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See detailThe Fechner-Brentano controversy on the measurement of sensation
Seron, Denis ULg

in Revue Roumaine de Philosophie (2011), 55(1), 87-102

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of Brentano's critique of Fechner's psychophysics. An attempt is made to show that, far from being a mere historical curiosity, the dispute with Fechner ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of Brentano's critique of Fechner's psychophysics. An attempt is made to show that, far from being a mere historical curiosity, the dispute with Fechner is of strategic importance for Brentano's theory of sensation. I defend the view that Brentano not only raised strong objections against the logarithmic law, but also sought to lay new foundations for the idea of a psychophysical measurement set forth by Fechner in his Elements of Psychophysics. In the first section, I briefly review some facts about Fechner's psychophysical law and discuss two corrections proposed by Brentano. In the second section, I examine some further, more general objections. In the final section, I then show how Brentano's late theory of "sensory spaces" could be viewed as a positive contribution to the psychophysical problem as posed by Fechner. [less ▲]

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