Fechner sentence example

fechner
  • In philosophy he began with a strong predilection for the physical side of psychology, and at an early age he came to the conclusion that all existence is sensation, and, after a lapse into noiimenalism under the influence of Fechner's Psychophysics, finally adopted a universal physical phenomenalism.
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  • Fechner's epoch-making work was his Elemente der Psychophysik (1860).
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  • The most famous outcome of his inquiries is the law known as Weber's or Fechner's 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."
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  • Unfortunately, from the tenable theory that the intensity of a sensation increases by definite additions of stimulus, Fechner was led on to postulate a unit of sensation, so that any sensation s might be regarded as composed of n units.
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  • This reasoning of Fechner's has given rise to a great mass of controversy, but the fundamental mistake in it is simple.
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  • Still, the idea of the exact measurement of sensation has been a fruitful one, and mainly through his influence on Wundt, Fechner was the father of that "new" psychology of laboratories which investigates human faculties with the aid of exact scientific apparatus.
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  • 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.
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  • Fechner's work in aesthetics is also important.
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  • Fechner's position in reference to predecessors and contemporaries is not very sharply defined.
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  • He went, however, considerably beyond Fechner in attempting to give an epistemological account of our knowledge of the psychophysical.
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  • The second is Fechner's method; it consists of recording the changes in feeling-tone produced in a subject by bringing him in contact with a series of conditions, objects or stimuli graduated according to a scientific plan and presented singly in pairs or in groups.
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  • We cannot, therefore, agree with many recent idealists who regard Leibnitz as one of themselves, though it is true that, when stripped of its realism, his metaphysics easily passed into the metaphysical idealisms of Lotze and of Fechner.
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  • The Spinozistic parallelism of extension and thought, and the Leibnitzian parallelism of bodily motion and mental action, incited Schelling and Fechner.
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  • Schelling and Hegel thought it was infinite reason; Schopenhauer, unconscious will; Hartmann, unconscious intelligence and will; Lotze, the activity or life of the divine spirit; Fechner, followed by Paulsen, a world of spiritual actualities comprised in the one spiritual actuality, God, in whom we live and move and have our being.
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  • Fechner's panpsychism has a certain affinity both to Stahl's animism and to the hylozoism of materialists such as Haeckel.
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  • According to Fechner, spirit is the universal reality, matter the universal appearance of spirit to spirit; and they are identical because spirit is the reality which appears.
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  • Hence Fechner describes himself as a twig fallen from Schelling's stem.
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  • At the same time, while accepting the Schellingian parallelistic identity of all things in God, Fechner was restrained by his accurate knowledge of physics from the extravagant construction of Nature, which had failed in the hands of Schelling and Hegel.
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  • Leibnitz thus influenced Fechner, as in other ways he influenced Lotze.
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  • Both, however, used this influence freely; and, whereas Lotze used the Leibnitzian argument from indivisibility to deduce indivisible elements and souls, Fechner used the Leibnitzian hypotheses of universal perception and parallelism of motions and perceptions, in the light of the .Schellingian identification of physical and psychical, to evolve a world-view (Weltansicht) containing something which was neither Leibnitz nor Schelling.
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  • Fechner's first point was his panpsychism.
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  • Fechner's second point was that, throughout the animated universe, physical processes accompany psychical processes without interaction.
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  • Fechner's third point carried him beyond all his predecessors, containing as it does the true originality of his " world-view."
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  • Fechner's supposition was that the unity of consciousness belongs to the unity of the whole body; that the seat of the soul is the living body; that the soul changes its place as in different parts a process rises above the " threshold of consciousness "; and that soul is not substance but the single psychical life which has its physical manifestation in the single bodily life.
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  • Lastly, the whole of this " world-view " was developed by Fechner in early life, under the influence of his religious training, and out of a pious desire to understand those main truths of Christianity which teach us that we are children of God, that this natural body will become a spiritual body, and that, though we are different individual members, we live and move and are in God: " in Deo vivimus, movemus, et sumus."
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  • It is important to notice that Fechner maintained this " world-view " in a little book, Das Biichlein vom Leben nach dem Tode, which he originally published in 1836 under the pseudonym of Dr Mises, but which he afterwards republished in his own name in 1866, and again in 1887, as a sketch of his Weltansicht.
