Bildung & Gestalt

| November 15, 2012

pattern and Gestalt have become popular terms today in some branches of science, but we need to distinguish these terms, as they are general employed, from the “movement” or “gesture” we have been considering here. Goethe summarizes the matter this way: The German has the word Gestalt for the complex of existence of an actual being. He abstracts, with this expression, from the moving, and assumes a congruous whole to be determined, completed, and fixed in its character. But if we consider Gestalts generally, especially organic ones, we find that independence, rest, or termination nowhere appear, but everything fluctuates rather in continuous motion. Our speech is therefore accustomed to use the word Bildung pertaining to both what has been brought forth and the process of bringing-forth. If we would introduce a morphology, we ought not to speak of the Gestalt, or if we do use the word, should think thereby only of an abstraction — a notion of something held fast in experience but for an instant. Quoted in Brady 1987, p. 274 What has been formed is immediately transformed again, and if we would succeed, to some degree, to a living view of Nature, we must attempt to remain as active and as plastic as the example she sets for us.

via NetFuture #164.