Gustav T. Fechner

Fechner, Gustav Theodor

Gustav Theodor Fechner (gŏŏs´täf tā´ōdōr fĕkh´nər), 1801–87, German philosopher and physicist, founder of psychophysics, educated at Dresden and Leipzig. He became professor of physics at Leipzig in 1834 but was forced by ill health to leave in 1839. Thereafter he devoted himself largely to the study of the relationship between body and mind, although under the name "Dr. Mises" he also wrote humorous satire. In philosophy he was an animist, maintaining that life is manifest in all objects of the universe. His greatest achievement was in the investigation of exact relationships in psychology and aesthetics. He formulated the rule known as Fechner's, or Weber's, law, that, within limits, the intensity of a sensation increases as the logarithm of the stimulus. Two of Fechner's most important works were Zendavesta (1851) and Elementen der Psychophysik (1860).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Gustav T. Fechner: Selected full-text books and articles

The Wave Theory of Difference and Similarity By Stephen W. Link Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Elements"
Cognition, Information Processing, and Psychophysics: Basic Issues By Hans-Georg Geissler; Stephen W. Link; James T. Townsend Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Fechner's Inner Psychophysics: Its Historical Fate and Present Status" and Chap. 2 "Freud and Fechner, Desire and Energy, Hermeneutics and Psychophysics"
History, Psychology, and Science: Selected Papers By Edwin G. Boring; Robert I. Watson; Donald T. Campbell John Wiley & Sons, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "Fechner: Inadvertent Founder of Psychophysics, 1961" begins on p. 126
A Functional Theory of Cognition By Norman H. Anderson Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Fechner's Psycho-Physical Law" begins on p. 84
A Pluralistic Universe: Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the Present Situation in Philosophy By William James; Henry Samuel Levinson Harvard University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Concerning Fechner"
The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry By Henri F. Ellenberger Basic Books, 1970
Librarian’s tip: "The Epigones of Romanticism: Fechner and Bachofen" begins on p. 215
A Hundred Years of Psychology, 1833-1933 By J. C. Flugel Macmillan, 1933
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "Fechner and Psycho-Physics"
The Pluralist Philosophies of England & America By Jean Wahl; Fred Rothwell Open Court Publishing, 1925
Librarian’s tip: Chap. I "German Influences"
Reinterpreting the Legacy of William James By Margaret E. Donnelly American Psychological Association, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 17 "William James and Gustav Fechner: From Rejection to Elective Affinity"
Psychophysics: The Fundamentals By George A. Gescheider Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Fechner's Psychophysics" begins on p. 10
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