The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions

By Margaret P. Munger | Go to book overview


Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887) found only two of his courses as a university student
interesting: Ernst Heinrich Weber's physiology course and Karl Brandan Mollweide's alge-
bra course—understandable favorites for the future psychophysicist. Fechner earned a
medical degree from the University of Leipzig, but never practiced—probably a blessing
for potential patients, since he writes that he “had not learned to tie an artery, to apply the
simplest bandage, or to perform the simplest operation connected with childbirth” for lack
of interest in the practical side of medicine. Fechner's father, a Lutheran minister, did have
a practical side, installing a lightning rod on his church steeple and admonishing his con-
gregation to honor the laws of physics as well as the laws of God. Writing to earn money,
Fechner not only published a series of satiric articles as Dr. Mises, including “Proof that the
Moon is Made of Iodine” and “On the Comparative Anatomy of Angels,” but also translat-
ed a number of French texts on physics and chemistry. Appointed to a lectureship in
physics at the University of Leipzig in 1824, Fechner continued to support himself with
translations, publishing his first original physics research in 1828. After he advanced to the
rank of full professor, extremely poor health led to his resignation in 1840. Following a
long recovery process, Fechner explored a wide variety of metaphysical, esthetic, and
parapsychological issues, and on October 22, 1850, reported that while lying in bed he re-
alized how to connect the physical, measurable world to the psychological experience via
a proportion. Fechner's psychophysics was recognized by many established scientists, in-
cluding Hermann von Helmholtz (p. 154) and Ernst Mach, as critical to establishing psy-
chology as a scientific discipline unique from philosophy and physiology.




General Considerations on the Relation of Body
and Mind

While knowledge of the material world has blossomed in the great development of the various branches of natural science and has benefited from exact principles and methods that assure it of successful progress, and while knowledge of the mind has, at least up to a certain point, established for itself a solid basis in psychology and logic, knowledge of the relation of mind and matter, of body and soul, has up to now remained merely a field for philosophical argument without solid foundation and without sure principles and methods for the progress of inquiry.

The immediate cause of this less favorable condition is, in my opinion, to be sought in the following factual circumstances, which admittedly only make us seek their more remote origins. The relationships of the material world itself we can pursue directly and in accord with experience, as no less the relationships of the inner or mental world. Knowledge of the former, of course, is limited by the reach of our senses and their amplifications, and of the latter by the limitations of everyone's

From Gustav Fechner, “Introduction. Outer Psychophysics.” In T. B. H. E. Adler, D. H. Howes, & E. G. Boring (Eds.), Elements
of Psychophysics (pp. 1–18, 38–45). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966. (Original work published 1860)


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Part 1 - What is the Mind? 1
  • 1: Plato 2
  • 2: Hippocrates 4
  • 3: Aristotle 20
  • 4: Saint Augustine of Hippo 35
  • 5: Saint Thomas Aquinas 46
  • Part 2 - Mechanisms of Mind 67
  • 6: René Descartes 68
  • 7: John Locke 81
  • 8: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 96
  • 9: David Hume 113
  • 10: Immanuel Kant 127
  • Part 3 - Scientific Methods 141
  • 11: Gustav Theodor Fechner 142
  • 12: Hermann Von Helmholtz 154
  • 13: Hermann Ebbinghaus 168
  • 14: Ivan Pavlov 178
  • Part 4 - Emotion and Instinct in Animals and Humans 187
  • 15: Charles Darwin 188
  • 16: Margaret Floy Washburn 203
  • 17: William James 215
  • 18: Francis Galton 232
  • Part 5 - Human Development 249
  • 19: Milicent W. Shinn 250
  • 20: Sigmund Freud 258
  • 21: Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon 270
  • 22: Hugo Münsterberg 288
  • Part 6 - What is the Goal of Psychology? 295
  • 23: Wilhelm Wundt 296
  • 24: Max Wertheimer 308
  • 25: E. B. Titchener 324
  • Part 7 - Learning 331
  • 26: John B. Watson 332
  • 27: Edward C. Tolman 341
  • 28: D. O. Hebb 357
  • Part 8 - Cognition 367
  • 29: Jean Piaget 368
  • 30: L. S. Vygotski 387
  • 31: B. F. Skinner 399
  • 32: Noam Chomsky 408
  • 33: Sir Frederic C. Bartlett 430
  • 34: Ulric Neisser 447
  • Part 9 - Considerations of Context 467
  • 35: James J. Gibson 468
  • 36: James L. Mcclelland, David E. Rumelhart, and Geoffrey E. Hinton 478
  • 37: V. S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee 492
  • Bibliography of Readings 511
  • Bibliography of Biographical References 513


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 514

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.