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    Oswald Klpe and the Wrzburg SchoolAuthor(s): R. M. OgdenSource: The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 64, No. 1 (Jan., 1951), pp. 4-19Published by: University of Illinois PressStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1418592.

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WORZBURG SCHOOLBy R. M. OGDEN,Cornell University

    Oswald Kiilpe was born on August 3, 1862, in Candau, Courland, oneof the Baltic Provinces, then, and now again, a part of Russia. His family,however, was German and is said to have moved into the region duringthe Eighteenth Century. German was his native tongue and we are toldthat he first learned Russian after he entered the Gymnasium at Libau.His father was a notary in a center near his native village. I have foundno record of the family's affluence, but its members were well educated,gentle folk. A brother, Alfons Kiilpe, whom I once met, was a clergyman,and his wife, Frances, was a well-known novelist. There was also a sisterwho was long a nurse in Russia and survived Oswald, as Alfons did not.'The family influence in his life was exerted chiefly by two unmarriedcousins, Ottilie and Marie Kiilpe, described in the dedication of one of hisbooks as his "Loving, faithful life-companions." Much older than himself,these two ladies made a home for him in Leipzig, Wiirzburg, Bonn, andMunich. They both survived him, but property losses incident to the firstWorld War brought them to a state of penury which Kiilpe's friends andformer students, under the leadership of his Wiirzburg colleague, thephysiologist Max von Frey, did what they could to alleviate. After bothhad gone, assistance was extended to the sister, who came out of Russiaafter the war to be with the cousins. Kiilpe never married and was wontto say, sententiously, but with a twinkle in his eye: "Science is my bride."After the completion of his training in the Gymnasium, Kiilpe spent ayear and a half teaching history and other subjects in a boys' school beforeproceeding to the University of Leipzig in the Spring of 1881. Duringthree semesters his principal studies were in history, but he also attendedWundt's lectures and became acquainted with the new science of psy-chology which was to become the field of his life work. For some unknownreason he spent one or two semesters of 1882-1883 in Berlin, where he

    'My thanks are due Professors E. G. Boring and Karl Biihler for reading thismanuscript and for their many helpful comments. Accounts of Kiilpe's life and worksare given in the following: Clemens Biiumker, Jahrbuch Bayr. Akad. d. Wiss.,philos.-philolog. Klasse, 1916, 73-107; Aloys Fischer, Zsch. f. pid. Psychol., 18,1916, 96-99; Anon., this JOURNAL, 27, 1916, 296; Karl Biihler, in Anton Chroust'sLebenslaufe aus Franken, H, 1922, 243-255; Anon., Jahrbuch Ludwig-MaximiliansUniversitit, 1914-1919, 1927, 25-29; E. G. Boring, A History of Experimental Psy-chology, 2nd ed., 1950, 396-410; and the Vita in Kiilpe's doctoral dissertation, ZurTheorie der Sinnlichen Gefihle, 1887.

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOL

    heardTreitschke ecture on history.He then transferred o G6ttingenfortwo yearsand cameunderthe tutelageof G. E. Muller, from whom, it issaid,he received he themeof his doctoraldissertation.In the summer of 1886 we find him backin Russia matriculated s acandidate in historyat the Universityof Dorpat. Here he passedan ex-aminationentitling him to proceedto a teachingpost. This brief returnto his native land may mean that he was consideringa career n Russia.His earlyinterest n history,his studyin Berlinand,now, the examinationat Dorpat,lead Boringto suggestthathe mayhavewavered n his decisionbetweenhistoryand philosophyas his life-work.I find, however,no suchsuggestion in any other accountof his life, and he, himself, remarks nthe vita accompanying is doctoraldissertation hat he had already oundthe focus of his interest n philosophicalstudiesduringthe time he spentas a Hauslehrerbeforeentering he university.Whatever the motive for matriculatingat Dorpat may have been, hewas again at the universityof his first choice to enter Wundt's seminarin the autumnof 1886. His doctoralexaminationoccurredon October12,1887 and the title of his thesiswas "ZurTheorie der sinnlichenGefiihle."Kiilpe's interest in this topic continuedthroughouthis life and becameabasis for his later studiesand lectureson esthetics.In 1888 he proceededto his Habilitation, the title of his dissertationbeing "Die Lehre vomWillen in der neurenPhilosophie."AlreadyWundt'sassistant,he becamePrivatdozent n the universityand was promotedto a professorshipex-traordinariusn 1894. In Octoberof that yearhe was called to Wiirzburgas ordinarius or both philosophyand estheticsin succession o JohannesVolkelt who went to Berlin. By 1896 Kiilpe had founded, in one of themedieval buildings of the university,a laboratorywhich, with the aidof a privately ecuredendowment,he was soon able to expand n spaceandequipmentuntil it became,next to Leipzig,the outstandingpsychologicalinstituteof Germany.After fifteen years of service in WiirzburgKiilpe accepteda call toBonn. Although he remainedthere but four years,he was able to estab-lish a first-rate nstitute,and he did the same in 1913 when he went toMunich where space for a psychologicallaboratoryhad been allocatedto his predecessor,Theodor Lipps. In his Nachruf Fischerremarks hatundoubtedlyKiilpe was the second founder of experimentalpsychologyon Germansoil; for with every changeof basehe made it a requirementthat an experimental aboratory hould be provided.2He founded those

    2Fischer, op. cit., 96-99.

