Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887) was a German physicist, psychologist, and philosopher, best known to historians of science as the founder of psychophysics, the experimental study of the relation between mental and physical processes. Michael Heidelberger’s exhaustive exploration of Fechner’s writings, in relation to current issues in the field, successfully reestablishes Fechner’s place in the history and philosophy of science.
A clear, comprehensive, and rigorous treatment of the philosophical basis for Fechner's thought, including, importantly, the way in which he was able to reconcile apparently divergent intellectual themes in his philosophical and scientific writing.
Almost mandatory reading as it provides many new historical insights that are quite significant for contemporary philosophy of science.
From Fechner to Peirce and Freud—Heidelberger explains the context and influence of Fechner's ideas on indeterminism, self-organization, psychophysics, and freedom. . . . A highly informative and comprehensive book about one of the most original and uncompromising thinkers of the nineteenth century.
Not very many exemplars of this genre get translated, and perhaps often justifiedly so. In Heidelberger's case there were excellent reasons for producing an English version. The impressive 66-page bibliography at the end of the volume is in itself a joy to study.
This superb translation is revised and enlarged from the 1993 German edition, which was acclaimed as one of the finest and most useful studies of 19th-century thought. For the English version, the same accolades apply. . . . Nature from Within is mandatory reading for psychologists, philosophers, and historians of ideas. . . . Highly recommended.
Michael Heidelberger, professor of philosophy at the University of Tübingen, is the author of numerous works on the philosophy of science.learn more