That One Peculiar Year (Autobiografia)


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The instruction in general was anything but inspiring, and even tech nically unsatisfactory. Mathematics especially was very poorly taught. I had no special talent in that line, but with a sound foundation in school I should probably have made greater progress in it. There was, however, in the higher institutions of Franconia an excellent opportunity for musical education. Even in Kitzingen [p. At Bamberg we had a complete orchestra which met regularly at the free-standing Aula-building for practice under the direction of the excellent conductor Dietz. One could learn to play any instrument, free of charge.

At the age of seven, I had commenced to study the violin, and during my student years had several opportunities to play in public. Besides this, I had learned without instruction to play five other instruments with more or less success. When we played or sang together at home, the leadership was left to me, and I formed the habit of hearing music analytically, i.

Quite objectively speaking, I cannot understand how, without this ability, one can really appreciate in polyphonic music the beauty of the pattern, the weaving in and out of the individual voices, composition in the true sense. The copying of notes, which for reasons of economy I practiced assidiously [ sic ] , also aided me to gain an insight into the trade secrets of music, as it served Rousseau in a similar manner.

In my tenth year I began to compose my very first work was an oratorio, "The Walk to Emmaus," for three male voices , and during the last years of my course this developed into a dominating passion while I was studying the theory of harmony and counterpoint in the manuals of Silcher, Lobe, and Gottfried Weber.

I composed quartets for strings and other pieces, but unfortunately inspiration did not al ways keep step with labored reflection. Thus, at the age of seventeen, I entered the university with more love of music than of erudition. The course on aesthetics by Professor Urlich, the philologist, stimulated me to study the Kritik der Urteilskraft from my grandfather's library.

Thus Kant became another of my guiding lights in philosophy. During the second semester I decided to study jurisprudence, not from inclination, but in order to have a profession that would leave me some leisure for music. I diligently attended lectures on institutions and pandects, on the history of Roman and German law. But towards the end of this semester came the great change, by the addition of Franz Brentano to the faculty.

Elsewhere I have al ready described the complete change which this man's appearance, [p. Everything else vanished before the great problems of philosophical and religious regeneration. Keen thinking had scarcely been in my line so far, and was rather irksome. Only through Brentano's iron discipline the craving for logical clearness and consistency became second nature. All emotional life had to submit now to the laws of reason. This was not to cripple it, but rather to direct it ex clusively towards those aims that to us seemed the highest.

I was ready to relinquish all worldly happiness for the realization of the ethical-religious ideas of Christianity in my fellow creatures and within myself. This was my condition of mind for four years. Besides Brentano's lectures, I also took courses in natural science, as he considered both the substance and the methods of science im portant for philosophy. His dissertation, wherein he presented the thesis that the true philosophical method is none other than that for natural science, was and has ever remained a lodestar to me.

In order to attain some practical knowledge along this line, I worked in the chemical laboratory, though with the final result that by some careless reaction I caused a small conflagration which might have spread over the whole building if the attendant had not come to the rescue. I never attained manual cleverness. How Lotze became my fatherly friend I have likewise mentioned elsewhere.

His mental attitude had greater influence on me than Brentano really wished, although the fundamental epistemological lines were always those that Brentano had impressed upon my mind.

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Besides Lotze's lectures, I also took those of the physiologist, Wilhelm Weber. The latter, besides Brentano and Lotze, developed and formed my manner of scientific thinking. The modest old man, whose whole ap pearance in the lecture-room seemed at first awkward, even comical, had developed by the most intense mental effort a system of physics, which, better than any logical lecture, revealed to the student the methodology of inductive thinking.

His course, which ran through two semesters, I took down in shorthand almost word for word. Ever since, physics has seemed to me the ideal inductive science. Friedrich Kohlrausch's research course introduced me to the technique of investigation. Today such preparation, at least for the psychologist, is a matter of course; but at that time a philosopher [p.

My thesis I wrote with a special view to its logical form, and this may have been why Lotze, who at first maintained a skeptical atti tude towards my subject and advised against it, in the end changed his mind. The procedure, which I had derived from Brentano, and indirectly from Aristotle, namely, to prepare for the final argument by a complete disjunction of possible opinions and a refutation of all but one, is found in many of my later writings.

In preparation for the final examination, I read all the great philosophical classics, howbeit in a very cursory manner, and for my dissertation, the entire Platonic literature. Brentano's oral instruction and writings had naturally given me a pretty thorough grounding in Aristotle's teach ings. How seriously the theory of ideas, which gave even Aristotle some troubles and which -- mutatis mutandis -- is repeated in modern German idealism, must have tormented me is shown by the cry of despair in my first disputation thesis, "Ideae nomen e metaphysica expellendum esse censeo.

The theological lectures gave me no pleasure, except those of the genial old commentator Schegg, who had traveled through the Holy Land and could describe it most vividly. Besides, I studied most diligently Thomas Aquinas and other scholastics; and Hebrew, on account of the Bible. The fact that I now know only the first letter of the alphabet of this language is a striking example of the effect of disuse on memory.

Within the walls of the seminary, however, even in the spring of , the second, still more fundamental regeneration overtook me, and again under Brentano's influence. The whole structure of the Catholic-Christian dogmatic theology and Weltanschauung crumbled to dust before my eyes.

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In terrible agony of soul I had [p. In July, I took off the black robe. I had not been ordained as yet, so there were no serious complications. But I had to find my way back to the world, and many favorable, as well as unfavorable, after-effects of this year I was to feel for a long time to come. Upon my entrance to the seminary, Lotze had written me a letter from which I have quoted his religious views in another article, the end of which, however, I shall add here:.

I am far from satisfied with the condition of the Protestant church and theology, and will let your criticisms pass, through I do not approve of them all. I suspect that you do not sanction everything that your church brings forth nowadays its infallibility. The principle itself I cannot discuss with you, since I as well as you believe that the living faith is the only foundation for it. Your decision to become a priest I can accept only with deep respect for your conscientious conviction, and, although it destroys a cherished hope of mine, still I realize the full extent of the blessing that your strong spirit may carry with it in your calling; I realize this too well to think of opposing your decision in any way.

Nevertheless, forgive me, who loves you so dearly, one urgent, rather than serious, request: Do not now in your early youth, which you are still enjoying, take such a decisive step, an irrevocable one, too rashly! Everything else I leave to your good judgment, your consideration; but this one thing I beg of you!

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When he heard of my change of heart, he wrote, in a similar vein, that he would consider it indelicate if he should offer to help me, in my inner struggle, with views which originated form entirely different starting-points; that I would fight it out all right by myself. Is it, then, necessary to settle all your doubts concerning the most important matter at once?

Perhaps you are tormenting yourself too much by meditating incessantly about things which might me put aside for the time being, not that you have declined to make binding decision; then, after your mind has had some rest and recreation, you can return to these problems with a greater calmness, impartiality, and receptiveness. He approved my decision. During vacation I worked on a disser tation [p. I have never published this dissertation, as the non-Euclidian way of thinking to which Felix Klein had introduced me was, after all, a little beyond me.

The transition from the seclusion of the convent to the "city of the muses," which in the eighteenth century had produced the "philos ophers for the world," and where even now, in spite of the War, sociability flourished, was extremely sudden and staggering. But my youth had enough elasticity to adapt itself, and I soon felt at home in the new milieu. Lotze's house was always open to me, as well as Baumann's and finally Henle's, at whose musical evenings I played the cello in the quartet. He was a man of the most genial humor and of great kindliness towards his friends.

Even shortly before his death I received his charming chatty letters. His "Anthropological Lectures" are known for their keen psychological observations. Weber and Fechner, the former at the home of his brother Wil helm, where he showed me on my own body various sensory fields, and the latter on a field-trip with Felix Klein. With Fechner I discussed the difficulties of atomism caused by the unity of conscious ness, which he thought to solve by analogy with the unity of the concept. We also served him as subjects for his experiment with the golden section.

The personality of these two great men, genuine scientific investigators, made a lasting impression on me. My closest friends were Felix Klein and the Scotchman, William Robertson Smith, who as a liberal Bible investigator later on suffered serious persecution in his native country. Klein, who even then felt within him the urge to organize, founded with me the "Eskimo," a society of young scientists, for the purpose of lec tures and friendly intercourse, wherein I was to represent the philo sophical part.

Professors were excluded. The club is still alive -- as far as I know -- but with somewhat modified conditions. I began my lectures with ancient philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, whom I studied intensively for a whole year. As my first more serious work, I attempted a critical history of the conception of substance, over which I racked my brain most awfully until I abandoned the problem, and, at Easter, , took up the psycho logical [p.

In the relation be tween color and extension I believed, and still believe, to find a striking example or analogue of the relation which metaphysics assumes to exist among the qualities of a substance. Thus the new problem was connected with my old work. It progressed rapidly, and, in the fall of the same year, the book was printed. It appeared at a time rather propitious for my ad vancement, as there were vacancies in philosophy in five universities.

It seemed great luck to find a position in a famous university so soon -- especially for the sake of my parents. But there were also certain disadvantages: I had neither enough experience in life nor the necessary scientific maturity for the difficult position. As Bren tano has resigned, and the aged Hoffmann, a follower of Baader, found scarcely any listeners, I had to represent, as it were, the whole Department of Philosophy; but with the courage of youth I gave, in turn, all the great philosophical subjects except ethics. The after effects of this over-exertion I was to feel for many a year.

In , on a trip through Italy, I met -- besides Bonatelli and Belotti -- the leader of Italian philosophy, that remarkable man, Count Terenzio Mamiani, and his pupil, Luigi Ferri, both of whom asked me casually about the condition of German philosophy. In the same year I took a trip across the Channel with Smith and had an op portunity to fill out in the British Museum my knowledge of English philosophy, much of which Smith had already brought to my attention in connection with my book on space.

Like Brentano, I delighted in this clear, logical -- if not always profound -- philosophiz ing, and the keen presentation of contrasts that we find in truly classic style in Mills's book on Hamilton. But Herbert Spencer's constructive manner always seemed tedious to me. The first scholarly work I undertook was a history of the psy chology of association, which was connected with my first-mentioned studies, but I gave it up as I had given up that of the conception of substance, and decided to devote myself henceforth to that field which, connecting my musical experiences and studies with the in terests of psychology, seemed to me, personally, the most promising.

In I commenced my work on Tonpsychologie. The excellent [p. Besides, I frequently spent days in Hanau with the organ builder, Appunn, who had worked for Helmholtz, and we vied with each other in study and observation. I was well aware, of course, that such absorption in all the details of a field of sensation stood in sharp contrast to the general conception of the mission of the philosopher, although Fechner had been a famous example of this type. Might it not be possible for a specialist in philosophy to work together with other specialists, at least in some particular field?

If this were done by others in other fields, might there not result finally a beneficial relationship between philosophy and the single sciences? My work of observation and experimentation has absorbed my time and strength even more than is the case with most experimental psychologists. Although I fully appreciate the saying of Aristotle that theory is the sweetest of all, I must confess that it was always a joy and a comfort to pass from theory to observation, from meditation to facts, from my writing-desk to the laboratory; and, thus, in the end, my writing-desk was neglected and has not produced a single textbook or compendium, which indeed ought to have been its first duty, even at the time when I was an instructor.