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    in Wiirzburgand Bonn, and equippedthe one in Munich. In changinghis base he put personal interestsaside in order to promote the newscience to which his life was dedicated. Had he lived longer, thinksFischer,he might have accepteda call to succeedFriedrichJodl in Viennain orderto found a laboratoryor psychologyat thatUniversity.During his last days Kiilpe was deeply affected by the war in which his coun-

    try was engaged. He appears to have been convinced of the righteousness of Ger-many's cause and published at least one paper in her defense.3 My own last wordfrom him-a postcard written April 15, 1915, expressed his sorrow that Germanyshould be so misunderstood abroad, and especially by her erstwhile friends inAmerica. We are told that he spent much time visiting wounded soldiers inhospitals and reading to them. He suffered an attack of influenza before Christmasof 1915 and, although he recovered sufficiently to return to his university duties,he was presently seized with what BIaumkerdescribes as a "purulent infection ofthe heart-muscle" to which, after a few days of illness, he succumbed on De-cember 30. He was buried in the beautiful Waldfriedhof, near Munich, on Janu-ary 2, 1916. I once visited his grave, marked with a simple headstone, and havewondered if his ashes still rest there. For, as was customary, the ground where hewas laid was only leased for a period of time and there were no survivors ofthe family to renew the lease.

    To those who knew him personally,Oswald Kiilpe was both an im-pressive and a lovable character.He was a fine figure of a man, well-built with a massive head, delicatehands and small feet. Although hewasnot free from the controversieswhichraged amongthepsychologists fhis day, I never saw evidenceof anger in him. His breakwith Wundtover mattersof principle,which occurredeven in his Leipzigdays,failedto weakenhis reverentregardfor his master teacher.He publishedthreetributesto Wundt and was active in the preparationof the Festschriftthatbroughtto a close thepublicationof Wundt'sPhilosophischeStudien.Kiilpe retaineda like regard or Muller,his secondteacher, houghhe wasdeeply hurt when Muller saw fit to attackthe methodsand resultsof theWiirzburgSchool.It was sadnessrather han resentmenthat characterizedhis feelings when Titchener,his friend and companionof Leipzig days,turnedthe guns of his laboratory t Cornellagainstthe Wiirzburg nvesti-gationsof the thought-processes.If I couldonlysit downwithTitchener,"he said to me, "I am sure I couldmakehim see what we aredrivingat."

    Ernst Meumann, too, was always a friend from the days when they were to-gether in Wundt's laboratory. When Meumann was at Zurich the relations of the

    3Die Ethik und der Krieg. Nach einem Kriegsvortrag der Universitit Miinchen,gehalten an 19. Februar 1915. (Zwischen Krieg und Frieden, Heft 20, Leipzig, 1915.)

    6 OGDEN

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOLtwo were so co8perative that Kiilpe could send him, for their degrees, studentsrecruited from the teaching staff of the Volksschule who were disqualified tomatriculate in a German university. They went on leave of absence from theirteaching posts with dissertations well on their way to completion, the acceptanceof which on Meumann's part was a concession that few self-regarding men wouldmake. I never knew Meumann, but [I have been told that his pride was such thatafter criticism of a paper he read at one of the German Congresses of Experi-mental Psychology, he refused to attend any more meetings.Meumann died on April 26, 1915. The Zeitscrift fur pddagogische Psychologieund experimentelle Pidagogik, of which he had been senior editor, prepared aNachruf with six accompanying articles headed by one from Wundt. Includedwas a paper by Kiilpe on Ernst Meumann und die Aesthetik, in which an estima-tion is given of Meumann's achievements in this subject.4 Without being un-friendly, Kiilpe's estimate was critical. It brought forth an immediate defence ofMeumann's position by Storring which contained overtones of resentment thatKiilpe should seem to attack his dead colleague.5 To this, Kiilpe made reply inwhat was perhaps his last published word.5a He denied attacking the man, but re-affirmed his critical position, remarking that it seemed to him more appropriateand more factual to discuss Meumann's limitations as an esthetician than toindulge in 'panegyrics.'Notes by Kiilpe and Storring also appeared in the Archiv fur die gesamtePsychologie following Storring's obituary of Meumann in that journal.6 Since thecontroversy appeared in print only after Kiilpe's own death, it was an embarrass-ment to the editors of both journals. One need not go into the merits of this debatein order to gain the knowledge that Kiilpe, despite his fundamental kindliness andthe innate modesty of his bearing in all human relations, was a strong advocateof the truth as he saw it and an unswerving defender of scientific fact.

    Kiilpe's character is best described, I think, as that of an esthetic per-sonality in a factual world. Whether he would have given as much atten-tion to esthetics as he did, had he not found himself at Wiirzburg re-sponsible for lectures on the subject, it is hard to say. His personal interestin beauty and the arts was, however, both keen and enlightened. He washimself a musician and played the piano expertly. Being especially fondof chamber music, he exercised his talent with colleagues who came to hishome to play with him. He was especially keen in his appreciation of themusic of Brahms and less taken by that of Wagner and the outstandingyoung composer of his day, Richard Strauss. I recall his criticism of DerFliegende Hollander, which we heard together in 1913 at Stuttgart, as

    4Kiilpe, op. cit., Zsch. f. pid. Psychol., 16, 1915, 232-238.5Gustav Stirring, Erwiderung auf die kritischen Entwicklungen Prof. Kiilpe'sbetreffend Prof. Meumann, ibid., 17, 1915, 166-169.5aKiilpe, Antwort, idem, 169 f.Kiilpe, Zur Richtigstellung, Arch. f. d. ges. Psychol., 35, 1916, 155; StirringErklarung, ibid., 155 f.

