SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.17 número34Mito y cuidado político en Ernst Cassirer. La función de la Filosofía como constructora de la PazFuturos-presente en juego: especie, interacciones y comunidad en las fronteras tecnológicas índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados




Links relacionados

  • No hay artículos similaresSimilares en SciELO


En-claves del pensamiento

versión On-line ISSN 2594-1100versión impresa ISSN 1870-879X

En-clav. pen vol.17 no.34 México jul./dic. 2023  Epub 28-Jul-2023 


A History of Conceptual Parallax. A Study on the Mutual Influence between the Works of Wundt and Freud

* Universidad Católica del Maule, Chile

** Universidad de Los Lagos, Chile

*** University of London, United Kingdom

**** Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Colombia

***** Universidad Católica del Maule, Chile


Wilhelm Wundt and Sigmund Freud are the founders of psychological modern thought. The concept citation context method was used to analyse the mutual influence. The results show that Wundt's work was important to explain the hallucinatory character of the dream. On the other side, Wundt's quotations about Freud show his refusal to recognize the unconscious as a valid hypothesis to explain any kind of psychological phenomenon. In conclusion, the Freudian unconscious is the excess of the lack of the Wundt´s system to explain phenomena that exceed the study of normal consciousness.

Keywords: Wundt; Freud; Experimental Psychology; Psychoanalysis; History of Psychology


Wilhelm Wundt y Sigmund Freud son los fundadores del pensamiento psicológico moderno. Para analizar la influencia mutua se utilizó el método del contexto de las citas. Los resultados muestran que la obra de Wundt fue importante para explicar el carácter alucinatorio del sueño. Por otro lado, las citas de Wundt sobre Freud muestran su rechazo a reconocer el inconsciente como una hipótesis válida para explicar cualquier tipo de fenómeno psicológico. En conclusión, el inconsciente freudiano es el exceso de la incapacidad del sistema de Wundt para explicar los fenómenos que exceden el estudio de la conciencia normal.

Palabras clave: Wundt; Freud; psicología experimental; psicoanálisis; historia de la psicología


Psychology is still a very young science and in a particular way and very prematurely fragmented into schools, which has meant that psychology “will probably never be unified under a single, coherent and rigorous theoretical framework”.1 Indeed, modern psychology has in Wilhelm Wundt and Sigmund Freud the founders of the most important schools of psychology, namely experimental psychology, and psychoanalysis respectively. The importance of the pair Wundt and Freud in psychology is equivalent to Karl Marx and David Ricardo in economics or Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer in biology. Certainly, historiography has in the past been responsible for forging an image of radical antagonism between Freud and Wundt, then this has begun to be nuanced in recent work such as that published by Gordana Jovanocić who sees that Wundt’s introduction of unconscious mental processes bears certain similarities to Freud’s justification for assuming the existence of the unconscious.2 It is striking that there has never been a study of mutual influences through quotations from the works of both because being contemporaries as it will be seen below, they could not have been indifferent to each other’s work. The reluctance to study the relationship between the two works may be a consequence of the fragmentation of psychology into different schools that have generally been considered as “closed systems, “quite impervious to extraneous influences and to evidence contrary to their conceptual framework”.3

The opposition between psychoanalysis and experimental psychology was not so evident at the beginning, precisely the disciples of Wundt and Freud were the first to point out and describe a certain relationship between the two schools, namely the psychology of normal consciousness as opposed to the psychology of the unconscious or of pathological/abnormal consciousness, as is evident in the text The Message of the Zeitgeist by Granville Stanley Hall (1921). The latter, however, does not oppose both schools; on the contrary, he sees them as fields that in the future could collaborate, given that the object of research was different but not opposed. Another example of this affable relationship was Carl Jung who often quoted Wundt in his experiments in the Zurich clinic. However, a sort of animosity begins to show in texts such as “A Criticism of psychoanalysis” of 1914, in which he describes the climate of criticism of the idea of the unconscious and makes a forceful parting of the waters,