However, I never intended to spend so much of my lifetime on acoustics and musical psychological studies as I did later on. I had counted on a few years. But it was, after all, not musical science but philosophy that always remained mistress of the house, who, it is true, granted most generously great privileges to her helpmate. In this gay Frankish city, however, one did not live only to work.

There was a large circle of friends and plenty of fun, but to talk about such matters would be quite out of place here. Among the older men, Kohlrausch and Wislicenus were my most intimate friends; [p. Music, Beethoven's great wonderful Trio in B Major, had brought us together. Meanwhile, Miss Hermine Biedermann had taken a teaching position in Berlin.

She followed the new call, and soon we were united for life. The great Trio in B Major, however, became our family trio. In I received a call to Prague to succeed Volkmann. The faculty had thought at first of Otto Liebmann, but Brentano, who had been teaching in Vienna since , had recommended me, with out my knowledge, in order to gain in Austria a firmer hold for our theories. This was the case during my first semester. But, as I in no way concealed my independent attitude toward the Church, the theological students gradually dropped my lectures almost entirely.

In the fall of my work in Prague commenced. The intercourse and professional cooperation with this man, remarkable for his keen mind and strength of character, whose studies in the philosophy of language led him deep into thought-psychology, was a great boon to me. It is, per haps, not quite wise in assembling a faculty to maintain that the members of the philosophical department should hold different or even opposite views. If the point of view itself is not too one- sided, both students and teachers will gain decidedly by harmonious cooperation of like-minded leaders.

I at once worked out systematically and thoroughly a most comprehensive course, including philosophy of law and of the state. In this connection I picked up many loose threads of my brief experience as a law student, and became especially fas cinated with problems of penal law. Later on, I gave, repeatedly, courses in practical philosophy and on the theory of voluntary action; the last time was in Berlin, in The strenuous work of the first winter, together with family trouble and the unhygienic conditions of the city, seriously affected my health.

However, in the second year I was able to resume my work on tone psychology, although the necessary apparatus was almost entirely lacking.

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In the first volume of my Tonpsychologie appeared, which, in spite of long preparation, was, just like the book on space, finished only after it had gone to press, and shows the effects of this procedure. Among my colleagues, Marty, Mach, and Hering were profes sionally closest to me. I never became personally intimate with Mach, in spite of my high esteem for the man, whereas I have maintained friendly relations with Hering all my life. These two men were the leaders of German rationalism at the University.

During the struggle for our nationality, which rose to great in tensity under the Taaffe ministry, I myself became a good German and learned to hold the Bohemian Germans in high esteem as a serious industrious branch of our people steeled by centuries of fight ing for their national existence. The year brought to us our great joy, a visit from William James, who had liked my book on space, and with whom I soon found myself on terms of friendship.

Later we met again in Munich and we kept up our correspondence to the end, though I could not follow him in his conversion to prag matism. In his letters, published by his son, the genial, warm-hearted disposition of this brilliant man is particularly well revealed. In the summer of I received a call to Halle to take Ulrici's place as a colleague of Haym and J. My longing for [p. In the quiet town of Halle I met G. Cantor, who was greatly interested in philosophy; and, since , Husserl, recommended by Brentano, was first my student, later an instructor, and became intimately associated with me scientifically and as a friend; nothing here could interfere with my work, except the active social life, which I never could stand very well; but I made good progress with the second volume of the Tonpsychologie.

That I had to make the fusion-experiments on the cathedral organ, instead of in a psychological institute, was no disadvantage, as there is no richer source of constant tone waves, of all possible shadings, than a good organ. On the other hand, I felt very keenly the lack of necessary apparatus, but I was able for the first time to make musical experiments with primitive subjects, i.

In I was called to Munich as the successor of Prantl. Again I did not hesitate to accept, happy in the prospect to be nearer my old home; and in the fall of the same year I was settled in my beloved Munich. Here von Hertling, also a pupil of Brentano, was the exponent of Catholic philosophy. He was a loyal colleague, but on account of our diverging views we never became personally intimate. For experimental psychology, and more especially for my acoustic studies, I could now gradually gather a collection of apparatus which was paid for from the faculty exchequer.

This collection was kept partly in a closet in one of the corridors of the University, whence I took the instruments on Sundays to one of the lecture-rooms for observa tion and experiments, and partly in the upper story of the high tower, which still stands among the back-buildings of the University. The assistant of the Physical Institute had bought, for a song, a tuning- fork piano, which might have dated from the times of Chladnis; this he had taken apart, and he sold me the tuning-forks, a "con tinuous tone-series," with which I made many observations for the second volume of the Tonpsychologie.

That is the way one had to manage in those days. In Munich, as a member of the Academy, I wrote a number of academic treatises -- hack-writing, in a sense, as one had to choose [p. Many of the lectures I gave in Berlin remained in manuscript, but the customary condensed tables of contents in the assembly reports I have added to the index of my writings, since they can at least suggest my views on the various subjects to any one who might be interested. My severe criticism of a piece of work emanating from the Leipzig Institute involved me in a discussion with Wundt, which he, on his part, spiced with the most scathing invectives.

That I was objec tively right was proven by the fact that the results of the experiments in question -- supposed to upset Fechner's law -- were never and no where mentioned again, so far as I know, except in Wundt's text book. However, I did not hesitate to express my opinion of the later acoustic work of the Leipzig school, nearly all of which I had to condemn; but I hope that I never overstepped the limits of objective criticism.

