Tag Archives: Herbart

Leipzig departmental history translated

As part of the University of Leipzig’s 600th anniversary celebrations, Julika Habekost has translated the departmental history from the original German into English.  The result provides an insider’s perspective on the standard institutional history from one of Psychology’s earliest hubs.

Experimental research on the overlapping disciplines of psychology and physiology commenced because of Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795-1878), at the University of Leipzig. Since Weber’s studies laid the foundation for the evolution of experimental psychology, Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) would refer to Weber as the “Founding Father of Psychology.” Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887), who had been a member of the Department of Philosophy since 1823, lectured on moral and natural philosophy starting in 1846, on psychophysics in 1857 and on experimental aesthetics in 1864. He had seen his concept of psychophysiological law confirmed in Weber’s discovery that differential change in perception was constant. Fechner coined the term Weber-Fechner law and acknowledged thereby Weber’s contribution to the foundation of psychophysics.

The middle section then focusses on Wundt and his students.  The final section outlines the history of the department after Wundt’s departure in 1917.

Since I do not read German, it would be nice to hear from a reader who can compare the new translation with the original.  Specifically, is there anything missing in the English version?  (Are there any errors?)