Reference : The Fechner-Brentano controversy on the measurement of sensation
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Philosophy & ethics
The Fechner-Brentano controversy on the measurement of sensation
Seron, Denis mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département de philosophie > Phénoménologies >]
Revue Roumaine de Philosophie
Editura Academiei Române
Franz Brentano et la philosophie
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] Brentano ; Psychophysics ; sensation ; Fechner ; intensity ; measurement
[en] 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.
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