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  • In 1860 appeared Fechner's Elemente der Psychophysik, a work which deeply affected subsequent psychology, and almost revolutionized metaphysics of body and soul, and of physical and psychical relations generally.
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  • It becomes necessary, therefore, to determine how far Fechner derived his psychophysics from experience, how far from fallacies of inference, from his romantic imagination and from his theosophic metaphysics, which indeed coloured his whole book on psychophysics.
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  • There are then, at least within the limits of moderate sensations, concomitant variations between stimuli and sensations, not only in " quality," as in the intervals of sounds, which were understood long ago, but also in " intensity "; and the discovery of the latter is the importance of Weber's and Fechner's law.
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  • But, unfortunately for Fechner, the very opposite conclusion followed from the presuppositions of his parallelistic metaphysics, and from the Leibnitzian view of the conservation of energy, which he was the first in our time to use in order to argue that a physical cause cannot produce a psychical effect, on the ground that physical energy must be exactly replaced by physical energy.
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  • Fechner was saved from this absurdity, but only to fall into the greater absurdity of his own panpsychism.
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  • At the same time Fechner would not have us suppose that the two sides are equal; according to him, the psychical, being the psychophysical as viewed from within, is real, the physical, being the psychophysical viewed from without, is apparent; so in oneself, though nervous process and psychical process are the same, it is the psychical which is the reality of which the nervous is mere appearance; and so everywhere, spirit is the reality, body the appearance of spirit to spirit.
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  • Proceeding on this suggestion, and misled by the mathematical expression which he had given to Weber's law, Fechner held that a conscious sensation, like its stimulus, consists of units, or elements, by summation and increments of which conscious sensations and their differences are produced; so that consciousness, according to this unnecessary assumption, emerges from an integration of unconscious shocks or tremors.
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  • Fechner first confused physics and metaphysics in psychophysics, and next proceeded to confuse them again in his work on evolution (Einige Ideen zur SchOpfungs and Entwicklungs-geschichte der Organismen, 1873).
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  • By thus supposing a psychical basis to evolution, Fechner, anticipating Wundt, substituted a psychical development of organs for Darwinian accidental variation.
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  • Fechner himself went even further, and together with design transferred God Himself to Nature.
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  • The " day-view " (Fechner's) is the view that God is the psychophysical all-embracing being, the law and consciousness of the world.
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  • But it does not, like theirs, sacrifice our personality; because, according to Fechner, the one divine consciousness includes us as a larger circle includes smaller circles.
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  • By this ingenious suggestion of the membership of one spirit in another, Fechner's " day-view " also puts Nature in a different position; neither with Hegel sublimating it to the thought of God's mind, nor with Lotze degrading it to the phenomena of our human minds, but identifying it with the outer appearance of one spirit to another spirit in the highest of spirits.
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  • We have dwelt on this curious metaphysics of Fechner because it contains the master-key to the philosophy of the present moment.
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  • When the later reaction to Kant arose against both Hegelianism and materialism, the nearly contemporary appearance of Fechner's Psychophysics began to attract experimental psychologists by its real as well as its apparent exactness, and both psychologists and metaphysicians by its novel way of putting the relations between the physical and the psychical in man and in the world.
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  • Fechner saw psychology deriving advantage from the methods, as well as the results, of his experiments, and in 1879 the first psychological laboratory was erected by Wundt at Leipzig.
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  • Nevertheless, largely under the influence of the exaggeration of the conservation of energy, many psychologists - Wundt, Paulsen, Riehl, Jodl, Ebbinghaus, Miinsterberg, and in England Lewes, Clifford, Romanes, Stout - have accepted Fechner's psychophysical parallelism, as far at least as men and animals are concerned.
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  • Most stop here, but some go with Fechner to the full length of his metaphysical parallelism of the physical and psychical, as psychophysical, throughout the whole world.
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  • Here reappear all the characteristic points of Fechner's " worldview " - the panpsychism, the universal parallelism with the identi.
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  • But Paulsen tries to supply something wanting in Fechner.
