At 21, Arthur Zajonc encountered the study of Goethe’s science under his German professor, Alan Cottrell. Goethe’s work represented the possibility of bringing scientific, technical, and academic dimensions of life together with cultural, spiritual, and meaning dimensions, and finding some kind of reconciliation. His first published paper was on Goethe’s color theory and scientific intuition, and Goethean insight continues to illuminate his research, writing and living.
David Cayley hosts the program “Ideas” for the Canadian Broadcast Company. Here he interviews Arthur Zajonc on the contemporary significance of Goethe’s ideas on science, at the heart of which stands the conviction that the practice of close attention changes the human mind.