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    well as his commenton Strauss'sAriadneauf Naxos, which we witnessedat that time. His interest n literaturewas also greatandhe was well readboth in currentwritings and the classics.In painting and sculpture, oo,while his personaltastemayhave been somewhatconventional,his factualpoint of view led him to oppose Meumann'scontentionthat the 'modernart' of the cubists,and so on, was inadmissiblebecause"everywork ofart must be so composedthat we can understandt." Instead,as Baumkerremarks,estheticswas for Kiilpe a 'problemscience'and not, like psy-chology,a 'factual cience.'It was, indeed, his factualitythat guided all Kiulpe'senterprisesandsaved him from dogmatism.Kiilpe's first importantbook, GrundrissderPsychologie auf experimenteller Grundlage dargestellt, published in 1893,definedpsychologyas "the facts of experience,"and the notableomissionof many significant opics appears o be attributableo a paucityof factsfor which he was unwilling to substitutesurmisesand hypotheses.

    His catholicityof interest coupled with his human kindliness made Kiilpe,with the exception,perhaps,of WilliamJames,the most approachablend lovablefigure among the psychologistsof his day. During my two years in Wiirzburg(1901-1903) long visits were made by FrankAngell, W. L. Bryanand W. B.Pillsbury rom the UnitedStates,AugustKirschmann, friendof his Leipzig days,from Canada, and J. L. Brough from England. Though I did not meet her then,Lillien J. Martin was a close friend and frequent visitor. After going to Bonn,Kiilpe proposed and secured for her the doctorate which she had failed to obtainat Gittingen because the important work she did there with G. E. Miiller waspublished under joint authorship.7 Other close friends who came from abroad in-cluded Charles Spearman and Albert Michotte. There were many, like myself, whotook their degrees under Kiilpe's direction. In addition to the completion of aformal training begun at Cornell, I owe to Kiilpe whatever basic insight I mayhave gained of the fundamental meaning of life. For Kiiipe belonged to a genera-tion of men whose philosophical interests were as broad as life itself and onecould not know him without sharing these interests.

    Among the 60 titles of Biihler's bibliography we find that Kiilpe's three mostpopular books were his Einleitung in die Philosophie, 1895, 7th ed., 1915; DiePhilosophie der Gegenwart in Deutschland, 1902, 6th ed., 1914 and his monograph,Immanuel Kant, 1907, 3d ed., 1912. The first two of these books were translatedinto English. Biihler lists some eight articles on esthetics and about the samenumber on epistemology. A dozen other topics, including such psychological head-ings as 'feeling,' 'will,' 'attention' and 'sensory discrimination,' are required toclassify the rest. One should also mention two important lectures, published sepa-rately: Erkenntnistheorie und Naturwissenschaft, 1910 and Psychologie und Medizin,1912. The last-named was the occasion for a medical degree which Kiilpe receivedfrom the University of Giessen where it was delivered. This lecture includes his

    7Zur Anallrse der Unierschiedsemb.indlichkeit. 1899. 1-233.

    8 OGDEN

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOLrecommendation that psychology should become a recognized part of the medicalcurriculum. He addresses himself mainly to the subject of 'mental blindness,' whichhe interprets in the light of his thought-psychology. While he shows familiaritywith the German psychiatry of his time, it seems significant that he should makeno reference to either Freud or Janet.After his death, Kiilpe's lectures on psychology, logic and esthetics were pub-lished and also, in two volumes, the remainder of his epistemological study whichhe called Die Realisierung-the first volume of which he had himself issued in1912.Unlike G. E. Muller, he published no extensive experimental studies of his own.It should be noted, however, that he was intimately engaged in all that went on inhis laboratory. It was a matter of principle with him to act as observer in theexperimental work of his students. In the instance of my own study of speed ofpresentation upon the efficiency of learning he came almost daily to the laboratoryfor what must have been weary hours of committing nonsense syllables to memory.His influence upon his students was never dominating. 'Instead, they were engagedtogether in a joint enterprise of scientific discovery.

    Kiilpe was a fastidiouscritic.Among the five long Rezensionenwhichhe contributedto the Gottingischegelehrte Anzeigen, he chose bookswith the generaltrendandpurposeof which he was in agreement.Yet hiscriticismwas often devastating.This hypercritical pproachalso accountsfor the fact that his positivecontributionso both psychologyand epistem-ology were less constructive han they would doubtlesshave becomehadhe lived long enough to bring them to fruition. His influencehas beenchiefly felt by those who knew him and learned from him to becomecriticaland, aboveall, factual.But who shall sayhow widelythis influencemayhavespread?

    THE WURZBURG SCHOOLThe WiirzburgSchool had its beginning about 50 years ago with the

    publicationof a paper by Mayerand Orth on the qualitativenatureofassociation8 nd, in the sameyear, 1901, of a monographby Marbe,thena Privatdozent n Wiirzburg.9 t was in these publications,and in one byOrth which followed in 1903,10that the term Bewusstseinslage,whichhas been translatedas 'consciousattitude,'was employedto describea cer-tain backgroundof experiencethat could not be more narrowlydefined,but which appearedto be attendantupon judgmentsand the relevancy8 A. Mayer and J. Orth, Zur qualitativen Untersuchung der Association, Zsch. f.Psychol., 26, 1901, 1-13.9 Karl Marbe, Experimentell-psychologische Untersuchungen iber das Urteil: EineEinleitung in die Logik, 1901, 1-103.0Orth, Gefiihl und Bewusstseinslage, 1903, 1-131.

