In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. pp. 51-54 (1998)

Authors
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
The term ‘Gestalt’ was introduced into psychology by the Austrian philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels in an essay entitled “On ‘Gestalt-Qualities’” published in 1890. ‘Gestalt,’ in colloquial German, means roughly: ‘shape’ or ‘structure’ or ‘configuration’, and Ehrenfels demonstrates in his essay that there are certain inherently structural features of experience which need to be acknowledged in addition to simple tones, colours and other mental ‘atoms’ or ‘elements’. His essay thus initiated a reaction against the then still dominant atomism in psychology, a reaction which culminated in the work on ‘cerebral intregation’ of the so-called Berlin school of Gestalt psychology. Max Wertheimer, one of the leading members of this school, was a student of Ehrenfels in Prague. Ehrenfels himself belonged to an impressive list of original thinkers – a list which includes also Edmund Husserl, Alexius Meinong and Carl Stumpf, the founder of the Berlin school – who were students of Franz Brentano. Each of these thinkers attempted to elaborate, both ontologically and psychologically, the doctrine of intentionality put forward by Brentano. The work of Ehrenfels and of the later Gestaltists, too, may be seen as a contribution to the understanding of this mental directedness, and in particular to the understanding of the directedness of perceptual experience.
Keywords Carl Stumpf  Christian von Ehrenfels  Max Wertheimer  Kurt Koffka  Wolfgang Köhler
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Principles of Gestalt Psychology.Oliver L. Reiser - 1936 - Philosophical Review 45 (4):412-415.
On Pleasure, Emotion, and Striving.Karl Duncker - 1940 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 1 (June):391-430.
Principles of Gestalt Psychology.Kurt Koffka - 1935 - New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Der Gestaltbegriff Im Lichte der Neuen Logik.Kurt Grelling & Paul Oppenheim - 1950 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 15 (1):61-61.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Carnap and Lewis on the External World.Ivan Ferreira da Cunha - 2014 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 18 (2):243.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Foundations of Gestalt Theory.Barry Smith (ed.) - 1988 - Philosophia.
Gestalt Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind.William Epstein & Gary Hatfield - 1994 - Philosophical Psychology 7 (2):163-181.
William James and Gestalt Psychology.William D. Woody - 1999 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 20 (1):79-92.
Gestalt Psychology and Ethical Philosophy.John Macdonald - 1939 - Philosophy 14 (56):449 - 456.
Principles of Gestalt Psychology.Kurt Koffka - 1935 - New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Intersubjectivity and Gestalt Psychology.Moreland Perkins - 1952 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 13 (June):437-451.
Mach and Ehrenfels: The Foundations of Gestalt Theory.Kevin Mulligan & Barry Smith - 1988 - In Barry Smith (ed.), Foundations of Gestalt Theory. Vienna: Philosophia Verlag. pp. 124-157.
Gestalt Psychology.Thomas H. Leahey - 2003 - In Thomas Baldwin (ed.), Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 377-383.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-04-28

Total views
150 ( #57,725 of 2,325,982 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #35,042 of 2,325,982 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes