Wundt, Avenarius, and Scientific Psychology

A Debate at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

  • Chiara Russo Krauss

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Chiara Russo Krauss
    Pages 1-11
  3. Chiara Russo Krauss
    Pages 13-40
  4. Chiara Russo Krauss
    Pages 59-111
  5. Chiara Russo Krauss
    Pages 113-147
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 149-151

About this book


This book reconstructs the rise and fall of Wilhelm Wundt’s fortunes, focusing for the first time on the role of Richard Avenarius as catalyst for the so-called “positivist repudiation of Wundt.” Krauss specifically looks at the progressive disavowal of Wundtian ideas in the world of scientific psychology, and especially by his former pupils.

This book provides important historical context and a critical discussion of the current state of research, in addition to a detailed consideration of Wundt’s and Avenarius’ systems of thought, as well as on their personal relationship. The author outlines the reception of Avenarius’ conceptions among Wundt’s pupils, such as Külpe, Münsterberg and Titchener, and among other psychologists of the time, such as Ward, James and Ebbinghaus. Finally, this book presents Wundt’s two-fold attempt to respond to the new trend through a criticism of the “materialistic” psychology, and a reformulation of his own ideas.


Modern Psychology Wilhelm Wundt Richard Avenarius Psychophysics Positivism Process theory Parallelism Scientific Philosophy Physiology Neurophysiology

Authors and affiliations

  • Chiara Russo Krauss
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

Bibliographic information