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    of associations.What reallycame to light in these investigationswas theinadequacyof the so-called and commonlyaccepted'consciouscontents'of sensation, image and feeling to account for the mental activities ofthoughtfulassociationandjudgment.The next Wiirzburgdissertationo follow this leadwas the investigationof Watt in which he described he Aufgabe, or 'task,'as a directive,con-scious influence n the problemhe set for namingsuperordinatesor sub-ordinatesand parts for wholes.l The introspectivereportsof Watt's ob-serversindicatedthat, while describable contents'of consciousnesswerelacking, a conscious'task'governedthe valid resultswhich the observersachieved.

    Working at the same time in Wiirzburg,though independently,wasAch who publishedin the same yearhis monograph:Ueberdie Willen-stitigkeit und das Denken.12 A sampleof Ach's experimentalproblems sa presentationof numbers to be added, subtracted,multiplied etc., andthe influenceupon the outcomeof what he chose to call a 'determiningtendency,' which was not very different from what Watt called theAufgabe, or 'task.'But Ach also discoveredsomething like a conscious'content'which he called a Bewusstheit, .e. the observer'sreportof a con-sciousstate of awareness.This, we might say,was the birthof an 'image-less thoughtcontent'which becamefocal in the investigationsof Messer13andBiihler.14

    Writing to me after the publicationof the first of these contributionsof Biihler, and after Wundt's vigorouslyadverseresponseto it,15Wattremarkedhat:The 'movement' f the Wtirzburgers as been blown full and will now have toconquercompletelyor die. At any rate there is sure to be a big row over it andI thinkit will conquer. f you want to be really up to date you shouldmakeyour-self familiarwith it. Biihler leavesall us minorprophetsbehind.We were merelyvoicescrying n the wilderness"prepare e:" prophets entwithouta message.The controversy hat aroseover the 'thoughtcontent'as an acceptable11H. J. Watt, Experimentelle eitragezur einerTheorie des Denkens,Arch.f. d.ges. Psychol.,4, 1905, 289-4316.1 NarzissAch, Ueberdie WIillenstititkeitnd dasDenken, 1905, 1-294.3AugustMesser,Experimentell-psychologischentersuchungeniber das Denken,Arch.f. d. ges. Psychol.,8, 1906, 1-224.14KarlBiihler,Tatsachenund Problemezu einerPsychologieder Denkvorgange:I. UeberGedenken,Arch.f. d. ges. Psychol.,9, 1907, 297-305; II. Ueber Geden-kenzusammenhange,bid., 12, 1908, 1-23; III. UeberGedenkenerinnerungen,dem,24-92."SWilhelmWundt, Ueber Ausfrageexperimentend iiber die MethodenzurPsychologiedes Denkens,Psychol.Stud., 3, 1907, 301-306.

    10 OGDEN

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOLadditionto the then generallyagreedupon 'contents'of sensation, mage,and feeling was, indeed, wide-spreadand sometimesbitter. A 'content'as ephemeralas a fleetingthought,for which the descriptive attributes' fquality,intensity,extensity,and durationhad no significance,was rejectedin most quartersas being a structural element'of no use. The descriptionsgiven by Biihler's observers were criticizedadversely for telling aboutwhat happened nsteadof definingthe happening tself. Englishpsycholo-gists, familiarwith the olderfacultiesof cognition,affection,and conation,were less antagonistic han Germanand Americanpsychologistsschooledin the fundamentalsof sensationalisticelements.'However,R. S. Wood-worth in America found 'imagelessthought' in the course of his inde-pendentinvestigations(1906 et seq.) and so did Alfred Binet in France.Binet, indeed, on the basis of his L'etudeexperimentalede l'intelligence(1903), claimed that the 'method of Wiirzburg'was better named the'methodof Paris.'To this claim Kiilpe made rejoinder n the courseof adiscussionof his paperon feeling at the Sixth InternationalCongressofPsychologyin Geneva.'6So far as prioritywas concerned,he cited thepublicationof Marbeon Judgmentand the works of Ach on Will andThoughtand of himself on Abstraction,all of whichwerebegun,he says,as early as 1900. He also called attentionto Watt's expressreferencetoBinet's book on the intelligenceof his children. Farther han that,Kiilpeclaimed no responsibility or the name, 'WiirzburgSchool,' with whichthe workof his laboratory adbeendubbed.

    Why is it, we may ask, that the method of 'systematic xperimentalintrospection' eased to be employedalmost as suddenlyas it began?Whyis it that the 'thoughtprocesses'are no longer a subjectof great psycho-logical interest?Was the whole movementabortive,and withoutinfluenceupon the psychologyof today, or promiseof revival in the future? Formy own part, I can only venture to answersuchquestions n the terms ofmy own interests,fully realizing that my interestswill hardly be thoseof any other person who may once have acceptedthe Wiirzburgmethodand results as importantcontributions o psychology.

