Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, On the Theory of Colors (Theory & Experience)

It is a most remarkable demand that is often made, but never fulfilled, even by those who make it: One should present one’s experience without any theoretical apparatus, and let the reader, the student, form his own conclusions. For merely looking at a subject cannot advance our understanding. Every look passes over into an observation, every observation into a meditation, every meditation into a connection, and so one may say that we theorize with every attentive glance at the world. However, to do so with consciousness, with self-knowledge, with freedom, and to make use of a daring word, much skill is needed if the abstraction that we fear is to be harmless and the result of our experience that we hope for is to come alive and be useful.

-Preface

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