I never imagined that I could leave Munich again, but, after five years, as in Prague and Halle, temptation approached me once more. Althoff tendered me an invitation to Berlin, where they wanted an experimental psychologist, when Zeller resigned, and Dilthey rep resented the historical approach.

Although the call was a distinct honor, I had never felt any love for Berlin, and feared especially that there I should not be able to carry out my scientific life-work as I had planned it, so I declined. But, after a few weeks, I began to realize that Munich, after all, was not the right place to realize my ambitions. It was impossible to found an institute. I had appealed to the Minister of Education, who had always been most accommodating, for a yearly appropriation of five hundred marks for experimental psychology.

His answer was that such a sum might be attainable, but that he would have to put the matter before the legislature, and there he might meet with the reproach that he was favoring materialism. Thereupon I declared that I should have to leave. So the real reason for the Minister's attitude was probably quite a different matter, namely, [p.

Thus, at Easter of the year , I went to Berlin, and now, after thirty years, I still believe that my decision was for the best. My fear that I might not be able to finish the Tonpsychologie and other greater works I had planned, unfortunately, proved well found ed. But the psychological seminary, which started in three dark back rooms, developed into a large institute; and I have been able to pursue every kind of work, often fully, in every direction that interested me.

Berlin's genius loci, the all-pervading spirit of work, had caught me. Inspirations came a-plenty, and there was no ques tion, however remote, on which one could not find an expert opinion. Berlin was, moreover, musically the foremost city of the world, and Joachim, that noblest of performing artists whom I had known for some time as a friend, was still in his prime. All the great men with whom, during these many years, I came into closer touch officially, personally, and often socially, I cannot even name here.

But I do want to mention that fact that I was able to associate personally with Helmholtz for at least one semester, and with Mommsen, for a decade; to maintain most cordial and harmonious relations with Dilthey, Paulsen, and their successors; and to renew my old friendship with Erich Schmidt and Kohlrausch. The per sonal intercourse among the colleagues of the University was kept up, in spite of long distances, not only by social life but also by the weekly faculty and academic meeting, and I considered it most fortunate that the large College of Arts and Sciences, in spite of its immense administrative burden, remained undivided.

Through the many points of contact between psychology and modern thinking and living, I found that the great city harbored, besides men of sincere scientific interest and attitude, dangerous persons with ques tionable ambitions, who, under cover of art or science or even social welfare, pursued idle or commercial aims.

This fact has often engendered disagreeable and time-consuming friction. Since I feared not only the distraction from my own work, but also the danger of wholesale production for such a new scientific departure, it was my own wish that the experimental equipment and locality be started on a small scale. But soon the needs of the students required an extension which was now, of course, more diffi cult to obtain. In the seminar was turned into a much en larged [p.

In we were given twenty-five rooms in the former imperial castle, whose management under the generally diffi cult circumstances caused me much trouble, until I was able to relegate it to younger hands. From this original institute there developed in the course of time four smaller establishments devoted to medicine, theory of music, and to military purposes; they are conducted by students.

Much more active that I in the develop ment of the equipment were my assistants, first Dr. Schumann, and, later, Dr. Rupp, the enthusiastic and expert constructor of ap paratus. I laid par ticular stress on these meetings because I regard the experimental method -- at least of the external sort -- by no means as the cure-all for psychology. For some time we were especially concerned with the theory of volition and questions of legal psychology, in the discus sion of which certain men took part who later became prominent in the profession, such as Kantorowicz and Radbruch.

This highly fertile field should be, I believe, investigated much more thoroughly by psychologists. The theory of volition was also the subject of several academic lectures, which were never published.

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My studies in acoustics at Berlin, in which I was assisted, even during the first few years, by Abraham, Schaefer, Max Meyer, Pfungst, and later on by von Hornbostel, von Allesch, and many others, were initially of a purely physical nature, and were published in the Annalen der Physik. By testing musical sources for their overtones and by the production of absolutely simple tones by the interference method, we laid the foundation for all subsequent acoustic experiments at the Institute.

Our acoustic equipment gradually reached a state of unusual [p. In von Shrenck-Notzing and I took charge of the prepara tions for the Third International Congress of Psychology in Munich, also of its direction. The attendance from all countries was enor mous, and the resulting correspondence consumed a large part of my time. As my theme for the inaugural address I chose the vital question of the relation between mind and body. I endeavored to prevent hypnotic and occult phenomena from occupying the fore ground, as had been the case in former sessions.

There was many a sharp conflict and spirited en counter, and, without doubt, much that was interesting and stimulat ing. With some phonographic records of a Siamese company perform ing in Berlin, I started, in , the Archive for Phonograms, which was further developed by Abraham and von Hornbostel and later on conducted entirely by the latter. I had been a member of the Commission since my coming to Berlin, and now, at the urgent request of Lilien cron and Althoff, I consented to substitute for the deaf, eighty-year- old president, and kept his place until he died in The friend ship with the venerable scholar, a nobleman in the true sense of the word, was a great privilege.

For the rest, I thought of Mommsen's saying that in every commission there should be one member who knows nothing about the matter in question. Still, the merely formal direction of the discussions I could assume with an easy conscience and could increase, thereby, my knowledge of the old masters in a most desirable manner. The same year I started, together with the principal, Dr. By means of this [p. I myself had repeatedly found these valu able in tone psychology, and I had kept a careful record of my own children. For several years this enterprise was very successful; during this time, among medical men especially, the famous child specialist, Dr.