    Although was a studentn Wiirzburgt thetime'thought-psychology'as inthe brewing tage,andknew,personally,he pioneers,Meyer,Orth,Marbe,AchandWatt,I cannot ay thatthe laboratoryeemedat the time alivewith newdiscoveries. s Wattindicatedn his letter, t wasnot until Biihler ameon thescene hat a new'element' f consciousnessasannouncedhichwasto take tsplacealongwith the acceptedcontents'f sensation,mage,andfeeling.It wasWatt'setterandthereading f Biihler'sapershatbroughtmebacko Wiirzburg

    1 Rapportst comptesendus, 910,224-226.

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    in the summer of 1909 to participate as observer in some of the experiments thengoing on-notably, those of Koffka and Westphal. Though previously doubtful, Ithen made acquaintance with 'thought' as an undeniable 'presentation' without asensory, imaginal, or affective 'content' to support it in consciousness.

    Upon return to my laboratory I managed to supply myself with the tools ofthe investigations in which I had participated: a 'card-changer'for brief exposures,a Hipp chronoscope to measure reaction-times, an electrical pendulum-control-that indispensable accessory for checking the accuracy of the clock-and a 'mouth-key' to react with when a task was completed. For two years I experimented as-siduously with the aid of this, perhaps too-elaborate, apparatus of 'brass-instruments.'I was fortunate in finding among my students two who readily submitted to train-ing in systematic introspection, and whose reports confirmed the anticipations Ihad been led to expect from my own experiences in the Wiirzburg laboratory.I shall not describe the results of these experiments, most of which were published,nor defend them against a charge of prejudice such as I myself once made againstcertain laboratories which, I then thought, were unfavorably biased.17I will simplysay that the results were convincing to me and, indeed, prompted the compositionof my Introduction to General Psychology (1914) which is, perhaps, the onlytextbook ever written from the angle of the Wiirzburg School

    It has been often remarked that Kiilpe's own statements about thought-psychology were few and meager, the most extensive one being a moreor less popular article: "Ueber die moderne Psychologic des Denkens."''Another reason for my spending the summer of 1909 in Wiirzburg wasthe announcement that Kiilpe was to lecture on Feeling and Thought.The whole semester, however, was given over to 'Feeling' and I havebeen told that in all his subsequent lectures on psychology he neverreached the culminating chapters on the higher mental processes. Thatthe same caution which held him to known facts in his Grundriss preventeda systematic treatment of the thought-processes up to the time of his death,I have little doubt. In the case of my own book on the subject, he stronglyurged me not to publish it at the time, and I would have been well-advised to heed him, for the book had no success.

    There were, however, other reasons for Kiilpe's caution which may nothave been thoroughly considered. It has been often and truly said thatKiilpe was not merely a psychologist but also a philosopher. These twovocations went together more intimately in him, I think, than in otherGerman experimentalists, all of whom were, at the time, 'professors ofphilosophy.' Acknowledgement of the sensory positivism of Mach and17Cf. R. M. Ogden, Imageless thought: Resume and critique, Psychol. Bull. 8,1911, 183-197.8Op. cit., Int. Monatsch. f. Wiss., Kunst u. Technik, 6, 1912, June issue. Theessay is also included in the second edition of Kiilpe's posthumous Vorlesungeniiber Psychologie, edited by Karl Biihler, 1920, 1-340.

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOLAvenarius served to deflect both Kiilpe and Titchener from Wundt'sbrandof idealism.Whereas Titchenerappears o have held fast to Mach'spositivisticsensationalism,Kuilpe oon found it criticallyunsatisfactory.twas, as he tells us, in the summerof 1898 that he conceivedhis view ofrealityand the need for an epistemologically ound realism as a founda-tion for all the natural sciences and likewise for psychology and thesocial sciences(Geisteswissenschaften-includinghistory,sociology,ethics,etc.). He believed, too, that a criticalrealismmight be expectedto yieldan inclusive and useful metaphysics.This enterprisebecameat once thecentralinterest of his life-work.It was only naturalthat he should there-afterguide the studiesof his laboratoryoward he though-processeswhichhe was himself employing to overcomeand set aside idealism and thepositivismof Mach and Avenariuswhich were the currentmodes of allpsychological heory n his time andplace.Having conceived his problem in terms of the inadequacyof a 'sub-jective'or an 'objective' dealism,on the one hand, or a conscientalism,19as he called it, on the other, he set out with an elaboratepolemic againstall suchtrends,hypothesesandtheories.Beginningin 1901 andcontinuingwithout interruptionfor eight years he delivered during each wintersemester a courseof public lectures,one hour a week, in which he de-veloped his thesis and defended it against all other current doctrines.It was a truly Germanundertakingand one wonders if a single auditorsurvived he long courseof delivery.The manuscriptsof these lectures constitute he text of Kiilpe's three-volume work entitled: Die Realisierung.Fourvolumes had been plannedwhich should give answer to four questions: (1) Is a Setzung of realthings permissible?(2) If so, how is it possible? (3) Is a Bestimmungof real things permissible? (4) If so, how is it possible? 'Setting'or'placing'what is 'real,' 'determining'or 'defining'what it is-these werehis questions. The answer to the first is given in the volume whichKiilpe himself published in 1912.20The answersto the other three aregiven in his lecturenotes which August Messeredited and publishedin1920 and 1923. The noteswere found to be fully composed n fine scripton sheets of paper verticallyfolded so that the text was written on the

    19"The doctrine hat contends hat the entities we apprehendmust be necessarilymental,idealistic;that the real objectsare realitiesof consciousness"-a definitiontakenfrom D. D. Runes'The Dictionaryof Philosophy.The termdoes not appearin The New English Dictionary,but the GermanKonzientialismus,which Kilpeused,maybe foundwith a similardefinition n Der GrosseBrockhaus.20Kiilpe,Die Realisierung:Ein Beitragzur Grundlegungder Realwissenschaften,I., 1912, 1-257.

