Wilhelm Wuundt And Wundt Psychology

1080 Words 5 Pages
Philosophers have been thinking about the mind for centuries, however advancement of techniques during the 20th century allowed the discovery of measurable concepts such as reaction times, leading to the notion that a mathematical description of the mind is possible. With inputs from philosophy and sociology, and more recently from physiology and biology, the existence of two opposing approaches is created. ‘Neither of these definitions, however, is satisfactory to the psychology of today’ (Wundt 1987) was the opinion of Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920).
Dubbed, ‘the father of experimental psychology’, for Wundt psychology is ‘concerned with man as a willing and thinking subject’ with the goal of ‘explaining human consciousness’ (Leahey). ‘While holding
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Kulpe discards Wundt’s concept of a ‘psychical individual’, favouring the term ‘biological organism’. This directly leads to the rejection of psychological causality as, to a positivist Kulpe ‘idea is not dependent upon emotion’ (Danzinger), there are no psychic causes, rather mental phenomena are dependent on bodily processes. Titchner, ‘not afraid to criticise his teacher’ (Leahey) regards causality as ‘mythological’ (Leahey). Applying the Machian view of physics to psychology, Titcher stressed that psychology should only be concerned with the description of conscious experience, rejecting Wundt’s explanatory and causal …show more content…
Kulpe, in his introductory text of 1893 openly questions Wundt’s apperception, and Titchner reduces attention to a ‘descriptive label given to what we experience with clarity’. Titchner rejects Wundt’s voluntarism, in favour of sensationism, a meaning free description of the mind. Arguing that because some sensations are clearer than others we call them attended, this is physiology and can be traced back to elementary sensations. He ‘did away with Wundt’s distinction between inner and outer aspects of the mind’; the explanation of mental events cannot be found at the level of other mental events. This notion that the individuals cognition is caused by sensations rather than emotions and motives, demonstrates just how incompatible Wundt’s psychology was with that of his positivist successors, they completely reject the voluntary and active nature of an individual’s mind, in favour of physiological

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