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Mind designated by the totality of feeling - acquired and will excitations unity and determination of the psyche . The mind is seen - comparable to emotions or sensuality - as the opposite pole to intelligence and the mind (see also cognition ).

The acute mental , psychological and emotional (overall) situation of a person is referred to as a state of mind ; Emotional fluctuation refers to mental instability.


The word mind has been attested since Middle High German times and represents a collective term for the mental feelings and thoughts that are denoted by the noun courage . Mind later also referred to the location of these feelings and thoughts. In the later word formation “comfortable” the meaning of “same meaning, pleasant, dear” is also included, substantive “the pleasant; Consent ”in the meaning“ pleasant, dear ”. " Cosiness " is derived from this .

Colloquial language

Popularly, the mind is also called "heart" in contrast to "head".

The adjective zu Gemüt is cozy . Coziness in colloquial language describes a typically German positive atmosphere related to sociability . The term is therefore also used as a loan word by other languages.

In colloquial language, mind is occasionally used synonymously with personality and character (see Brockhaus Psychology).

In a narrower sense, the “minded person” is a person who radiates serenity and is difficult to disturb , cf. also calmness of mind . In this sense, the term “strong mind” denotes something virtuous .

The saying “someone has a sunny disposition” describes a friendly, cheerful, optimistic, and sometimes naive person.

In the Wanders Deutsches Sprich emphasis-Lexikon (5 volumes) there are almost fifty proverbs for the word mind .


In his Phaedrus, Plato divides the soul into mind ( ancient Greek θυμός = thymos ) and instinct . This distinction is already reminiscent of the later ideas of the somatics and the theory of the psychic reflex arc .

Theories since the enlightenment

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) still uses mind alternately with soul . The term “mind” is already used by Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason . Kant's work, first published by Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland , "Of the power of the mind through the mere resolution of one's pathological feelings to be a master." see. moral treatment . This work appeared in the same year 1798 in the third section of the " Dispute of the Faculties ". The concept of mental illness goes back to this time.

Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762–1814) considers the mind to be the undivided, purely opposed center of our personality .

Georg WF Hegel (1770–1831) relates the unity of feeling to self-confidence .

Friedrich WJ Schelling (1775–1854) regards the mind as the unconscious, naturally decayed principle of the mind. It appears to him to be divided into three parts (a) as longing , sympathy , melancholy ; (b) as addiction , lust , desire , irritability and (c) as feeling and sensitivity, the highest that can be found in the mind. Gruhle notes the emphasis on inwardness in Schelling . Klaus Dörner regards this as an expression of the at that time, around 1810 as a necessary reaction to the typically German lack of civil liberties in the ongoing age of absolutism . Schelling even describes these freedoms as being drawn from the curse. The assessment also applies more or less to the attitude of the psychics as a whole and to their attitude to the question of freedom or compulsory treatment .

Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831) dealt extensively with the nature of the mind in his work Vom Kriege and worked out self-control as a question of the mind and not of intellectual intelligence. According to "von Clausewitz", a strong mind is one that does not lose its balance even with the most violent impulses. Von Clausewitz further divided people into the following types based on their mood:

  1. those who have very little activity and who are considered phlegmatic or indolent .
  2. very active, whose feelings never exceed a certain strength, and who are considered soulful but calm people.
  3. very irritable, "whose feelings ignite quickly and violently like powder, but are not permanent";
  4. those “which cannot be set in motion by small causes and which do not move at all quickly, but gradually, but whose feelings take on great violence and are much more permanent. These are the people with energetic, deep and hidden passions. ”( Maniac ).

Karl W. Ideler (1795–1860) was a proponent of theories in which elements of psychoanalysis begin to emerge. He took the view that passions and instincts become the driving force of the will by "pushing out of consciousness all concepts that conflict with them." In the dichotomy between thinking and willing, the relative unity in the mind should be noted, for morality is the "supreme matter of the mind." Klaus Dörner believes that Ideler represented both ethical and empirical points of view.

In contrast to the intellectual education emphasized during the Enlightenment, the emotional education played a changing but always noticed role in German pedagogy during the Romantic period. Representatives of this romantic direction were Novalis , Ludwig Tieck , Clemens Brentano and the Brothers Grimm .

