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According to Dagobert Runes, the renowned philosphical scholar -- an expert on Spinoza who wrote at least one short introduction to that philosopher as well as a valuable "Spinoza Dictionary" graced with an introduction by another Spinoza enthusiast, Albert Einstein -- Fechner "regarded the world from a mechanistic viewpoint" and "almost became an atheist" early in his life but was converted radically to an opposite position when he read Lorenz Oken's "Philosophy of Nature." Runes describes Oken as a disciple of Schelling. Fechner thereafter, according to Runes, became a "confirmed theist."
There is, of course, a very interesting article about Lorenz Oken on wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_Oken. Dagobert Runes makes the above statements in his introductory remarks about Fechner in his "Treasury of Philosophy" (Philosophical Library: 1955) and also in his lengthier article on Fechner in his large-format pictorial history of philosophy, published by the Philosophical Library around the same time as his "Treasury."
On Freud and the Unconscious
I have removed a couple of sections claiming that Fechner influenced Freud through the book, "Philosophy of the Unconscious." Actually, Eduard von Hartmann wrote that book, and as far as I can tell, Fechner did not have any direct influence on Freud, at least no more than any German philosopher or scientist working in that century. If anyone has evidence to the contrary, please discuss it here. --Jcbutler (talk) 20:08, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
- OK, could someone suggest an English translation or alternative to Buggle & Wirtgen's (1969) paper on Freud and Fechner? --Jcbutler (talk) 19:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
There seems to be some confusion in when he died, either November 18 or 28. Can someone fix this? I can't garner a definite answer in either direction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 17:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
- Surely, this source, giving 18 November, can be relied on? Martinevans123 (talk) 13:32, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
The phrase "contacted an eye disorder" suggests that Fechner's problem was an eye disease. But this reference says this:
"In 1840, the year in which an article on subjective afterimages appeared, Fechner suffered a nervous collapse. Exacerbated by a painful injury to the eyes sustained while gazing at the sun during his research, Fechner's ailment manifested itself in temporary blindness and prostration."
- And this site says:
- "In 1840, he had a nervous breakdown, and he had to resign his position due to severe depression. At his worst, he stayed in his rooms alone, avoiding light which hurt his eyes, and even painted his room black."
- So perhaps some slight amendment is necessary? So his eye condition was certainly a serious problem, but his mental condition seems to have been the critical factor. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:23, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
- While The International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1968 at this site gives us this:
- "Fechner was married in 1833, and in 1834 he was appointed professor of physics at Leipzig. But he occupied the chair only until 1839; after repeated attacks of severe exhaustion he was, for three years, completely incapacitated by a mysterious illness. The major symptoms were disturbances of vision, with hypersensitivity to bright light, sporadic total failure of digestion, obsessions, and, finally, more and more terrifying hallucinations. He recovered quite suddenly. It seems most likely that the illness was an atypical form of schizophrenia."