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    left side, leaving the right side free for references,queriesand amend-ments. The editor tells us that in preparing he manuscriptsor the pressit was unnecessaryo makeanyimportant hangesor additions n the text.The posthumousvolumeslack, however,the re-writingwhich they surelywould have receivedat Kiilpe's hands had he himself been able to editthem. Whereas the first volume containsmany footnote references o thepsychological tudiesof his laboratory,he posthumousvolumeshave few.NoteworthywasKiilpe'spublicationof a monograph,ZurKatagorienlehre,which was a presentationn February,1915, the yearof his death,beforethe BavarianAcademyof Science.21This writing, its authortells us, wasa preparatory tudy intended for the third volume of Die Realisierung,but Messerhas not included it in his edition, nor does he even mentionit. This is not the place, nor am I prepared,to discuss the merits ofKiilpe's "eigentlichesLebenswerk," s Messer calls it. I will only say thatthe lecturesI heard in the winter semesterof 1901-1902 and the subse-quent study of the published volumes served to convert me from anuneasy idealism to realism. For idealism,which associated tself so wellin many ways with introspectivepsychology,seemed to lead always tosolipsism with its slogan of despair,then current:"ich kann nicht fibermein eigenes Bewusstseinhinaus." As remarkedby SomersetMaugham,"solipsism s a perfecttheory; it has but one defect; it is unbelievable."22What I found in Kiilpe's argumentwas that the actualitiesof consciousexperiencerequire he existenceof quite independentobjectsto give themorder and significance.One brief passage which I translatedfrom thefirst volume of Die Realisierungbecame a kind of island in a sea ofdoubtsto whichI haveoften returned:According to the astronomers, the heavenly bodies complete their courses even whenthey are unknown. The maturation of an egg, after fertilization, also proceeds inintervals of time during which no consciousness is directed upon it. Memory workson, even when left entirely to itself. In all these, and in similar instances, we haveindependent regulations within the object of knowledge-a continuity of developmentand being, and thereby an independence of being known. We are therefore obligedto accord an existence to these objects, even when they are not apprehended by anyepistemological subject, or consciousness. It is the conviction of all real sciences thatthe existence of their subject-matterneither stands nor falls with the knowledge wehave of it. The independence of facts from our awareness of them finds in experi-ence legitimate ground for assuming transcendental objects. This independence hasnothing to do . .. [and] does not coincide with the supplementation of conscious

    2 Op. cit., Sitzber.d. konig. Bayr.Akad.d. Wiss. philos.-philolog.Klasse, 1915,1-90.22 Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1950, 259.

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOLfragments; because the continuity that is required by the facts under consideration isnot a continuity of consciousness, but a continuity of the objects themselves.23The most elaborate and at the same time favorable reviews of Kiilpe's epistem-ology were published in the Philosophisches Jahrbuch der Girres-Gesellschaft.This society, founded in 1876 to mark the 100th birthday of Joseph von Gorres(1776-1848)-sometime professor at Munich and a leader of the clericals-isdevoted "to the cultivation of science in Catholic Germany." The brand of realismadopted by Kiilpe appeared to be well suited to aristotelian scholasticism. A. Gemellireviewed the first volume of Die Realisierung in volume 26. A detailed study of themonograph on categories by M. Grabmann appeared in volume 29, to be followedby an incomplete review of the posthumous volumes by A. Hilchman in volume 39.The promised continuation of Hilchman's discussion does not appear in subsequentissues of the Jahrbuch, which is disappointing, because it might have given anestimation of the positive determination of reality which Kilpe proposed but failedto summarize in his published lectures.24

    As for the intimacyof the connectionbetween Kiilpe's epistemologyand his psychology,he tells us in his tributeto Meumannthat they wereboth of them primarilypsychologists,but while Meumanndirected hispsychologytoward esthetics,Kiilpe directedhis toward epistemology.Ithink one can find evidenceof this directionon Kiilpe'spart in the con-clusionshe drew from his experimentson abstraction,he resultsof whichhe reportedat the meeting of the I. Kongress fur experimentellePsy-chologie in Giessen.25These experimentswere begun with W. L. Bryanin the summerof 1900. The results of the firstexperimentswere unsatis-factory,so they were repeatedwith an improvedmethodon three trainedobservers.The initials given of the observersbeing A, D, and S, we caninfer, I think, that they were Ach, Diirr and FriedrichSchmidt-a long-timememberof Kiilpe'sseminar.The results of these experiments,in which cards with nonsense syl-lables of varying colors, letters and arrangementswere brieflyexposed,indicatedthat, under instructionto observe and report color, form, ornumber of items, the subjectof the experimentwould abstract he de-sired features while remaining 'unconscious'of all others. From these

    23Op. Cit., 101.24 The only other critical study of Kiilpe's epistemology which I have come across is a

    doctoral dissertation by Herta Schrader, Die Theorie des Denkens bei Kiilpe und beiHusserl, Miinster, 1924, 1-47. In it the author compares the theories of Kiilpe andHusserl to the advantage of the latter. "Every experience," she writes, "every percep-tion bears the character of 'there'-'Da-vorhanden in dieser von mir unabhingigenWelt'." This statement, which she appears to quote from Husserl, only assumes adirectly perceived reality which it was Kiilpe's object to prove.25Cf., Bericht, 1904, 56-68.