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  • The originality of Paulsen consists in trying to supply an epistemological ecplanation of the metaphysics of Fechner, by reconciling him with Kant and Schopenhauer.
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  • On the contrary, his contention is that of Fechner - that all knowable things are inner psychical realities beneath outer physical appearances - the invisible symbolized by the visible.
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  • He agrees with Fechner and Wundt that there is no substantial soul, and that soul is nothing but the mental states, or rather their unity--thus identifying it with Kant's synthetic unity.
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  • Combining with this the central dogma of Fechner that spirit extends throughout the world of bodily appearance, he concludes that the realities of the world are " wills," that bodies are mere appearances of " wills," and that there is one universal and all-embracing spirit which is " will."
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  • Empedocles, Plato and Aristotle; Telesio, Bruno and Campanella; Leibnitz; the idealists, Schopenhauer and Hartmann, Fechner and Paulsen; and the materialist, Haeckel - all have agreed in according some sort of appetition to Nature.
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  • He agrees with Fechner that physical process of nerve and psychical process of mind are really the same psychophysical process as appearing on the one hand to an observer and on the other hand to one's own consciousness; and that physical phenomena only produce physical phenomena, so that those materialists and realists are wrong who say that physical stimuli produce sensations.
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  • For a time, under the influence of Fechner's Psychophysics, he thought that Nature has two sides, a physical and a psychological, and added that all atoms have feeling.
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  • It retains some relics of Fechner's influence; first, the theory of identity, according to which the difference between the physical and psychical is not a dualism, but everything is at once both; and secondly, the substitution of mathematical dependence for physical causality, except that, whereas Fechner only denied causality between physical and psychical, Mach rejects the entire distinction between causality and dependence, on the ground that " the law of causality simply asserts that the phenomena of Nature are dependent on one another."
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  • He follows Fechner closely in his answer to Darwin.
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  • It is not necessary for him to follow Schopenhauer, Hartmann and Fechner in endowing the material universe with will or any other mental operation, because his phenomenalism already reduces inorganic nature to mere objects of experiencing subjects.
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  • His third position is his actualistic theory of soul, which he shares with Fichte, Hegel, Fechner and Paulsen.
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  • Fechner added that the soul is the whole unitary spiritual process manifested in the whole unitary bodily process without being a substance.
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  • Wundt accepts Fichte's theory of the actuality, and Fechner's synechological view, of the soul.
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  • Wundt, however, has satisfied himself, like Fechner, that there is no real opposition of body and soul, and concludes, in accordance with his own phenomenalism, that his body is only an object abstracted from his unitary experience, which is all that really is of him.
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  • He accepts Fechner's extension of Weber's law of the external stimuli of sense, while judiciously remarking that " the physiological interpretation is entirely hypothetical."
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  • Precisely like Fechner, he holds that there is a physical causality and energy and there is a psychical causality and energy, parallels which never meet.
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  • But while thus sharply distinguishing the physical and the psychical in appearance, he follows Fechner in identifying them in reality; except that Fechner's identification is noumenal, Wundt's phenomenal.
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  • But his main sympathy was with Fechner, the gist of whose " inner psychophysics " he adopted, without, however, the hypothesis that what is conscious in us is conscious in the all-embracing spirit of God.
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  • His phenomenalism also compelled him to give a more modified adhesion to Fechner's " outer psychophysics."
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  • It will be remembered that Fechner regarded every composite body as the appearance of a spirit; so that when, for example, molecular motion of air is said to cause a sensation of sound in me, it is really a spirit appearing as air which causes the sensation in my spirit.
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  • But his metaphysics is an interesting example of a phenomenalist, sympathizing with noumenalists so different as Hegel and Fechner, and yet maintaining his phenomenalism.
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  • The resemblance of this noumenal idealism to that of Fechner is unmistakable.
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  • He disagrees with Fechner's hypothesis of a world-soul, the highest spirit, God, who embraces all psychophysical processes.
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  • Nothing can be more curious than the way in which a school of English philosophers, which originally started from Hume, the most sceptical of phenomenalists, thus gradually passed over to Leibnitz and Fechner, the originators of panpsychistic noumenalism.
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  • The Spirit of the Universe contemplated by Romanes is identical with the World-soul contemplated by Fechner.
