Ancients. Camden House.
● Segre, Gino. (2008). Faust in Copenhagen: a Struggle for the Soul of Physics. Penguin.

Goethe photos –
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (photos) – Wikipedia Commons.

External links
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Wikipedia.
Goethe Society of North America –

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