Wilhelm Griesinger (1817–1868), as one of the first somatics and thus as a representative of a more scientifically oriented medicine, viewed the mind as the more “receptive part” of the brain, cf. also the concept of the sphere of body feeling . His ideas aimed at the model of the reflex arc with a receptor ( centripetal ) part determined by sensations and an effector part ( centrifugal ) determined by the will or emotionality , cf. Cape. Antiquity and the possibly changed effectoral behavior .

This term was also used with pleasure in the German-Völkisch context. The daily Tübinger Chronik summarized the platitudes popular there on June 28, 1906 as follows: "Mind is a spiritual quality which actually only we Teutons have".

Current status

There is hardly any talk of mind in modern psychology. The "Brockhaus Psychologie" speaks of mind as a vague term. The philosophical lexicon by Georgi Schischkoff describes Gemüt as a term peculiar to the German language. It stands for the close unity of the spiritual and sensual emotional life, for the inwardness of the soul. The psychological lexicon of Wilhelm Karl Arnold defines mind as a mental authority which, in contrast to cognitive abilities such as cognition , thinking and judgment, describes the totality of affects , basic moods , drive experiences and feelings about life. In this respect, there is also agreement with the view of Gruhle, who has regarded the meaning of the term “feeling” as unchanged since the middle of the 18th century. In this respect, the German word Gemüt appears to be identical with the technical term affectivity . The doctrine of the mind is called thymology .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Gemüt  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Friedrich Kirchner : Kirchner's dictionary of basic philosophical terms . Revised by Carl Michaëlis (=  Philosophical Library . Volume 67 ). 5th edition. Dürr, Leipzig 1907, OCLC 3703706 , p. 226 , keyword “Gemüt” ( zeno.org [accessed on November 20, 2014] public domain ).
  2. Mind. ( disposition , min . ) In: Fachgebärdenlexikon Psychologie. Institute for German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf (IDGS) at the University of Hamburg , accessed on November 20, 2014 .
  3. a b c d e f Hans Walter Gruhle : Understanding psychology (experiential theory). A textbook . 2., verb. Edition. Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1956, DNB  451696301 , OCLC 1105413 , p. 39 ff .
  4. ^ Günther Drosdowski: Etymology. Dictionary of origin of the German language; The history of German words and foreign words from their origins to the present. 2nd Edition. Volume 7, Dudenverlag, Mannheim 1997, ISBN 3-411-20907-0 , p. 230.
  5. ^ A b c Wilhelm Karl Arnold et al. (Hrsg.): Lexikon der Psychologie . Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1996, ISBN 3-86047-508-8 ; Lexicon-Stw. "Mind": Column 716
  6. ^ Dictionary of idioms
  7. ^ Heinrich Rathke : Systematic hand dictionary to Kant's critique of pure reason. (Philosophical Library 37b). Meiner, Hamburg 1991, ISBN 3-7873-1048-7 , p. 89 - Reference is made here to the text passages in KrV A 125, B 34, B 37, B 42, B 67, B 74, B 261, B 799
  8. Wolfgang Ritzel : Immanuel Kant . A biography. Walter de Gruyter Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-11-010634-5 , p. 643 ff.
  9. Immanuel Kant: The dispute between the faculties in the Gutenberg-DE project 1798
  10. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling : Works . Ed. Schröter, Munich 1927, "Stuttgart Private Lectures" (1810) Volume IV, pp. 352–360.
  11. a b c Klaus Dörner : Citizens and Irre . On the social history and sociology of science in psychiatry. (1969) Fischer Taschenbuch, Bücher des Wissens, Frankfurt / M 1975, ISBN 3-436-02101-6 ; (a) on “Schelling”, p. 263 f .; (b) on “Ideler”, p. 289 ff .; (c) on "Griesinger", pp. 322-324.
  12. ^ Carl von Clausewitz : From the war . First book: On the nature of war. Third chapter: the warlike genius.
  13. ^ A b Karl Wilhelm Ideler : Outline of the healing of the soul . 2 vols., Berlin 1838; (a) on the subject “Passions”: Volume I, p. 230; (b) Re. “Mind as the switching point of morality”: Volume I, pp. 123–127.
  14. ^ Wilhelm Griesinger : About psychological reflexions . (1843) In: Collected treatises. 2 vol., Berlin 1872, volume I, p. 4.
  15. Georgi Schischkoff (Ed.): Philosophical dictionary. 14th edition. Alfred-Kröner, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-520-01321-5 , p. 222.