WUNDT AND THE BEGINNING OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY AT LEIPZIG
WILHELM WUNDT, the last of the three great figures who are responsible for the birth of the new experimental science, was a man of different mould. He was certainly inferior to Helmholtz both in his scientific flair for the choice of problems and methods and in the sureness of touch with which he handled them. But he combined courage and originality with an immense capacity for work and taking pains. The mere enumeration of his writings is thoroughly impressive. The bibliography collected by his daughter runs to close on five hundred titles, from standard works in several portly volumes to one page articles. According to Boring (who warns us not to lose our sense of humour in statistical investigations of this sort!), it appears that Wundt wrote 53,735 pages from his twenty-first year onwards till his death in 1920 at the age of 88, and that he wrote or revised at the rate of 2.2 pages a day--a striking record, considering that the questions with which he dealt were for the most part far from easy and his treatment far from superficial. For psychology he was undoubtedly the most important of the great pioneers, and this for three chief reasons. In the first place he was, unlike both Fechner and Helmholtz (but like Bain, who, however, was a lesser man), primarily a psychologist, his physiological and philosophical writings, important as they were, being subsidiary both in interest and in ultimate significance to his psychology. In the second place it was he who was the first to conceive of experimental psychology as a science and to give it that name. In the third place he
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Publication information: Book title: A Hundred Years of Psychology, 1833-1933. Contributors: J. C. Flugel - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1933. Page number: 176.
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