Against this kind of “below-ground activity” subconsciousness Wundt entered the lists long ago, calling it nothing more than “Scheinerklarung”, an atavistic vestige of the old ideas of being “possessed”, which were used to explain supposedly unnatural phenomena in the early days of our race. Since then, continental psychologists and psychiatrists such as Schrenk-Notzing, Ziehen, Binswanger, Krsepelin, Ribot, Bechterew, Vogt, Storring, Ranschburg, etc., adopted the same position. Here in America our psychologists have all, as far as I know, placed themselves on the same side (Catell, Woodworth, Ladd, Münsterberg, Jastrow, Watson, etc.).4

Here the author states that inspired by Wundt’s critique of the unconscious, American psychologists, most of them disciples of Wundt himself, opposed the Freudian unconscious based on the concept of “Scheinerklarung”, while European psychologists and psychiatrists had comfortably assimilated it. Lev Vygotsky in his famous text “Istorícheskii smysl psijologuícheskogo krízisa [the historical significance of the crisis of psychology]” (1927) emphasized more strongly this position in which Wundt was antagonistic to the idea of the unconscious as an “echo of the mystical naturalistic naturalistic philosophy of the early 19th century”. The idea of the unconscious or better still its ontological status is situated as the philosophical element that would definitively divide Freud and Wundt, but which cannot be explained simply as antagonistic. This article argues for establishing that between the two modern thinkers and psychologists there may have been something more than an antagonistic relationship, their works show that some ideas were more or less willingly received in the case of Freud while in the case of Wundt the idea of the unconscious always appeared to him as a danger and he recoiled from any hint that might contradict his psychological system.

Wilhelm Wundt (1833-1920) and Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) are usually regarded as leading figures in modern psychological thought, the former being recognised as the founder of experimental psychology and the latter as the funder of psychoanalysis.5 Although Wundt was 24 years older than Freud, both were influenced by the revolution in the field of life sciences [Naturwissenchaften], modern physiology, anatomy, neuropathology among other sciences that developed since the mid-19th century.6 The classical period of German physiology was a great influence on Wundt and Freud. Wundt’s early years of medical training were under the tutelage of Friedrich Arnold (1803-1890), a professor of anatomy and physiology who worked in University of Tübingen and University of Heidelberg.7 In 1854, Wundt conducted research at home on the effects on respiration after sectioning the vagus and recurrent nerves in rabbits and resulted an article resulting from this research was published in the Archiv für Anatomie, Physiologie und wissenschaftliche Medicin (1834-1876) edited by the German physiologist Johannes Müller.8

In the same way of Wundt, Freud joined to the physiology laboratory of Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke (1819-1892) in his third year of medicine and developed a work in the field of anatomy, specifically on the histology of the nerve cells of the fluvial crayfish.9 Brücke was considered in Berlin as the “ambassador to the Far East” of the classical period of physiological research in Germany (klassische Periode physiologischer Forschung).10 The Berlin School developed the physiology under the principle that the progress of life and in general of all organisms reduced to two forces: attraction and repulsion.11 This physiology principle was a great influence for Freud, as he told to Ernst Jones in 1926 was the theorical influence of the dynamic aspect of psychoanalysis, “forces help or inhibit each other, combine with each other, enter into engagement with each other”.12 The fact that Wundt dissociated from the Helmholtz school and in general from the most significant figures of Berlin physiology, made it impossible for him to have an early meeting with Freud, who had an outstanding work on histology in ganglion cells.13 Wundt wrote in his autobiography that the work in the laboratory with Helmholtz was rather routine and completely devoted to electrophysiological research, but his really interests was on sensory physiology, which according to Helmholtz’s criteria made it “dangerously close” to physiological philosophy.14 Wundt always felt constrained to develop his philosophical readings and once he left Helmholtz’s institute published his first book Physikalichen Axiome un ihre Beziehung zum Causalprincip [Physical Axioms and their Relation to the Causal Principle] (1866).