Heubner, took an active part. Two lectures of mine, later included in the collected lectures, were suggested by this work; the one concerning the peculiar speech development of a child has been especially noticed in the literature. It appeared, gradually, that the teachers were kept away by the pressing duties of their pro fession, perhaps partly, also, by their suspicions against the reform- threatening psychology.

At that very time the work of applied psy chology and school reform came so forcibly to the front that there was no room left for a society with pronounced theoretical aims. Other duties forced me to give up the leadership, and during the War the society quietly passed away. Frequently I have had the opportunity to study prodigies. Thus, in the year , the nerve specialist, Placzek, led me to examine a boy of four years, who had a most remarkable memory. Since his second year, he had been exhibited in scientific societies of different countries, even at the Berlin Panoptikum.

As a consequence of my detailed report in the Vossische Zeitung, a prominent newspaper with the financial aid of some rich patrons, a governess was engaged to help the child through the most difficult years. In school the miraculous abnormality, being incompatible with a normal develop ment, gradually wore off. Now he has become, to my great satis faction, an efficient school principal. In I studied the early signs of musical talent in the child prodigy, Pepito Arriola, whom Richet had already exhibited at the Paris Congress.

He became a noted pianist during his sojourn in America, but not a great com poser, as Arthur Nikisch and I had hoped, from his achievements as a child. Such pedagogocial-didactic applications of psychology, arising in connection with child psychology and memory experiments, gave birth, at the beginning of this century, to applied psychology. In the Psychological Institute, Professor Rupp devoted himself to this new [p.

I, personally, was not interested, but I aided its bold endeavors whenever the necessary precaution in execution was not overlooked. In my interest was aroused by Krueger's investigations of combination tones on which he founded a new consonance theory, and I undertook an experimental investigation of this field, which, with some lengthy interruptions, kept me busy until That I should spend so much time and effort on a comparatively small and unimportant field of phenomena, to which I attribute a physiological rather than a psychological significance, might cause some surprise; but whoever reads the treatise will admit that here some questions of methodological principles had to be settled and that there were many special questions of fact which could be answered by the newly developed processes.

Still, it is true here, as elsewhere, that if I had known beforehand how long this work would take, I should never have undertaken it. The year brought a diversion towards which, for the sake of concentration, I ought to have been less susceptible. The en gineer Cervenka of Prague had been induced by two Berlin investigators to demonstrate in the assembly hall of the University an alleged highly important phonographic invention, and the most distinguished personages as well as the entire faculty were invited.

It was claimed that photographs of sound waves had been changed back into sound. We of the Psychological Institute, as well as the representatives of the gramaphone company, suspected that here on hallowed ground a bold deception had been perpetrated. I wrote a challenging, sar castic article, and followed it up with a second one in collaboration with the physiologist, Engelmann. The work of exposure was made very difficult for us; but, finally, we produced conclusive proofs, and, thereafter, not a single word of the great invention was ever heard again. The affair had, however, some positive results.

One was a revolution and a complete reorganization of the International Musical Society. Shortly thereafter I was involved in another affair, more directly concerning psychology; it was the case of "clever Hans.

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That this was not a case of intentional deception was evident from the fact that the horse responded to the well-known African explorer, Mr. Schillings, just the same as to Mr. Therefore an investigation seemed not out of place. I fully realized the extraordinary difficulties in volved; the excitement aroused in the city and even in foreign coun tries by the daily reports of the strange case in the newspapers; the curiosity of the crowds which sought admission; the peculiarities of Mr. The irresistible de sire to determine the facts induced me to undertake the investiga tion, and we finally succeeded in revealing the facts, mainly by virtue of the keen eyes and iron patience of my assistant, Pfungst.

In this case there were many interesting, more general results. Uninten tionally, Mr. For, if a method so carefully planned pedagogically as that which this former teacher of mathematics had used with untiring patience on his horse effects only the recognition of an unconscious movement of the head, then such failure must be due to the incapacity of the pupil. This solution, it is true, was not accepted everywhere. In the Journal of Animal Psychology these men are still defending the presence of higher thought processes in animals.

I had no desire for further investigation of such cases. Later, when the Academy of Sciences was enabled by the Sampson bequest to found on Teneriffe a station for anthropoids, where, at the suggestion of Professor Rothmann, anthropoid apes, coming di rectly from the jungles of our colonies, were to be studied systemati cally, I suggested Dr. This society still exists and has proved very much worth while.

I was Rector of the University in In my inaugural speech I expressed my conception of the present-day position of phil osophy and its aims and problems. The position brought many in teresting experiences, such as meeting the leading personalities of all circles; representing the University at scientific congresses; a conversation of forty-five minutes' length with the Emperor during my official call, when he did almost all the talking and expressed himself with astounding frankness. My daily occupation with curri cular problems and students' affairs brought me great satisfaction, and, in the second semester, some unexpected excitement, through the struggle with the Freie Studentenschaft, which so far had al ways enjoyed my special favor.

This union did not by any means include the entire number of non-incorporated students Finken schaft , but only a relatively small group who had assumed the right to fight for the interests and cultural aims of all non-incor porated students. But again and again they confused the representa tion of the Finkenschaft itself, and the small group of second- or third-semester students, or at least its self-appointed leaders, made demands which amounted to a co-regency. So the combat was on. There were vast general students' assemblies, in which radical poli ticians of the left wing, such as Breitscheid and von Gerlach, increased the excitement.

They spoke of the murderer of academic liberty, of the rule of the Russian knout. I dissolved the Freie Studentenschaft, and with this discord the year ended. The Senate had always supported me. In the following semester the Board of Education permitted the reorganization of the student body with entirely new rulings to avoid the above-mentioned confusion. Dur ing the following years, a general student board was appointed, which constituted a real representation of the student body, while the Freie Studentenschaft continued their otherwise most laudable work.

