The Founding Father We Never Knew

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(7), 547–550. Reviews the books Beittage zur Theorie der Sinneswahrnehmung by Wilhelm Wundt (1862), Vorlesungen uber die Memchen- und Thierseele by Wilhelm Wundt (1863), Grundziige der physiologischen Psychologie by Wilhelm Wundt (1874), Logik: Eine Untersuchung der Principien der Etkenntniss und der Methoden wissenschaftlichet Fotschung by Wilhelm Wundt (1880), Ethik: Eine Untersuchung det Thatsachen und Gesetze des sittlichen Lebens by Wilhelm Wundt (1886), Grundriss der Psychologie by Wilhelm Wundt (1896), Volketrpsychologie: Eine Untersuchung der Entwicklungsgezetze von Sptache, Mythus und Sitte, 10 vol. by Wilhelm Wundt (1900–1920), Einführung in die Psychologie by Wilhelm Wundt (1911), Erlebtes und Erkanntes by Wilhelm Wundt (1920). I want to comment the personal side of Wundt. He was man of short stature and soft voice some even said shy. Yet used lecture notes, least after arriving at Leipzig. He abhorred the stodgy and formal atmosphere of academic conventions a meetings, so he rarely attended. Whenever a voluntarist philosophy appears, its immediate corollaries are purposivism and motivation, which in Wundtian thought show up in his views that psychological processes are understandable only in terms of their goal orientations or consequences. Thus, Wundt arrives at his fateful separation of physical and psychological causality–a trend in his thinking that was raised to the level of a “principle” in the early 1890s. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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