Article ID: CBB439576491

Colour, Wavelength and Turbidity in the Light of Goethe’s Colour Studies (2020)


The polarity of light and dark in the treatment of the Newtonian spectrum and the inverse spectrum is studied further and the validity of heterogeneity of light and darkness in relation to Goethe’s views is examined. In order to clarify the reality of the “darkness rays”, the experimentum crucis is re-evaluated. It is shown that the commonly accepted analysis contains assumptions in the choice of the spectrum and background, which mask the inherent dynamic of the spectrum. The relation between colour and wavelength is re-examined with respect to the immutability and specific refrangibility of colour. It is then shown that both these properties are approximations that apply under the specific conditions that have later become standardized in spectroscopy, leading to a consensus regarding the relation of wavelength to colours of one particular spectrum. This consensus has resulted in the study of colour diverging into spectroscopy and colour physiology. As an alternative, the basis of the dichotomy postulated by Müller is studied, leading to the realization that the resolution of this dichotomy was begun by Goethe with the idea of turbidity. A further study shows that turbidity resolves the apparent incompatibility of light and dark.

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Authors & Contributors
Giudice, Franco
Esposito, Salvatore
Lambert, Johann Heinrich
DiLaura, David L
Lauxtermann, Paul F. H.
Eisenstaedt, Jean
Perspectives on Science
Physis: Rivista Intemazionale di Storia della Scienza
Archives d'Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge
Journal of Design History
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Pavia University Press
Kluwer Academic Publishers
V&R Unipress
Springer International Publishing
Color theory
Science and art
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Newton, Isaac
Lambert, Johann Heinrich
Schopenhauer, Arthur
Kant, Immanuel
Michell, John
18th century
19th century
17th century
20th century

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