1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wundt, Wilhelm Max

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WUNDT, WILHELM MAX (1832-), German physiologist and philosopher, was born on the 16th of August 1832 at Neckarau, in Baden. He studied medicine at Tübingen, Heidelberg and Berlin, and in 1857 began to lecture at Heidelberg. In 1864 he became assistant professor there, and in 1866 was chosen to represent Heidelberg in the Baden Chamber, but soon resigned. In 1874 he was elected regular professor of philosophy at Zürich, and in the following year was called to the corresponding chair at Leipzig, where he founded an Institute for Experimental Psychology, the precursor of many similar institutes. The list of Wundt's works is long and comprehensive, including physiology, psychology, logic and ethics. His earlier works deal chiefly with physiology, though often in close connexion with psychology, as in the Vorlesungen über die Menschen- und Tierseele (1863; 4th ed., 1906; trans. Creighton and Titchener, 1896), Lehrbuch der Physiologie des Menschen (1865; 4th ed., 1878), and Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie (1874; 6th ed., 3 vols., 1908). He published an important work on Logik (1880-1883; 3rd ed., 1906-1907), and this was followed in 1886 by his Ethik (3rd ed., 1903). According to Wundt, the straight road to ethics lies through ethnic psychology, whose especial business it is to consider the history of custom and of ethical ideas from the psychological standpoint. We must look for ethics to supply the corner-stone of metaphysics, and psychology is a necessary propaedeutic. The System der Philosophie (1899; 3rd ed., 1907) contained the results of Wundt's work up to that date, both in the domain of science and in the more strictly philosophic field. The metaphysical or ontological part of psychology is in Wundt's view the actual part, and with this the science of nature and the science of mind are to be brought into relation, and thus constituted as far as possible philosophical sciences. In 1892 Wundt published Hypnotismus und Suggestion. Subsequent important works are the Grundriss der Psychologie (1896; 8th ed., 1907; trans. Judd, 3rd ed., 1907); Völkerpsychologie (1900-1906); Einleitung in die Philos. (1901; 4th ed., 1906). Two other works, containing accounts of the work of himself and his pupils, are Philosophische Studien (1883-1902) and Psychologische Studien (1905 foll.).