Trotz bestandenem medizinischen Examen verdiente er seinen Lebensunterhalt durch literarische Arbeiten. Gefallen wird mit Lust, Missfallen dagegen mit Unlust gleichgestellt. Man unterscheidet zwischen der absoluten und der relativen Unterschiedsschwelle, diese Schlussfolgerung floss in das Weber-Fechner-Gesetz ein Das von dem Anatomen und Physiologen Weber entdeckte Grundgesetz der Psychophysik zur Bestimmung der Reizschwelle war durch Fechner weiterentwickelt worden . Der Wechsel muss aber durch etwas verbunden sein, muss eine Einheit aufweisen.
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Despite being raised by his religious father, Fechner became an atheist in later life. In he was appointed professor of physics at Leipzig. But in , he contracted an eye disorder while studying the phenomena of color and vision , and, after much suffering, resigned.
Subsequently, recovering, he turned to the study of the mind and its relations with the body, giving public lectures on the subjects dealt with in his books. Whilst lying in bed Fechner had an insight into the relationship between mental sensations and material sensations. This insight proved to be significant in the development of psychology as there was now a quantitative relationship between the mental and physical worlds.
A different but essential side of his character is seen in his poems and humorous pieces, such as the Vergleichende Anatomie der Engel , written under the pseudonym of "Dr. He started from the monistic thought that bodily facts and conscious facts, though not reducible one to the other, are different sides of one reality. His originality lies in trying to discover an exact mathematical relation between them. The most famous outcome of his inquiries is the law known as the Weber—Fechner law which may be expressed as follows: "In order that the intensity of a sensation may increase in arithmetical progression, the stimulus must increase in geometrical progression.
Stevens pointed out that such a law does not account for the fact that perceived relationships among stimuli e. He proposed, in his famous paper entitled "To Honor Fechner and Repeal His Law", that intensity of stimulation is related to perception via a power-law.
The English journalist and amateur scientist Charles Benham , in , enabled English-speakers to learn of the effect through the invention of the spinning top that bears his name. Whether Fechner and Benham ever actually met face to face for any reason is not known.
The median[ edit ] In Fechner published a paper in which he developed the notion of the median. He later delved into experimental aesthetics and thought to determine the shapes and dimensions of aesthetically pleasing objects. He mainly used the sizes of paintings as his data base. In his Vorschule der Aesthetik he used the method of extreme ranks for subjective judgements. During his time, it was known that the brain is bilaterally symmetrical and that there is a deep division between the two halves that are linked by a connecting band of fibers called the corpus callosum.
Fechner speculated that if the corpus callosum were split , two separate streams of consciousness would result - the mind would become two. Yet, Fechner believed that his theory would never be tested; he was incorrect. He was concerned with the visual appeal of rectangles with different proportions.
Participants were explicitly instructed to disregard any associations that they have with the rectangles, e. The rectangles chosen as "best" by the largest number of participants and as "worst" by the least number of participants had a ratio of 0. Carl Stumpf was a participant in this study. However, there has been some ongoing dispute on the experiment itself, as the fact that Fechner deliberately discarded results of the study ill-fitting to his needs became known, with many mathematicians including Mario Livio refuting the result of the experiment.
The distribution has been independently rediscovered by several authors working in different fields. His clearest contribution was the demonstration that because the mind was susceptible to measurement and mathematical treatment, psychology had the potential to become a quantified science. Theorists such as Immanuel Kant had long stated that this was impossible, and that therefore, a science of psychology was also impossible. Though he had a vast influence on psychophysics , the actual disciples of his general philosophy were few.
Ernst Mach was inspired by his work on psychophysics. Furthermore, he influenced Sigmund Freud , who refers to Fechner when introducing the concept of psychic locality in his The Interpretation of Dreams that he illustrates with the microscope-metaphor.
He felt the thrill of life everywhere, in plants, earth, stars, the total universe. Man stands midway between the souls of plants and the souls of stars, who are angels. In his last work Fechner, aged but full of hope, contrasts this joyous "daylight view" of the world with the dead, dreary "night view" of materialism. He conducted experiments to show that certain abstract forms and proportions are naturally pleasing to our senses, and gave some new illustrations of the working of aesthetic association.
He was remotely a disciple of Schelling , learnt much from Baruch Spinoza , G. Hegel and the monadism of Rudolf Hermann Lotze. Fechner Crater[ edit ] In , the International Astronomical Union named a crater on the far side of the moon after Fechner.
FECHNER, GUSTAV THEODOR (1801-1887)
Gustav Theodor Fechner