It [p. But sooner or later it had to be settled. That it fell to my lot I deeply regretted, for I loved the students, and the affair marred that otherwise splendid year. In the warning words of my second lecture as a Rector on ethical skepticism the echo of that episode mingles with a premoni tion of the trying time that was about to beset our Fatherland and was already predictable from unmistakable symptoms. In the Berlin Philosophical Seminar, toward which Riehl and I had been working for some time, was established and splendidly organized by Erdmann.

I belonged nominally to the directors but could take part only as advisor, and once by holding a seminar on Aristotle's metaphysics. I should have liked to establish here, too, a connection between psychology and philosophy, but the Institute did not permit of this. Occasionally Kant and Hume furnished the texts for philosophical seminars. A pleasant interruption of the summer semester of was the request to represent the University at the Darwin anniversary in Cambridge. I had witnessed the rise and fall of Darwinism in its original form, but the idea of evolution had been bred in my very bones -- as was the case with all my contemporaries; moreover, I felt such a profound admiration for the personality of this great investigator that I felt justified in accepting the mission.

In my address, which was printed in the Jahreschronik of the University, I have expressed that admiration. At the anniversary of the University of Berlin in the title of Doctor honoris was bestowed on me, and I gratefully appreciated this recognition of my efforts to establish a closer relationship be tween philosophy, psychology, and medicine. It was much less en joyable that, in the course of time, I was forced to realize this rela tion as a patient and experimental subject by three dangerous ab cesses of the ear, with two trepanations of the right temporal bone -- and twice also as casus rarissimus of ophthalmology.

But my ear passed its rigorous test magna cum laude; each time it completely re covered its hearing, and I could continue my investigations on vowels which I had started just before the last operation. My eye, un fortunately, just barely passed. On this occasion I offered a critical discussion of the radical vowel investiga tions by W.

This led me to study the nature of vowels and of sounds of speech, in general, more thoroughly than had been done in the last paragraphs of the Ton psychologie. The experimental results fascinated me to such an extent that I could not give up the investigation until this important field of phenomenology had been satisfactorily cleared up. Since the Institute was almost deserted during the first years of the War, I took advantage of the stillness of my surroundings for the most intense effort of the sense of hearing for my tone analyses.

On the other hand, there were, of course, great difficulties and delays in the construction or repairing of apparatus. Furthermore, during the last years of the War the Institute was used by younger men for experiments in military psychotechnique apparatus for measuring sound, etc. Consequently they were not finished until about During the War a call for collaboration went to the experimental psychologists of all the great countries involved in the struggle.

As a representative of psychology in the Capitol, I took part in the national organization of this work. We did not attain, however, such a comprehensive and systematic cooperation as was attained in America. In another enterprise eminently peaceful, although likewise sug gested by the War, we have without doubt surpassed other nations. In , at the suggestion of the school principal, Doegen, a large number of philologists, together with me, a musical scholar, under took to make phonographic records of the native dialects, songs, and other musical productions of the prisoners-of-war, who were gathering from all corners of the earth, often from unknown and inaccessible regions.

The Minister of Education appointed a commission of specialists drawn from all parts of Germany, who took technically excellent records in thirty-two prison camps, at the same time collecting the necessary material for the scientific study and classifica tion of the records. Besides the grammophone records of the Commission, the Phonogram Archive had Dr. The direction of the Commission was entrusted to me and took much [p. But it meant much to me to observe, personally, the delivery and general bearing of these exotic singers, which certainly supplemented and enlivened my impression of the records.

After the revolution, this entire collection was taken from the Commission without even a word of thanks and turned over to the State Library, where, in my opinion, no adequate provision has been made for its scientific upkeep. Our old Phonogram Archive, which we had been collecting for twenty years and which consisted of about 10, records of in estimable value since those primitive tribes may die out or become civilized, were not taken over by the state at that time, and there fore were left without financial backing.

After the state's attorneys discovered that ownership of the collection -- to which we had really never given any thought -- was vested in Mr. Unfortunately, on account of the general financial depression, which naturally affects, first of all, matters not pertaining to everyday life, the state cannot at present provide adequately for this purpose, so that our worries are by no means disposed of.

At Easter, , my official activity at the University was ended, on account of the new regulations concerning the age limit; but I continued my lectures until the summer of In Berlin, where the different branches of philosophy are represented by a large num ber of younger instructors, my lectures did not include general philosophy, but were confined practically to psychology, history of philosophy, and logic; in more recent years I have repeatedly given a course entitled Weltanschauungsfragen, in which I presented, as It were, a philosophical system.

My lectures have taken much of my time until just a few years ago, since each semester certain especial ly unsatisfactory parts had to be recast. I was anxious to give a gen eral [p.


  • Esoteric Orders and Their Work.
  • The Parting!
  • Autobiography of Carl Stumpf First published in Murchison, Carl.
  • INTRODUCTION.

I was not over-fond of lecturing, and often found it even an irksome task, interfering with the scientific research which was my chief concern and of course always led me more deeply into the subject-matter than the lectures -- often, indeed, because of my special interests, along quite different lines of work. I have never, for instance, lectured on tone psychology or topics of musical research. Still, I recognized the marked advantage of com bining teaching with scientific research for the very reason that it keeps in view the subject as a whole as well as in detail.

Since I had learned stenography in high school, I used to draw upon all sorts of shorthand memoranda in preparing my lectures. Only in recent years have my eyes forced me to dispense entirely with notes, and I must confess that consequently I take much more pleasure in my lectures, just because they are not literally "lectures" "readings" , but speeches.

