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Metamorphosis of Plants
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The Metamorphosis of Plants (1790) is undoubtedly Goethe's best known and most famous scientific work. In 123 short paragraphs the great German poet, philosopher and scientist accompanies the plant through all its outward transformations, from its development of a seed to its reformation into a seed. Goethe acquaints the reader with the organs of the plant, with their physiological functions and the roles that they must play in the plant economy. He observes the course of development, the metamorphoses to which the individual parts must adapt. He enables us to see the plant as an organism, which is born, grows, reproduces and dies. Goethe then extends this approach beyond the individual plant organisms and conceives the entire universe as a living being. Each of nature's works has an essential nature of its own, each of her manifestations a most isolated concept; and yet all comprise only one.
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