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  • Fechner, Wundt and Paulsen have fixed the conclusion in psychology that soul is not substance but unity of mental life; and Wundt concludes from the modern history of the term that substance or " substrate " is only a secondary conception to that of causality, and that, while there is a physical causality distinct from that of substance, psychical causality requires no substance at all.
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  • Fechner, Geschichte des schlesischen Bergand Hiittenwesens 1741-1806 (Berlin, 1903); see also the Zeitschrift des Vereins fiir Geschichte and Altertum Schlesiens (Breslau, 1855 sqq.), and Oberschlesische Heimat, Zeitschrift des oberschlesischen Geschichtsvereins (Oppeln, 1905 sqq.).
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  • In modern times the chief exponents of panpsychist views are Thomas Carlyle, Fechner and Paulsen: a similar idea lay at the root of the physical theories of the Stoics.
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  • It is thus that Fechner in his "day-view" of things sees in plants and planets the same fundamental "soul" as in us - that is, "one simple being which appears to none but itself, in us as elsewhere wherever it occurs self-luminous, dark for every other eye, at the least connecting sensations in itself, upon which, as the grade of soul mounts higher and higher, there is constructed the consciousness of higher and still higher relations."
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  • Fechner introduced the important improvement of using only one pile, which he removed from the immediate neighbourhood of the suspended leaf.
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  • In expanding Kant's act of synthesis till it absorbed the inner sense and the innermost soul, he started the modern paradox that soul is not substance, but subject or activity, a paradox which has been gradually handed down from Schelling and Hegel to Fechner, and from Fechner to Paulsen and Wundt.
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  • Fechner (1801-1887) affords a conspicuous instance of the idealistic tendency to mysterize nature in his Panpsychism, or that form of noumenal idealism which holds that the universe is a vast communion of spirits, souls of men, of animals, of plants, of earth and other planets, of the sun, all embraced as different members in the soul of the world, the highest spirit - God, in whom we live and move and have our being; that the bodily and the spiritual, or the physical and the psychical, are everywhere parallel processes which never meet to interact; but that the difference between them is only a difference between the outer and inner aspects of one identical psychophysical process; and yet that both sides are not equally real, because while psychical and physical are identical, the psychical is what a thing really is as seen from within, the physical is what it appears to be to a spectator outside; or spirit is the self-appearance of matter, matter the appearance of one spirit to another.
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  • Whereas Leibnitz confined a large area of the world to wholly unconscious perceptions, and therefore preferred to call the souls of inorganic beings " Entelechies," Fechner extended consciousness to the whole world; and accordingly, whereas Leibnitz believed in a supramundane Creator, " au dessus du Monde " and " dans le Monde," Fechner, in the spirit of Schelling, identified God with the soul of the world.
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  • Parting, then, from Kant, Paulsen resorts to a paradox which he shares with Fechner and Wundt.
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  • The three most vital idealisms of this kind at the moment are the panpneumatism of Hartmann, combining Hegel with Schopenhauer; the panteleologism of Lotze, reviving Leibnitz; and the panpsychism of Paulsen, continuing Fechner, but with the addition of an epistemology combining Kant with Schopenhauer.
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  • In order to establish this paradox of " critical monism," he accepts to a certain extent the psychophysical philosophy of Fechner.
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  • But whereas Fechner and Paulsen hold that all physical processes are universally accompanied by psychical processes which are the real causes of psychical sensations, Riehl rejects this paradox of universal parallelism in order to fall into the equally paradoxical hypothesis that something or other, which is neither physical not psychical, causes both the physical phenomena of matter moving in space and the psychical phenomena of mind to arise in us as its common effects.
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  • Though no noumenalist, in many details he is with noumenalists; with Fechner in psychophysics, in psychophysical parallelism, in the independence of the physical and the psychical chains of causality, in reducing physical and psychical to a difference of aspects, in substituting impulse for accident in organic evolution, and in wishing to recognize a gradation of individual spiritual beings; with Schopenhauer and Hartmann in voluntarism; and even with Schelling and Hegel in their endeavour, albeit on an artificial method, to bring experience under notions, and to unite subject and object in one concrete reality.
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