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    experiments Kiilpe drew the important conclusion that the process ofabstraction is based on 'apprehension' and not upon sensational differencesin the presentation; that a distinction must be made between the sensationsand our apprehension of them "in much the same sense in which wedistinguish between physical phenomena and our awareness of them";that, to quote him further:

    The old doctrineof an innersense with the involved deaof a distinctionbetweenthe realityof consciousness ndobjectivitymust now have its opportune enewal nthe domainof psychology.This is the principalconclusionI would drawfrom myexperiments. n connection herewithI defineabstraction s the processby whichthe logicallyor psychologically ffective is separatedrom the logicallyor psycho-logically neffective.The effectivepartialcontentsare positivelyabstractedor think-ing and ideation.The ineffectiveare those from which the abstractions made.Forour consciousness,herefore, hereare abstractdeas, for psychicalrealitythere areonly concrete deas. At the same time the old controversy etweennominalismandrealismapproachests solution.26

    Although the terms act and function are not used in this pioneering in-vestigation, we can see, I think, that abstraction is found to be a functionor act which distinguishes tself and its objectsfrom the concretepresenta-tions of the senses. It is this distinction, furthermore, that gives Kiilpehis means of placing and defining reality. What he called the actualitiesof consciousness never can transcend themselves into the realm of reality;but the thought-process can and does do so. In a personal communicationof 1912, Kiilpe wrote to me as follows:I differentiate thought'from 'thinking';thoughtsare 'contents,'thinking in itsvarious forms of meaning, judging, concluding, etc., is a matter of acts or functions.The actsare not, for me, "relationsobtainingbetweencontents,"but are actual ex-pressionsof the ego, which canbe observedandknownonlyafterthe event;becauseknowingandbeingknownaremutuallyexclusive. I reckon he relationsamongthecontents(thoughts). Pleasureand displeasurehave nothingto do with them andconstitute a special class of contents, although acts enter into the affects, impulsesand passions.A physiological heory s of coursedesirable,but I regard t as prema-ture to speculatenow in this way. The important hing is to understand he factsbetter,andwith themalonewe shall havemuchto do for a longtime. The differentia-tion of 'content' rom 'function,'or 'act,' s not the sameas thatbetweenthe 'struc-tural' and the 'dynamic' r 'functional.' Content' s everythingupon which an 'act'maybe directed.An 'act' can never be directeduponitself or another act.' But thisdoes not excludethe possibilityof directionupon somethingother than a 'consciouscontent,'suchas an 'object.'

    It was, indeed, the direction of 'acts' upon 'objects' which gave Kiilpehis assurance that, in addition to the reality of sensations, images, feelingsand thoughts, the physical world was also an object of thinking, and sowere the facts of history and the realities of a metaphysical universe. Inhis review of Ach's book, Ueber die Willenstitigkeit und das Denken,

    26 Op. cit., 67 f.

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOL

    written five yearsbefore the above quotation,he goes farther than Achin declaringthe Bewusstheit o be a 'contentof consciousness' nd not, asAch thought possible, a developing image or a sensation of movement.He distinguishescontentsfrom functionsand compareshis view with thatof Brentano'sdivision of all psychicalphenomena nto functionsof pres-entation,judgment, ove and hate,concludingthat "only by a combinationof bothpointsof view [act and content] arewe likely to attaina completeaccountof mind" (des psychischesTatbestandes).27In the same review Kiilpe mentions the 'kernel of truth' in Calkins'distinction between 'process-'and 'ego-psychology'28nd, in a footnote,he refers to Stumpf's recentlypublished Erscheinungenund psychischeFunktionen with which he found himself largely in agreement.29t isremarkable, think, that he finds so seldom an occasionin his writingsto referto Brentano.Yet he did follow the workof the so-called AustrianSchool'-Meinong, Benussi, Witasek-with sympatheticinterest, for Irecall that an Americancolleague questionedhim on this subject in mypresence in 1909. His reply was characteristic:"If you were to askWundt, he would say, 'Es ist nichts.' If you askedStumpf,he might say,'Ja,aber es ist alles Brentano.'But if you askme, I mustsay, 'Es sindganzwichtigeSachen.'"

    Despite this admission,I have found no directreferences o the 'School'in Kilpe's writings. In a letter of 1905 Watt mentionsWitasek as "oneof the gestaltqualitaiteneople" whom he seemedto regard,at the time,with some suspicion.He adds, however, "this tendencyI shall have tomaster directly as I have undertakento review Meinong's new book:Untersuchungenur GegenstandstheoriendPsychologie."Fromthis com-ment, I gather that the writings of the Austrianswere being read byKiilpe's co-workers.Yet the influenceof their views upon Watt, at least,cannothave been great, for he mentionsnone of thesepsychologistsn hisfinal book: The SensoryBasis and Structureof Knowledge.30 But neitherdoes he mention Kiilpe or the WiirzburgSchool Instead, he developshis own theoryof integrationon a sensorybasis and appearsto be moreTitchenerian,or at least more Machian,in his method of treatment hanone wouldexpectof a founderof the 'School.'

