A new piece in History of Psychology will interest AHP readers: “The objectivist critique of Hermann Helmholtz’s theory of perception: The case of Ramón Turró (1854–1926),” López Sanz, D., & Castro-Tejerina, J. Abstract:
In this article, we look into the development of the Helmholtz theory of perception in the light of Spanish biologist Ramón Turró’s objectivist critique of the theory. In the first part, we explain the decisive role that Helmholtz’s theory of perception played in the evolution of his own general philosophical stance. Through the work of Helmholtz, we show how the dialectic between philosophical surmises and models of perception was an ongoing, fundamental part of the period that saw the formation of scientific psychology. In the second part of the article, we examine Turró’s original, unique contribution to the discourse. Early on in his theoretical work, Turró defended a model of perception closely resembling Helmholtz’s, but, because of his objectivist philosophical convictions, Turró eventually elaborated an original theory of perception based largely on the trophic experience. His proposal rested on his own research as a physiologist and featured the elimination of all mentalistic components, in contrast to the voluntaristic leanings he detected in Helmholtz’s work.