The Intuitive Way of Knowing

A Tribute to Brian Goodwin

Edited by David Lambert, Chris Chetland and Craig Millar

Out of print

Quick Look

  • Brian Goodwin was a pioneer in the field of theoretical biology, working to develop an alternate view to extreme Darwinism
  • This collection addresses Brian Goodwin's groundbreaking work on evolutionary and theoretical biology
  • The book honours both his work and personal memories of a much loved and respected colleague

A collection addressing Brian Goodwin's groundbreaking work on evolutionary and theoretical biology, honouring a much-respected thinker and colleague.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Philosophy of Human Life
15 b/w illustrations
192 pages
Publication date:
25 Apr 2013


Professor Brian Goodwin (1931-2009) was a visionary biologist, mathematician and philosopher. Understanding organisms as dynamics wholes, he worked to develop an alternate view to extreme Darwinism based solely on genetic factors. He was a pioneer in the field of theoretical biology; in later years was made a founding fellow at Schumacher College near Totnes, England, where he taught holistic science and wrote his final book, Nature's Due: Healing our Fragmented Culture.

This new book is a tribute to the life and work of Brian Goodwin. It includes contributions from eminent scholars and academics around the world, addressing his work on pattern and form in biology, and the metaphysical principles that guided him. It also includes an interview with Goodwin which offers new insights into his thinking.

The book honours both his work and personal memories of a much loved and respected colleague.

Contributors include: Stuart Kauffman, Lewis Wolpert, Fritjof Capra, Margaret Boden, Michael Ruse, Fred Cummings, Mae-wan Ho, Philip Franses, Stephan Harding, Nick Monk, Claudio Stern and Johannes Jaeger

Table of Contents

Section 1: Personal Memories
Brian Goodwin, The Magical Black Knight -- Stuart Kauffman
Brian Goodwin -- Lewis Wolpert
Brian Goodwin at Sussex in the 1970s: personal reminiscences -- Claudio D. Stern
Interview with Brian Goodwin #1 -- Stephan Harding

Section 2: Evolutionary Biology and Philosophy
Biology without Darwinian Spectacles -- Brian Goodwin
Form and Function in Biology: Placing Brian Goodwin -- Michael Ruse
Epigenetics and Generative Dynamics: How Development Directs Evolution -- Mae-Wan Ho
Darwinian Spectacles and other 'Ways of Seeing' Evolution -- Craig Millar and David Lambert
From Goethe to Goodwin, via von Foerster -- Maggie Boden
Interview with Brian Goodwin #2
Stephan Harding

Section 3: Theoretical Biology
Complexity and Life -- Fritjof Capra
Answering to the Future: Ambiguity in Living Processes and the Language of its Resolution-- Philip Franses
Keeping the Gene in its Place -- Johannes Jaeger and Nick Monk
On Coupling of Pattern and Geometry in Embryos -- F.W. Cummings
Interview with Brian Goodwin #3 -- Stephan Harding


'Not only is The Intuitive Way of Knowing a wonderful tribute to Brian for those who knew him and also for people like myself who have been greatly influenced by his astoundingly insightful, ground-breaking and also spiritual work (see for example Brian's final book Nature's Due -- Healing Our Fragmented Culture), it is also an excellent introduction to the ways in which scientists such as Brian work with their faculties of intuition (not to be confused in this sense with feeling) in order to truly comprehend organisms and the meaning of living processes.'
-- Simon Robinson, Transition Consciousness

'The final part on theoretical biology opens with a brilliant essay from Fritjof Capra… Although the book is technical in parts, it provides an excellent overview of the significant contribution that Brian [Goodwin] made to evolutionary biology and reminds the reader of his remarkable qualities as a man and a teacher.
-- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review

'Anyone with an interest in evolutionary biology will find a wealth of information covering a broad range of ideas on the subject.'
-- David Anstey, New Vision

'This book well documents aspects of Brian Goodwin’s life of enquiry, but is of far wider relevance. The questions he was asking are still live questions today and will remain so for years to come. He was a prophet of a transformation in biology that is now under way, but which he did not live to see.'
-- Rupert Sheldrake, Temenos Academy Review


David Lambert is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Griffith University, Australia. He was previously on the staff at the University of Auckland and Massey University in New Zealand and was a Principal Investigator in the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. His interests are in theories of evolutionary biology and currently works in the area of ancient genomics.

Chris Chetland is a PhD student at Griffith University. His interests are theory of form and how structure of consciousness limits knowledge, particularly from a Kantian framework. Outside of academia he is an award-winning music producer.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors