Goethe-Lexicon of Philosophical Concepts


The Goethe-Lexicon of Philosophical Concepts is a collaborative research project investigating the role played by concepts and their reinvention in Goethe’s heterodox development as a philosopher. The project’s international team of cross-disciplinary collaborators will identify, collect, and explicate an assemblage of philosophical concepts that allowed Goethe to reformulate central problems of traditional metaphysics within the practices of literature, science, aesthetics, and cultural history. Drawing on digital technologies, it will position users to connect Goethe to a long line of innovators in philosophical conceptualization from Aristotle through Gilles Deleuze.

By publishing the lexicon in English on an open-access platform, we will fulfill several goals. First, the lexicon will make Goethe available to a global readership. Second, it will serve as a resource for scholars outside of German Studies to connect their work to a thinker who, until recently, has remained largely unacknowledged for his philosophical achievements. Third, the digital platform will allow users to reorganize entries with the stroke of a key and so empower them to experience the building blocks of Goethean thought across a dynamic network of contextual fields. Last, the online format will enable a production and distribution process that is flexible and interactive. Each year will produce 25 entries that will become immediately available and integrated into the work of previous years. Users will also be able to respond to the entries with suggestions for emendation in an interactive process of revision.

The Lexicon’s first Annual Workshop is scheduled for May 2019 at Pitt.

Principal Investigator
  • Clark Muenzer