I seem to be in closer and more vivid contact with my hearers. There is one disadvantage in using notes; by constant writing, one forms the habit of doing one's thinking while writing, and thus loses the art of speaking extemporaneously; still, the advantages are so great, especially for collecting material, making excerpts, and registering observations and experiments with all details, that, in general, I recommend it most warmly.

The university examinations, too, at Berlin are a considerable burden on the faculty, for, in addition to every major subject in the arts and sciences, philosophy is required as a minor. But here the results were more satisfactory. It was my habit not to confine my questions to a single theme but rather to probe here and there until I struck bottom. Often I found that the candidate had developed a real interest in philosophy, not merely in the examination. I belonged to the committee of the Academy for editing the works of Kant and Leibniz, and, after the death of Dilthey and later Erdmann, I had to direct the work temporarily.

In the preface I recalled the enthusiastic words of Boutroux, the former director of the French Leibnitz Com mission, which stand in sharp contrast to the present exclusion of Germany from international scientific enterprises, and I expressed the hope that the spirit of Leibnitz would sometime come again into its own. I cannot close this sketch of my life without mentioning that in I severed my connection with the Catholic Church.

Al though estranged for over fifty years, I had never formally with drawn, being too well aware of the blessings our Church bestowed, nor had I any inclination to exchange my old confession of faith for any other. But the behavior of the officiating priest at the funeral of one of my brothers he considered it necessary to apologize for standing at this grave, because the deceased, whose noble human qualities he later on felt constrained to praise duly, had not lived up to the regulations of the Church induced me to take the decisive step.

Though I am now non-denominational, as it were, I still confess myself with all my heart a disciple of. Christianity as the religion of love and mercy -- which needs no revaluation, but rather a higher appreciation -- and I hope that in some time to come the different denominations will meet in this spirit, if not for a complete reunion, at least for a closer approach, a reconciliation. Views and Researches. The following part of this paper has two aims: in the first place, to elucidate the purpose, methods, and results of my printed works, and, at the same time, to fill out, to supplement them, by connecting passages, so that the reader may find not disconnected fragments, but an integral whole through which the component parts, in turn, may be discerned and understood.

If my presentation should seem dog matic or even superficial, I hope that the reader will realize that this is not my usual procedure, and furthermore will find more detailed proofs in my writings. First of all, let me say that the general tenor of all my views reflects the initial inspiration received from Brentano. To mention [p. But it may be noted that the agreements pertain more often to earlier than to the later form of his teaching. That sounds as if Husserl's influence had changed my point of view in certain respects.

This is, however, not the case. My deviations from Brentano's theories were the result of an in ternal, constant mental development. The pupils of Brentano nat urally have many things in common in consequence of the same starting-point; many others, however, because of the necessity of changes, additions, and continuations simultaneously felt by those who proceed in the same direction.

However one may formulate the difference between mind and nature, everybody distinguished them in some manner. The philosopher, however, looks for what they have in common. Thus philosophy is primarily the science of things in general, or metaphysics, to which the gateway is epistemology. Therefore, it is to the point to define philosophy as the science of the most common laws of the psychical, and of the real, in general or conversely. Brentano's system of the four phases in which, so far, each of the three periods of philosophy since Thales has taken its course -- a growing phase, wherein theoretical interests and empirical methods predominate, a decline caused by the smother ing influence of some popular philosophy of life, followed by a skepti cal and, finally, a mystical reaction -- has always seemed to me a good key to the understanding of the development of philosophy, at least for antiquity and for modern times.

Historical similarities or analogies are not laws of nature. Of course, the scheme cannot be applied blindly to all details where would sophistry come in, for instance? Finally, we must not forget that classifications from many other points of view are possible, although I consider the methodological the most important.

My first effect was devoted to the history of philosophy: my treatise on Plato's Idea of the Good and his conception of God. I tried to eliminate the contradiction between that philosopher's personal religious attitude and his philosophical system which Zeller had maintained by re-establishing Aristotle's conception of ideas as entities intrinsically different from concrete objects, and at the same time proving the identity of God with the Idea of the Good. So I grew up with little confidence in myself.

But I was far from being considered a stupid boy, if I am to judge from an. One day the Aldermen were passing through a street where I was playing with other boys. The oldest of these venerable gentlemen, a wealthy citizen, paused to give a silver piece to each of us. You are too smart. They used to tell a funny story about me. I had two old aunts with wrinkled faces, one of them having two teeth protruding like the tusks of an elephant, which she buried in my cheek every time she kissed me.

Nothing would scare me more then the prospects of being by these affectionate, unattractive relatives. Then again, I was intended from my very birth, for the clerical profession and this thought constantly oppressed me. I longed to be an engineer, but my father was inflexible. He was the son of an officer who served in the army of the Great Napoleon and in common with his brother, professor of mathematics in a prominent institution, had received a military education;.

He was a very erudite man, a veritable natural philosopher, poet and writer and his sermons were said to be as eloquent as those of Abraham a-Sancta-Clara. He had a prodigious memory and frequently recited at length from works in several languages. He often remarked playfully that if some of the classics were lost he could restore them.

His style of writing was much admired. He penned sentences short and terse and full of wit and satire. The humorous remarks he made were always peculiar and characteristic. Just to illustrate, I may mention one or two instances. Among the help, there was a cross-eyed man called Mane, employed to do work around the farm. He was chopping wood one day. On another occasion he was taking out for a drive, a friend who carelessly. My father reminded. He had the habit of talking to himself and would often carry on an animated. A casual listener might have sworn that several people were in the room. These daily lessons were intended to strengthen memory and reason, and especially to develop the critical sense, and were undoubtedly very beneficial.

