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. Spring 2011;47(2):187-99.
doi: 10.1002/jhbs.20495.

The Role of Tone Sensation and Musical Stimuli in Early Experimental Psychology

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The Role of Tone Sensation and Musical Stimuli in Early Experimental Psychology

Sven Hroar Klempe. J Hist Behav Sci. .

Abstract

In this article, the role of music in early experimental psychology is examined. Initially, the research of Wilhelm Wundt is considered, as tone sensation and musical elements appear as dominant factors in much of his work. It is hypothesized that this approach was motivated by an understanding of psychology that dates back to Christian Wolff 's focus on sensation in his empirical psychology of 1732. Wolff, however, had built his systematization of psychology on Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, who combined perception with mathematics,and referred to music as the area in which sensation is united with numerical exactitude. Immanuel Kant refused to accept empirical psychology as a science, whereas Johann Friedrich Herbart reintroduced the scientific basis of empirical psychology by, among other things, referring to music.

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