Adonis Press

Adonis Press publishes and promotes books on Goethean phenomenological science: a science that moves from the investigation of discrete objects in space to conscious participation in transformational processes over time, to the apprehension of essential qualities. It also offers essays, poetry,  and other literary works.

Adonis Press is a branch of the Hawthorne Valley Association, a nonprofit corporation in Ghent, New York.
Purchasing Books
Adonis Press no longer sells books.  But our website provides a blue "Buy ..."  button for each book that links to a distributor's page where you can order the book.  All books published by Adonis Press are sold by SteinerBooks with whom we have a special agreement whereby a large part of the sales income goes to Adonis Press.

**New Release **

Wonders of Development in Plants, People, and Projects

by Jan Diek van Mansvelt 
translated by Laura Liska
                                                                 ** Available August 8th, 2022 **
Adonis Press 2022 
hardcover; 9.5 x 7 inches; 127 pages with numerous color illustrations
ISBN 978-0-932776-66-2

Book Description

The hectic pace of our lives is increasingly determined by the unconscious forces driving our thinking and by the relentless speed of the machines and automated intelligence that this thinking has produced. We are so caught up by the pressure this imposes upon us that we have largely lost any awareness of the regenerative, rhythmical activity that sustains us.

For the sake of our health, sanity, and ultimately of our own productivity, we can, as this deeply refreshing, delightful little book suggests, slow down and turn our full attention to the creative life of nature as it manifests in the growth and development of plants, in human development, and even in the unfolding of our human endeavors.

Drawing on his life-long experience in regenerative agriculture, education, and planning, the author guides us in detailed observations that can awaken a deep sense of wonder at the creative lawfulness underlying all development. Van Mansvelt shows us how exact observation of plants can lead to a more inward contemplation of the formative gestures that manifest in their growth and metamorphosis – gestures that can also be discerned in the phases of human development and in the step-wise realization of our plans and projects. Through this enlivened contemplative activity, our thinking is transformed and gradually becomes not only attuned to, but capable of consciously participating in, and working with, the creative forces that give rise to developmental processes.

When we focus our attention on the rhythms of life we can gain a new awareness of our deep, intrinsic kinship with nature, an enthusiasm for the further development of our capacities, and a sense of responsibility for what we contribute out of these abilities to the future development of society and nature.


Nigel Hoffmann’s classic introduction to Goethean science 

Goethe’s Science of Living Form,

The Artistic Stages
is now available again!

A generous donation has made it possible to reprint this basic book!


Book Description

 Goethean phenomenological science, as extended by Rudolf Steiner, is a cognitive path that leads methodically from sensory experience to the apprehension of the spiritual essence that manifests within it. This path encompasses four different forms of cognition that Steiner characterizes as Physical Thinking, Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition. These distinctive modes of cognition correspond with the four elements of ancient Greek philosophy and, in terms of modern physical science, with the four states of matter: 

  1. Earth; solid
  2. Water; liquid
  3. Air; gaseous
  4. Fire; currently conceptualized as plasma

Nigel Hoffmann begins by characterizing and distinguishing these different modes of cognition: In a nutshell, modern scientific thinking, or Physical Thinking, can be characterized as mechanical. Here, a whole is broken down into its parts. The attempt is then made, through experimentation, to understand the whole in terms of the mechanical interaction of its parts. Imagination, by contrast, can be characterized as sculptural. Here, thinking becomes active participation in the development and metamorphosis of a living whole. Underlying gestures are revealed through Inspiration. Whereas Imagination involves active formative movement, Inspiration can be characterized as the receptive experience of an inwardness that sounds through the phenomena, as akin to musical listening. Intuition can be characterized as active communing with the creative spiritual essence that informs the experience of the other modes of cognition in the same way that fire permeates and impulsates the other elements. In this sense, Intuition can be characterized as poetical.

Hoffmann concludes his book by applying this fourfold methodology to a Goethean study of a distinctive landscape in his native Australia. Throughout the book he enlivens his subject by weaving together the philosophical connotations of the four modes of cognition with concrete phenomenological observations of nature and the dynamic qualities of the arts.

First published in 2007, and reprinted several times since then, Goethe’s Science of Living Form will remain the most accessible and comprehensive introduction to Goethean science for a long time to come.

         Now available!
In this collection of brilliant essays, Frederick Amrine brings us up to date on the current reception of Goethe’s scientific work and how it relates to such contemporary thinkers as Thomas Nagel, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gilles Deleuze, Thomas Kuhn, and many others. In this context he explores Goethe’s organic thinking in relation to the new paradigm of emergence.
What is qualitative science?

 By John Barnes

We live in a science-based culture dominated by measurements, graphs, statistics and calculations. The more we think in terms of quantity, however, the more we value the richness of qualitative experience which we seek for in nature, the arts, in religious experience and in human relationships as an inwardly fulfilling, yet elusive antidote to our obsession with numerical accuracy. In the end, most of us would choose quality over quantity. But “subjective” qualitative experience is discounted in our “objective” science-based culture. Indeed it is thought of as the antithesis of scientific objectivity. Is there—can there even be—such a thing as qualitative science?



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John Barnes
Adonis Press, 321 Rodman Road, Hillsdale, NY 12529

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