Fechner, Gustav Theodor (1801-1887) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Psychophysics

In 1848 Fechner returned to the University of Leipzig as professor of philosophy. His desire to substantiate empirically the metaphysical thesis that mind and matter are simply alternative ways of construing one and the same reality was the main motivation for his pioneering work in experimental psychology. His Elemente der Psychophysik (Leipzig, 1860) was intended to be an outline of an exact science of the functional relations between bodily and mental phenomena, with a view to showing that one and the same phenomenon could be characterized in two ways. Fechner divided his new science of psychophysics into two disciplines: inner psychophysics, which studies the relation between sensation and nerve excitation; and outer psychophysics, to which Fechner's own experimental work was devoted and which studies the relation between sensation and physical stimulus. Psychophysics became one of the dominant fields within experimental psychology.

Fechner's work on the relation between...

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This section contains 2,234 words
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Buy the Fechner, Gustav Theodor (1801-1887) Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Fechner, Gustav Theodor (1801-1887) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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