Both her father and grandfather originated numerous implements for household, agricultural and other uses. She was a truly great woman, of rare skill, courage and fortitude, who had braved the storms of life and passed through many a trying experience. When she was sixteen, a virulent pestilence swept the country. Her father was called away to administer the last sacraments to the dying and during his absence she went alone to the assistance of a neighbouring family who were stricken by the dread disease.

My mother was an inventor of the first order and would, I believe, have achieved great things had she not been so remote from modern life and its molteplici opportunities. She invented and constructed all kinds of tools and devices and wove the finest designs from thread which was spun by her. When she was past sixty, her fingers were still nimble enough to tie three knots in an eyelash. There was another and still more important reason for my late awakening. In my boyhood I suffered from a peculiar affliction due to the appearance of images, often accompanied by strong flashes of light, which marred the sight of real objects and interfered with my thoughts and action.

They were pictures of things and scenes which i had really seen, never of those imagined. This caused me great discomfort and anxiety. None of the students of psychology or physiology whom i have consulted, could ever explain satisfactorily these phenomenon. They seem to have been unique although I was probably predisposed as I know that my brother experienced a similar trouble.

The theory I have formulated is that the images were the result of a reflex action from the brain on the retina under great excitation. They certainly were not hallucinations such as are produced in diseased and anguished minds, for in other respects i was normal and composed. To give an idea of my distress, suppose that I had witnessed a funeral or some such nerve-wracking spectacle. The, inevitably, in the stillness of night, a vivid picture of the scene would thrust itself before my eyes and persist despite all my efforts to banish it.

If my explanation is correct, it should be possible to project on a screen the. Such an advance would revolutionise all human relations. I am convinced that this wonder can and will be accomplished in time to come. I may add that I have devoted much thought to the solution of the problem. I have managed to reflect such a picture, which i have seen in my mind, to the mind of another person, in another room.

To free myself of these tormenting appearances, I tried to concentrate my mind on something else I had seen, and in this way I would often obtain temporary relief; but in order to get it I had to conjure continuously new images. As I performed these mental operations for the second or third time, in order to chase the appearances from my vision, the remedy gradually lost all its force.

Then I instinctively commenced to make excursions beyond the. These were at first very blurred and indistinct, and would flit away when I tried to concentrate my attention upon them. They gained in strength and distinctness and finally assumed the concreteness of real things. I soon discovered that my best comfort was attained if I simply went on in my vision further and further, getting new impressions all the time, and so I began to travel; of course, in my mind.

Every night, and sometimes during the day , when alone, I would start on my journeys—see new places, cities and countries; live there, meet people and make friendships and acquaintances and, however unbelievable, it is a fact that they were just as dear to me as those in actual life, and not a bit less intense in their manifestations. This I did constantly until I was about seventeen, when my thoughts turned seriously to invention. Then I observed to my delight that i could visualise with the greatest facility.

I needed no models, drawings or experiments. I could picture them all as real in my mind. The moment one constructs a device to carry into practice a crude idea, he finds himself unavoidably engrossed with the details of the apparatus. As he goes on improving and reconstructing, his force of concentration diminishes and he loses sight of the great underlying principle.

Results may be obtained, but always at the sacrifice of quality. My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop. I even note if it is out of balance.

There is no difference whatever; the results are the same. In this way I am able to rapidly develop and perfect a conception without touching anything. When I have gone so far as to embody in the invention every possible improvement I can think of and see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form this final product of my brain.

Invariably my device works as I conceived that it should, and the experiment comes out exactly. In twenty years there has not been a single exception. Why should it be otherwise? Engineering, electrical and mechanical, is positive in results. There is scarcely a subject that cannot be examined beforehand, from the available theoretical and practical data. The carrying out into practice of a crude idea as is being generally done, is, I hold, nothing but a waste of energy, money, and time. My early affliction had however, another compensation.

The incessant mental exertion developed my powers of observation and enabled me to discover a truth of great importance. I had noted that the appearance of images was always preceded by actual vision of scenes under peculiar and generally very exceptional conditions, and I was impelled on each occasion to locate the original impulse.

After a while this effort grew to be almost automatic and I gained great facility in connecting cause and effect. Soon I became aware, to my surprise, that every thought I conceived was suggested by an external impression. Not only this but all my actions were prompted in a similar way. The practical result of this was the. Its latent possibilities will, however be eventually shown. I have been years planning self-controlled automata and believe that mechanisms can be produced which will act as if possessed of reason, to a limited degree, and will create a revolution in many commercial and industrial departments.

I was about twelve years of age when I first succeeded in banishing an image from my vision by wilful effort, but I never had any control over the flashes of light to which I have referred. They were, perhaps, my strangest and [most] inexplicable experience. They usually occurred when I found myself in a dangerous or distressing situations or when i was greatly exhilarated.

In some instances i have seen all the air around me filled with tongues of living flame. Their intensity, instead of diminishing, increased with time and seemingly attained a maximum when I was about twenty-five years old. While in Paris in , a prominent French manufacturer sent me an invitation to a shooting expedition which I accepted. I had been long confined to the factory and the fresh air had a wonderfully invigorating effect on me.

On my return to the city that night, I felt a positive sensation that my brain had caught fire. I was a light as though a small sun was located in it and I passed the whole night applying cold compressions to my tortured head. Finally the flashes diminished in frequency and force but it took more than three weeks before they wholly subsided. When a second invitation was extended to me, my answer was an emphatic NO!

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