On the Shoulders of Giants, The Legacy of Newton, Goethe and Turner. 

Newton, Goethe and Turner are the undisputed giants in the fields of science, literature and art respectively. All three strove to understand the nature of light, darkness and colour. They did this not independently of their predecessors but in critical relation to them. Goethe's criticism of Newton is famous and the marginalia of Turner's copy of Goethe's Theory of Colours reveal that Goethe had not gone far enough for Turner's liking; he was still too Newtonian. Turner's criticism points to the idea of viewing Goethe's contribution as a stage in the metamorphosis of Newton's colour work that was then taken further by scientists such as Michael Wilson, philosophers such as Hegel and Wittgenstein, and artists such as Turner. 

In this two day conference we will explore stages of the metamorphosis of the study of light, darkness and colour initiated by Newton.


Anastasia Fourel (Humboldt University, Berlin)

Sebastian Hümbert (University of Wuppertal)

Timm Lampert (Humboldt University, Berlin)

Marc Müller (University of Wuppertal)

Olaf Müller (Humboldt University, Berlin)

Diana Pauli (Stourbridge, UK)

Matthias Rang (Dornach, Switzerland)

Mark Rowe (University of East Anglia)

Dennis Sepper (University of Dallas, TX)

Daniel Steuer (University of Sussex)

Troy Vine (Humboldt University, Berlin)

Jonathan Westphal (Northampton, MA)

Gabor Zemplen (Budapest University)

For further details please contact Troy Vine

The conference fee includes lunch on each day. 

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price

On the Shoulders of Giants Conference Full

Decrease Increase £120.00

Shoulders of Giants Student

Decrease Increase £60.00