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Wundt, Wilhelm (1832–1920)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC085-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

The German philosopher, psychologist and physician Wilhelm Wundt founded the world’s first psychological laboratory in Leipzig in 1879 – at a time when psychology was still generally regarded as a theoretical and institutional part of philosophy. This event typified his life’s work and its reception in many respects. On the one hand Wundt tried to develop psychology as an independent science by defining its subject matter and methodology; on the other, he wanted to integrate psychology into the context of philosophy, cultural theory and history. With both attempts he acquired world fame and at the same time became a most controversial figure. Systematizing his approach, Wundt worked on a great amount of material in very different disciplines. He has been called the last philosophical ‘polyhistor’ in the tradition of Leibniz and Hegel, as well as the first modern scientist in psychology.

Citing this article:
Brockmeier, Jens. Wundt, Wilhelm (1832–1920), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC085-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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