Fechner, Gustav Theodor


Fechner, Gustav Theodor
born April 19, 1801, Gross Särchen, near Muskau, Lusatia
died Nov. 18, 1887, Leipzig, Ger.

German physicist and philosopher who founded the science of psychophysics.

He taught at the University of Leipzig (1834–40) but left because of ill health. He developed experimental procedures, still useful in experimental psychology, for measuring sensations in relation to the physical magnitude of stimuli, establishing that, as physical stimulation increases logarithmically, sensation increases arithmetically. Most important, he devised an equation to express Weber's law. His principal scientific work was Elements of Psychophysics (1860).

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▪ German philosopher and physicist
born April 19, 1801, Gross Särchen, near Muskau, Lusatia [Germany]
died Nov. 18, 1887, Leipzig, Ger.

      German physicist and philosopher who was a key figure in the founding of psychophysics, the science concerned with quantitative relations between sensations and the stimuli producing them.

      Although he was educated in biological science, Fechner turned to mathematics and physics. In 1834 he was appointed professor of physics at the University of Leipzig. His health broke down several years later; his partial blindness and painful sensitivity to light in all likelihood developed as a result of his gazing at the Sun during the study of visual afterimages (1839–40).

      Pensioned modestly by the university in 1844, he began delving more deeply into philosophy and conceived of a highly animistic universe with God as its soul. He discussed his idea of a universal consciousness at length in a work containing his plan of psychophysics, Zend-Avesta: oder über die Dinge des Himmels und des Jenseits (1851; Zend-Avesta: On the Things of Heaven and the Hereafter).

      Fechner's Elemente der Psychophysik, 2 vol. (1860; Elements of Psychophysics), established his lasting importance in psychology. In this work he postulated that mind and body, though appearing to be separate entities, are actually different sides of one reality. He also developed experimental procedures, still useful in experimental psychology, for measuring sensations in relation to the physical magnitude of stimuli. Most important, he devised an equation to express the theory of the just-noticeable difference, advanced earlier by Ernst Heinrich Weber. This theory concerns the sensory ability to discriminate when two stimuli (e.g., two weights) are just noticeably different from each other. Later research has shown, however, that Fechner's equation is applicable within the midrange of stimulus intensity and then holds only approximately true.

      From about 1865 he delved into experimental aesthetics and sought to determine by actual measurements which shapes and dimensions are most aesthetically pleasing.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fechner, Gustav Theodor — ► (1801 87) Filósofo y psicólogo alemán. Autor de Elementos de psicofísica y Curso elemental de estética. (V. Weber Fechner, ley de.) * * * (19 abr. 1801, Gross Särchen, cerca de Muskau, Lusacia–18 nov. 1887, Leipzig, Alemania). Físico y filósofo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FECHNER, GUSTAV THEODOR —    physicist and psychophysicist, born at Gross Särchen, in Lower Lusatia; became professor of Physics in Leipzig, but afterwards devoted himself to psychology; laid the foundations of the science of psychophysics in his Elements of Pyschophysics …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Фехнер Густав Теодор / Fechner, Gustav Theodor — (1801 1887). Фехнера чаще всего вспоминают в связи с его вкладом в развитие психофизики. Впервые ученые смогли измерить психику; к середине XIX столетия научные методы уже применялись для изучения психических явлений …   Психологическая энциклопедия

  • Gustav Theodor Fechner — (* 19. April 1801 in Groß Särchen bei Muskau; † 18. November 1887 in Leipzig; Pseudonym Dr. Mises) war ein deutscher Physiker und Natur Philosoph. Er vertrat in späten Jahren eine Theorie von der Allbeseelung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gustav Theodor Fechner — Gustav Fechner Gustav Fechner modifier  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gustav Theodor Fechner — noun German physicist who founded psychophysics; derived Fechner s law on the basis of early work by E. H. Weber (1801 1887) • Syn: ↑Fechner • Instance Hypernyms: ↑physicist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Gustav Theodor Fechner — n. (1801 1887) German physicist and philosopher …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Fechner — Fechner, Gustav Theodor …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gustav Fechner — Gustav Theodor Fechner Gustav Theodor Fechner (* 19. April 1801 in Groß Särchen bei Muskau; † 18. November 1887 in Leipzig; Pseudonym Dr. Mises) war ein deutscher Physiker und Natur Philosoph. Er vertrat in späten Jahren eine Theorie von der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gustav Fechner — Gustav Theodor Fechner. Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801 1887) fue un psicólogo nacido en Alemania que elaboró, en 1860, la ecuación que cuenta exactamente la relación entre el estímulo físico y la sensación (relación entre alma y materia). Pensó que …   Wikipedia Español


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