Joseph Delboeuf

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Joseph Delboeuf (1891)

Joseph Rémi Léopold Delbœuf (September 30, 1831, Liege, Belgium – August 14, 1896, Bonn, Germany) was a Belgian philosopher, mathematician, experimental psychologist, hypnotist and psychophysicist.[1] He was highly respected as a psychologist in his lifetime, the author of an extensive and diverse works, and is known for his work on hypnosis as well as for his important contribution to the debate around the psychophysical.


In 1860 he became an instructor in the normal school of Liege, and from 1863–66 was professor of philosophy in Ghent. Beginning in 1866, he was professor at University of Liège.[2]


Delboeuf began his psychophysical experimentation on brightness in 1865 with Gustav Fechner. The most important idea that Delboeuf introduced to psychophysics was that of the sense distance (contraste sensible).[1]

Delboeuf is probably best known for his description the Delboeuf illusion in 1893. Many experiments have been performed on this illusion since that time.


  • De la moralité en littérature (1861)
  • De la psychologie comme science naturelle, son présent et son avenir (1875)
  • Le sommeil et les rêves (1885)

Articles in Popular Science Monthly[edit]

  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Dwarfs and Giants". Popular Science Monthly. 22. April 1883.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "What May Animals Be Taught?". Popular Science Monthly. 29. June 1886.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "The Psychology of Lizards". Popular Science Monthly. 43. September 1893.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Affections and Jealousies of Lizards". Popular Science Monthly. 50. January 1897.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "In a World Half as Large". Popular Science Monthly. 52. March 1898.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • François Duyckaerts, (1992). Joseph Delbœuf philosophe et hypnotiseur,
  • LeBlanc, A. (2004). Thirteen Days: Joseph Delboeuf versus Pierre Janet on the Nature of Hypnotic Suggestion, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 40, 123-147.


  1. ^ a b Leonard Zusne (1984). "Biographical Dictionary of Psychology". Google Books. Retrieved 2015-06-28.
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Delbœuf, Joseph Remi Léopold" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.

External links[edit]