Wundt and Freud at the end of their training in medicine, had a small step in internal medicine, which produced a pause in their research training. When Wundt completed his training and passed his exams in 1856, decided to become an assistant in a ward for women mostly from a vulnerable social class at the University Hospital of Heidelberg which was run by the professor of anatomy Ewald Hasse (1810-1902). Wundt’s stay at the hospital lasted about half a year, where his patients were in many cases women that suffered from a sensory paralysis as result of leg injuries. His stay in the hospital led him to formulate the problem of localization developed in the book titled Contributions to the Theory of Sensory Perception “Beiträge zur Theorie der Sinneswahrnehmung” (1862). Also, Freud started in hospital practice in psychiatry under the German Hermann Nothnagel.15 Another academic phenomenon that impacted in both scholarship career was the rise of hypnotism in the late nineteenth century. The field of hypnosis was divided between the school of Charcot in the Salpetriere and the school of Bernheim in Nancy, Wundt stated in his text of 1892, that he was not in favor of any school. For Wundt, hypnosis postulates the existence of a second mysterious mind [Unletbmskein] leads to a case of pseudo-explanation in which a new term is introduced to explain the phenomenon and to leave things as they are,

Without doubt, it would be of the greatest importance to obtain precis e introspections during the hypnotic state. But the attainment of this goal presents unusual difficulties. Deep hypnotic sleep makes introspections impossible altogether because of the resulting amnesia. Even in the case of lighter hipnosis which does not rule out memory, it is difficult to obtain the reports of reliable persons trained in psychological observation. Such persons must how, of course, that they will be hypnotized; thus they must be made thoroughly familiar with the situation. But these are circumstances which can prevent the induction of hypnosis and which would certainly increase the difficulty of developing certain symptoms, such as automatism and hallucinations.16

In Hypnotismus und suggestion, Wundt cites the German translation made by Sigmund Freud in 1888 of Bernheim’s work titled De la suggestion.17 The preface to the translation was made by Freud in the years when he was a follower of Charcot and therefore had a rather critical opinion of Bernheim. As Freud expressed in An Autobiographical Study, of hypnosis “I only retaining my practice of requiring the patient to lie upon while I sat behind him, seeing him, but not seen myself”.18 Freud consider that effects of hypnosis were suddenly erased when the personal relationship with the patient was clouded, in other words, the personal affective bond was more powerful than any cathartic work, and secondly, according to Bernheim’s experiments, when the subject awoke from somnambulism, he forgot everything that had happened in that state.19 Freud separates from hypnosis for a very similar reason exposes by Wundt that saw the impossibility of conducting introspection in the state of hypnosis, in other words, the lack of access to the contents of consciousness.20 Curiously, the reasons for which they distanced themselves from hypnosis are similar in some points, however, according to Wundt, psychoanalysis was never detached from this practice, and on the contrary, it would be its philosophical and practical basis.

Although in many cases they are seen as antagonistic thinkers, the former as the psychologist of consciousness while the latter as the founder of the psychology of the unconscious, it is hasty to pass judgment of such magnitude without considering what they thought of each other’s work. To review the mutual influence between the two authors, we reviewed Wundt’s cites in Freud’s work and Freud’s cites in Wundt’s work. Psychoanalysis after The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) took a direction like the development of experimental psychology in Germany as many psychoanalytic schools were founded at the beginning of the 20th century as there were experimental psychology laboratories in the world during the last years of the 19th century. While the rise of psychoanalysis began, Wundt worked on the 10 volumes of the Völkerpsychologie between 1900 and 1920 which signified an “intellectual turn” in his career as it was a field far removed from his experimental research.21 The only few mentions of Freud in Wundt’s works are found in the third volume of the fifth and last re-edition of the Grundzüge der physiologischen psychologie that were published between 1908-1911.22 Only one of the three volumes of the last edition was translated into English by one of his most distinguished disciples and founder of American structuralist psychology, E. B. Titchener, so that Wundt’s views on Freud have been inaccessible to most of the international academy. The third volume, according to the foreword written by Wilhelm Wundt himself, was the one that underwent major changes,

The present third volume of this work has been revised in some chapters more extensively than the previous two volumes. Perhaps the necessity for this may be seen as a pleasing sign that experimental psychology has, in the course of recent years, turned more than before to the more central problems of the life of the soul. In particular, the teaching of the elementary aesthetic feelings and of the affects, as well as the section on consciousness, the course of the imagination, and complex psychic processes, have had to undergo some enlargements and some multiple improvements in the details.23

Freud does not cede too much prominence to Wundt in the antecedents in works like the history of psychoanalysis development in works like The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement (1914) or Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis,24 but instead, this paper corroborated that exists some theoretical elements of Wundt used by Freud in some works of his first twenty years of psychoanalytic literature. On the other hand, some of Freud’s mentions of Wundt give a clear indication of the rivalries existed between the two of the most important schools of psychological thought at the beginning of the twentieth century. A review of Freud’s citations indicates that psychoanalysis differs on theoretical and methodological levels with experimental psychology. On the first point, Freud makes it clear that it is the lack of a parallax structure in Wundt that makes it impossible for him to alert us to the effects of the unconscious. On the second point, regarding methodological discrepancies, Freud accepts some of Wundt’s theses, but he distrusts that the experimental method is the most adequate to arrive at significant results on the unveiling of phenomena of the human soul.

