Gustav Theodor Fechner

(1801—1887) German physicist and psychologist

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German psychophysicist, and one of the founders of experimental psychology. Fechner studied physiology, but turned to physics which he taught at Leipzig. Philosophically Fechner defended a monism in which the one world can be seen in one way physically and in the other mentally (his analogy was with a line that from one point of view traces a convex curve; from another a concave curve). Experimentally he sought to confirm this insight by discovering close quantitative relationships between conscious experience and physiological stimulus, eventually discovering the law that the intensity of a sensation increases as the log of the stimulus (S=k log R) characterizing psychophysical relations. His Element der Psychophysik (1860) is often supposed to mark the beginning of experimental psychology.

Subjects: Literature — Philosophy.

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