Tag Archives: Wertheimer

Max Wertheimer in Frankfurt

I just ran across this blog post by Peter Melzer about the life of Max Wertheimer, and the application of his Gestalt ideas to physical chemistry.

Melzer notes that Frankfurt am Main, where Wertheimer was a professor, “had been a free city ever since Charlemagne’s rule and has always been a free-spirited place that had comparably friendly relations with its Jewish community before the Nazis came to power.” Wertheimer was Jewish and left Germany for New York soon after the Nazi’s assumed power in 1933. Frankfurt’s free character was maintained even during the Nazi years. According the Melzer:

Three years after the Wertheimers had left, der Fuehrer paid the City an official visit. A rally was to be held in the largest in-door venue (die Festhalle) on the City’s fairgrounds. Continue reading Max Wertheimer in Frankfurt

Gestalt Summary at Cognitive Daily

Kanizsa' subjective contour figureCognitive Daily‘s “History Week” continued yesterday with a summary of Max Wertheimer’s 1925 classic Gestalt article, “Laws of organization in perceptual forms.” (Actually it is the translation that appears in W. E. Ellis’ A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology. (Humanities Press, 1955). Perception researcher Alison Sekuler tells me that it is abridged and quite different from the original — so different that she is in fact planning to publish a new translation of the full original at some point, along with some historical commentary.)

The CD account includes some simple but effective animated graphics to demonstrate how the perceptual grouping of objects changes as their spatial relations change. Continue reading Gestalt Summary at Cognitive Daily