Carl Stumpf (1848–1936): Founder of Experimental Phenomenology

  • Herbert Spiegelberg
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 5/6)


The name of Carl Stumpf figures rarely, if ever, in historical accounts of phenomenology. And it is true that by no stretch of definition could Stumpf be turned into a full-fledged phenomenologist. Stumpf himself made this amply clear in his (posthumous) Erkenntnislehre, where he devoted eleven pages to a severe criticism especially of Husserl’s phenomenology. Nevertheless, there is no other philosopher or psychologist of comparable stature and position who has been so important for the spread of phenomenology in the broader sense and for putting the phenomenological approach to scientific use. Hence his significance may actually be greater than that of the Phenomenological Movement in the stricter sense, although those who transmit his impulses may not be aware of them.


Causal Dependency Preparatory Phase Experimental Phenomenology Psychical Life Philosophical Speculation 
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Selective Bibliography

Major Works

  1. Tonpsychologie (1883, 1890) 2 vols. Translation: Selection from vol. II in Rand, Benjamin, ed., Modern Classical Psychologists. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1912, pp. 619–623.Google Scholar
  2. Erscheinungen und psychische Funktionen (1906). Abhandlungen der Berliner Akademie, 1907.Google Scholar
  3. Zur Einteilung der Wissenschaften (1906). Ibid., 1907.Google Scholar
  4. Selbstdarstellung in Schmidt, Raymund, ed., Die Philosophie der Gegenwart, V (1924), 205–265. Translation in Murchison, Carl, ed., History of Psychology in Autobiography. I (1930), 389–441.Google Scholar
  5. Erkenntnislehre. 2 vols. Edited by Felix Stumpf. Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1939 f.Google Scholar

Studies in English

  1. BORING, EDWIN G., A History of Experimental Psychology, New York: Century, 1929, pp. 351–361.Google Scholar
  2. LEWIN, KURT, “Carl Stumpf,” in Psychological Review XLIV (1937), 189–194.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Spiegelberg

There are no affiliations available

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