Carl Stumpf

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Carl Stumpf around 1900

Friedrich Carl Stumpf (born April 21, 1848 in Wiesentheid ; † December 25, 1936 in Berlin ) was a German philosopher , psychologist and music researcher . In 1894 he founded the Berlin Psychological Institute.

Life and accomplishments

He received his first musical instruction from his highly musical father, the district judge Eugen Stumpf, further musical training took place at the grammar schools in Kitzingen, Bamberg and from 1863 in Aschaffenburg, where he learned six instruments and acquired knowledge of harmony and counterpoint as an autodidact. He studied under Franz Brentano and Rudolf Hermann Lotze . Stumpf had a decisive influence on Edmund Husserl , the founder of modern phenomenology , Max Wertheimer , Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka , the co-founders of Gestalt psychology , as well as on Kurt Lewin . He is also known because of his introduction of the term " state of affairs " into philosophy , which was later mainly spread by Husserl.

Stumpf was one of Franz von Brentano's first students and always stayed very close to his early theories. He wrote his dissertation under Lotze at the University of Göttingen in 1868 and also completed his habilitation there in 1870. Later he became more and more interested in empirical methods in experimental psychology and became a pioneer of this new discipline. He taught in Göttingen , then became a professor in Würzburg and later in Prague , Halle , Munich and finally in Berlin, where his students Max Wertheimer , Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Köhler founded the Berlin School of Gestalt Theory .

In his tone psychology , Stumpf saw the essence of consonance in fusion. After a dispute with Hugo Riemann about consonance and dissonance of triad and multiple sounds, however, he revised his position and introduced the terms “concordance” and “discordance”. Together with his student Erich Hornbostel , he founded a phonogram archive in Berlin in 1900 , which became the starting point for ethnomusicology .

In 1907, together with his student Oskar Pfungst , he solved the riddle about the clever Hans and thus helped experimental psychology to break through. In 1926, at the initiative of Wolfgang Köhler , he defined the term formant .

Carl Stumpf received his doctorate from Robert Musil , who had submitted his dissertation on January 31, 1908 on the subject of Contribution to the Assessment of Mach's Teachings .

Stumpf was buried in the Lichterfelde Park Cemetery in Berlin-Lichterfelde . The grave is one of the honor graves of the State of Berlin .


Honorary grave, Parkfriedhof Berlin-Lichterfelde


  • Relation of the Platonic God to the idea of ​​the good. Hall 1869.
  • About the psychological origin of the spatial concept. 1873.
  • Sound psychology. 2 volumes. 1883 to 1890. (main work)
  • Psychology and epistemology. Munich 1891.
  • Panels on the history of philosophy. Berlin 1896.
  • The pseudo-Aristotelian problems of music. Berlin 1897.
  • Opening speech by the President, Prof. Dr. Carl Stumpf. In: Third international congress for psychology in Munich from 4.-7. August 1896. Berlin 1897.
  • The thought of development in contemporary philosophy. Ceremonial address given on the foundation day of the Kaiser Wilhelms Academy for Military Medical Education, December 2, 1899. Berlin 1899.
  • The thought of development in contemporary philosophy. Berlin 1900.
  • Tone tables . In: Contributions to acoustics and musicology. Issue 3/1901, pp. 139-146, plates I-IX.
  • To classify the sciences. Berlin 1906.
  • Appearances and mental functions. In: Treatises of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences. Philosophical-historical treatises. IV, 1906, pp. 1-40. (2nd edition. 1907)
  • The rebirth of philosophy. Berlin 1907.
  • Directions and opposites in today's psychology. In: International weekly for science, art and technology. Articles in the Münchner Allgemeine Zeitung. October 19, 1907, pp. 903-914.
  • From ethical skepticism. Berlin 1908.
  • The Berlin Phonogram Archive. In: International weekly for science, art and technology. Supplement to the Münchner Allgemeine Zeitung. February 22, 1908, pp. 225-246.
  • Philosophical speeches and lectures. Leipzig 1910.
  • The psychological institute. In: M. Lenz (Ed.): History of the Royal Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin. 3rd volume, Halle, 1910, pp. 202-207.
  • Consonance and concordance. In: Representatives of German Musicology (Ed.): Festschrift for the 90th birthday of Rocchus Freiherrn von Liliencron . Leipzig 1910, pp. 329-349.
  • The beginnings of music. Leipzig 1911
  • In memory of Lotze. In: Kant studies. XXII, No. 1-2, 1917, pp. 1-26.
  • Sensation and imagination. 1918.
  • Memories of Franz Brentano. In: O. Krause (Ed.): Franz Brentano. To the knowledge of his life and his teaching. Munich 1919, pp. 87-149.
  • Singing and speaking . In: Contributions to acoustics and musicology. Issue 9/1924, pp. 38-74.
  • Phonetics and Ear Medicine. In: Contributions to anatomy. Physiology, pathology and therapy of the ear, nose and throat. 22, 1925, pp. 1-8.
  • The speech sounds. Experimental phonetic studies. In addition to an appendix on instrumental sounds . Berlin 1926.
  • Feeling and feeling. 1928.
  • William James according to his letters. Life - character - teaching. Berlin 1928.
  • Carl Stumpf: self-expression. In: Raymund Schmidt (ed.): The philosophy of the present in self-portrayals. Volume 5, Leipzig 1924.
  • Writings on psychology. Newly edited and provided with a biographical introduction by Helga Sprung. Frankfurt am Main 1997.
  • Epistemology. Volume 1, Leipzig 1939. (Reprint: 2011, Pabst Science Publishers, ISBN 978-3-89967-740-9 )
  • Epistemology. Volume 2, Leipzig 1940. (Reprint: 2011, Pabst Science Publishers, ISBN 978-3-89967-740-9 )

See also


Web links

Wikisource: Carl Stumpf  - Sources and full texts

Another source

Carl Stumpf's estate in the Research Archive for the History of Psychology (PGFA) at the Distance University in Hagen

Individual evidence

  1. Willibald Gurlitt, Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht (Ed.): Riemann Music Lexicon . Person part LZ. B. Schott's Sons, Mainz 1961, p. 753 .
  2. ^ Carl Stumpf: Die Sprachlaute: Experimental-phonetic investigations together with an appendix . J. Springer, 1926,.
  3. ^ Karl Corino : Robert Musil. Reinbek 1989, p. 142.