    With Kiilpe's death the outcomeof the School'sprogramfaltered for27Cf., Gottingische gelehrte Anzeigen, 169, 1907, 595-608.'8 Cf., M. G. Calkins Der doppelte Standpunkt in der Psychologie, 1905, 1-80.23 Carl Stumpf, op. cit., Abh. d. preuss. Akad. d. Wiss., 1906, 1907, 1-40.30H.J. Watt, op. cit., 1925, 1-248.

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    want of culminatingresearchand a systematic tatementof results.In thiscountry,some of the studentsof John Wallace Bairdat ClarkUniversity,were using the method of 'systematic xperimental ntrospection,'but inthe main we were engaged in two strongly motivated and largely co-operativemovements.The one in psychologywas the radical behavorismof John B. Watson and his followers which did much to evaporateallinterest in psychology'shithertobasic method of introspection.The othermovementin philosophywas the New Realismwith its crude but tellingpragmatism.Also, therewas a waron with Germanyand those Americanpsychologistswho had tried, painfully, to keep abreastof the 'literature'in that alien and difficulttongue sighed with relief and ceased to readGerman. There was, to be sure, a new movement in post-warGermany,Gestalt Psychologie,which made a vigorous effort to constructa prac-ticablebridgebetween the 'old psychology'of consciouselements and the'newpsychology'of behavior.With inspiration romthe 'AustrianSchool,'and especiallyfrom the alreadyquarter-centuryld essayon Gestaltquali-taten (1890) by Von Ehrenfels, Wertheimer,Koffkaand K6hlerformeda remarkablyo6perative eamin projecting his new Germanpsychology,theverynameof which wasuntranslatable.31What attitudeKiilpe might have taken to this revision of both psy-chology and epistemology,we do not know. It is perhapsworth notingthat Wertheimer took his degree under Kiilpe. His dissertationwas onTatbestandsdiagnostik,32hich led to the Lie Detector, though not, ob-viously, to either thought-psychologyor Gestalttheorie.Koffka, too,workedpost-doctorallyn Wiirzburgwith the intentionof qualifyingtherefor his docentship.We can be sure, I think, that the methods and prin-ciples of Gestalt psychologywould have interestedKiilpe and that hewould havetakena constructive iewof it.

    What is the net contributionone man can make to his subject?Anidea and, perhaps,a formula.Kilpe's idea was to demonstrate he realityof the world which most of us accept but few of us can prove. Hisformula of proof, however, was involved and, being inadequately um-marizedat the time of his death, it has had less influencethan he hopedit might have. Kiilpe was aboveall a man of science,and his effort wasto clearawaythe subjectivism f his timeand, indeed,of our time.Forde-

    31It is noteworthyhatGestalt,and even'gestalt,'arenow widelyusedin Englishwith no morespecialmeaning hana word ike 'composition.'32Max Wertheimer, Experimentelle ntersuchungen ur Tatbestandsdiagnostik,Arch.f. d. ges. Psychol.,6, 1905, 59-131.

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    OSWALD KULPE AND THE WURZBURG SCHOOL

    spitehis apparent ealismof method andpractice, he man of sciencetodayclearshis skirts of subjectivismonly with the aid of a positivismwhich,at best, is but a narrow formulationof his results,and may be quite mis-leading in its implications.No one who has the patienceto study Kiilpe'slectures on Die Realisierung,and, in addition, ErkenntnistheorieundNaturwissenschaft nd Zur Kategorienlehre,will deny merit in the state-ment of his editor, August Messer, that "these writings contain, aboveall, the most systematic,knowledgeableand sharp-sightedpresentation,foundationand defense of epistemologicalrealismthat had appearedupto his time." It is regrettable hat Kiilpe, himself, could not have livedto bring them to a better focus with a culminatingstatementconcerningthe naturaland social scienceswhich he servedand a metaphysicswhichshould be useful, not only to the philosophical specialistbut, more ex-pressly, o the scientificworker.Baumkerremarks hat the termrealisation,which Kiilpe chose to namehis epistemology, s somewhatconfusing because t seems to imply a sub-jective origin. 'Realisation'means, rather, the dynamics of becomingreal.Kiilpewas neithera subjectivistnor a materialist.Reality,he believed,is aneventfulhappening-physical, psychological,historicalandmetaphysi-cal-in the courseof which it definesitself. Perhaps here areno ultimateexistences. Kiilpe makes no claim for absolutes either of substanceorform. His argumentwas chieflynegative-the denialthatreality s limitedto 'consciential' erms. Instead, happeningsare real when they can beshown to be independentof an experiencing subject. Since reality isknown by what it does, Kiilpe's view is as 'operational'as any modernscientist could wish. Although knowledge requiresan experiencingsub-ject, it is neither the knowing self nor the phenomenaof consciousnessthat are 'known,'but the things and events upon which the experiencingsubject is directed.In other words, reality is the occasion for the phe-nomena presentedto a knowing subject.The full natureof realityis ametaphysicalproblem.The partialnature of realityis the problemof thehistorian,and of the scientist.The solution of theseproblems,whole andpart, is not to be found by recourse o absolutes,to a priori forms, or tophenomenological xegetics,but by an everwidening,ever deepeningcon-cern with the objectsupon which our thoughtfulacts are directed.

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