The article explores psychological motives in Leopold Blaustein’s philosophy. Blaustein was educated in Lvov, Freiburg im Breisgau and Berlin. In his original explorations, he attempted to connect a phenomenological perspective with descriptive psychology. As trained by Twardowski, he took over some motives of understanding the method of philosophy (psychology), its objectives and aims. The author situates Blaustein also in a dialogue with Stumpf and next to the context of Dilthey’s humanistic psychology is examined. Finally, the article explores the influences of Gestalt psychology on Blaustein. The ultimate thesis of the article is that Blaustein’s method can be grasped as a phenomenologically oriented descriptive psychology.
According to Gestalt theory the impact of arts is not adequately described as a transfer of an artist’s message into a recipient’s state of mind. As a matter of fact (and effect) art represents complex fields of meaning (figurations) rooting in the specific conditions of art creation and proceeding to the concrete effects of art reception. From a psychological point of view artefacts cannot be reduced to static objects, nor are the recipients to be seen as passive spectators of the scenery. Aesthetical experience is an action field from which the material of art and its reception emerge. In my contribution the relationship of subject and object in art is modelled in terms of Victor von Weizsäcker’s Gestaltkreis of perception and action. For this purpose, I will refer to the favourite subject of art coaching: the Moses of Michelangelo in Rome.
Several subdisciplines within historiography, most notably the arms and armour or martial arts studies, are interested in inferring physical qualities of historical material objects from historical sources. Scholars from these fields face serious deficiency of written accounts when it comes to various crucial information regarding their subject matter. Therefore, researchers’ attention is often drawn to iconographical sources, sometimes resulting in certain fascination with the material culture depicted in primary technical literature (Fachliteratur). This tendency seems particularly strong in studies on HEMA which rely heavily on pre-modern combat treatises known as ‘fight books’ (Fechtbücher) and are tempted either to treat the available iconography as a faithful representation of its corresponding material reality or to interpret apparent mismatch between icono-graphical representations and their material source domain as evidence for the inferior skills of the illustrator.
We would like to put forward that there is a fundamental oversight in such approach to Fachliteratur in general and fight books in particular, namely the lack of consideration for the artwork as a diagrammatic representation of the functional aspects of depicted embodied technique, where proportional ‘realism’ is of lesser priority. It may be fruitful to develop a more nuanced method of ‘reading’ such images. Our survey of select late-medieval fight books shows that equipment, and even body parts, are regularly distorted in their depictions in the fight books to better communicate the subject matter, especially where textual descriptions would be complicated. Interpreted in Gestalt terms, this phenomenon may serve as an example of historical pragmatic application of the cognitive principle of holism – that the whole is something different than the sum of its parts.
In this essay we seek to clarify the meaning and theoretical implications of the statement by Merleau-Ponty contained in his 1953 course, Le Monde Sensible et le Monde de l’Expression, according to which movement is ‘revealing of being’. This analysis takes up and comments on chapter 7 of Koffka’s Principles of Gestalt Psychology (dedicated to the issue of movement) and related experiments in particular. We will show that Merleau-Ponty’s idea of ontology of movement emerges from his examination of several exemplary cases. This method of analysis brings to light an idea of similar phenomenology compatible with an experimental phenomenology.
The movement of repetition is irrevocably linked to the constitution of the human body and is therefore a human condition. The process of hominisation makes this clear. In the body of Homo sapiens and in his movements a connection between nature and culture is created. The movement of repetition is of central importance. Repetition is essential for the evolution of Homo sapiens, the development of communities and individuals. Repetitions are mimetic; they lead to productive imitations in which new elements and events also emerge. Mimetic movements and the repetitive aspects they contain open up the historical and cultural world to people. Repetitions in rituals lead to the acquisition of an implicit silent practical body knowledge. The emotions arising in mimetic processes are movements through which an orientation in the world takes place. The imaginations based on the eccentricity of the human being and on movements of repetition contribute to the development of a collective and individual imaginary.
The paper argues that all emotions possess a spatial and objective, social character. We can gain access to them only insofar as we are affected by them in a felt-bodily way. Therefore, we need a conception of felt embodiment if we are to achieve a philosophical understanding of the spatial character of emotions. Different phenomena, ranging from the atmospheres of landscapes to shared and individual emotions, illustrate the theses concerning the spatiality of emotions and atmospheres, exemplified by the social contrast of emotions, among other things. The next step clarifies why we should distinguish between the emotion itself and the felt-bodily affection by the emotion. By means of distinctions between two types of felt-bodily or corporeal interaction, a unipolar and a bipolar form, we can gain a better understanding of the spatial character of emotions but also how resonances of emotions work. One result of our examination is that we can explain why positive collective emotions become more intense through shared bodily experience.
This paper starts with a short review of recent developments in psychotherapy process research and analyzes that a medical, or better, technical approach in process research – using words such as ‘intervention’, ‘effect’ and ‘outcome’ – is gradually acknowledged as only one side of psychotherapy; the other, more human or ‘humanistic’ side, is ‘conversation’, described by prominent authors as ‘low technology’. Conversation analysis cannot study psychotherapy as a whole. Sessions are subdivided into ‘situations’. What are situations? I make a proposal to answer this question by three components: open up, select and control options. Then, 11 transcribed extracts from psychoanalytical therapy sessions are used to describe three types of situations and the special kind of requirements they demand from a therapist. Obviously, such situations appear during a session, they can be handled if therapists are sensitized for certain difficulties to arise. Shift-of-situation and double meaning are new observations in this approach to define the situational gestalt and train ‘seeing’ it.