PSYCHOPHYSICS, OR ALGEBRA OF PRIMARY EXPERIENCE?

  • Jirí Wackermann

Abstract

The foundational idea of psychophysics is the study of psycho–physical relations in a non-dualist paradigm. We attempt to revive the original motives of psychophysical science in a series of reflec- tions on selected themes: Fechner’s original idea of psychophysics, Mach’s programme of a unitary psycho–physical science, and later attempts (phenomenology, protophysics) to establish a scientia prima, conceiving law-like, invariant structures of the world as given in primary experience. We conclude with a proposal for an ‘integral psychophysics,’ which is here defined as a mathematical study of structures of primary experience.

“Nun aber, wie werde ich mit meinem bischen Mathematik dieß neue große Gebiet beherrschen ko ̈nnen? Beherrschen gewiß nicht; aber doch vielleicht beginnen. [...] Aber den Fortbau freilich werde ich Andern u ̈berlassenmu ̈ssen.â€â€”G.Th.Fechner[1,p.410]1

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