The thesis of this paper is that the relationship between the Freud and Wundt analize through the mutual citation shows a parallax structure, in other words, the co-existence of two perspectives in which the antinomy cannot be dialectically mediated or solved because they have no common element.25 The unique common element between the wundtian experimental psychology and psychoanalysis is the incapability of the first to recognize the unconscious as a necessary instance (ontological or hypothetical) to explain some mental phenomenon. For Wundt the psychoanalysis is an heir to the remnants of the studies of hypnosis, mystical philosophy and spiritualism that were popular in the late nineteenth century. While Freud considered experimental psychology as powerless to recognize in its own findings, the theoretical necessity of constructing a hypothetical instance such as the unconscious. Freud intuits that it is the very results of experimental psychology that show the ways by which progressing through them can lead to the other side of the surface as a Moebius strip indicates, “if we progress far enough on one surface, all of a sudden we find ourselves on its reverse”.26


The mutual influence approach together with other techniques such as co-citation or bibliographical coupling with respect to citations is an approach increasingly used in bibliometric and historical studies to have a complete representation of the position of an author in the academic networks or conceptual structure of an author’s work. Some of the guiding questions included in the Citation context analysis model developed by Anderson and Lemken27 (2020) were used to review the mutual influence between Freud and Wundt appear in their works:

  • 1. What contents of Freud’s and Wundt’s works were quoted by them?

  • 2. To what extent has usage of the works been peripheral versus substantive to the citing author´s main arguments of Wundt and Freud?

  • 3. How many of the citations to the works are critical of their knowledge claims, and what are those criticism?

  • 4. Are important concepts from the focal works neglected or distorted by citing authors?

The 24 volumes of the 1981 seventh edition of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud translated by James Strachey were reviewed. It was found that in 7 of those 24 volumes there was at least one mention of Wilhelm Wundt. On the other hand, we examined Wilhelm Wundt’s works published in German from 1900 onwards and found that 3 works made at least one mention of Sigmund Freud. Two of Wundt’s works in which Freud was mentioned were the reprints of the three volumes of the Grundzüge der physiologischen published between 1908 and 1911 by the Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann editor with the help of Dr. Otto Klemm. The last quotation about Freud was found in the fifteenth edition of Grundrisse der psychologie (1922) published posthumously and edited by his son Max Wundt with the help of the German psychologist Wilhelm Wirth at the Alfred Köner Verlag.

The procedure was developed as described below. First, we reviewed Wundt’s cites in Freud’s complete works (Standard Edition) and the Freud´s cites in Wundt´s works. Second, we determined the argumentative reasons that led Freud to cite Wundt and vice versa according with the citation context of citing publications.

The citations were organized in three categories:

(1) Wundt’s and Freud’s doctrine of dream manifestation: most of the references to Freud in Wundt’s work and Wundt’s references in Freud’s work are concentrated about dreams. The appearance of Wundt’s references in The Interpretation of Dreams had to have repercussions so that 11 years later, Wundt included a new section in the new edition of the Grundzüge der physiologischen on dreams and hypnosis, which was the exclusive object of spiritualist psychology but which in recent times had been taken up again as an object of interest of research in neuropathology in which he includes the investigations of Sigmund Freud.

(2) The phenomena of the unraveling and Völkerpsychologie: Wundt appear as a important author referenced in The Psychopathology of Everyday life (1901) and Totem and Taboo (1913).

(3) The parallax structure of unconscious between Freud and Wundt: the third category corresponded to Freud’s view of what he called the School of Wundt, i.e., the movement of Wundt and his disciples.


The Table 1 shows that the first Freud´s citation about Wundt referred to Physiologischen Psychologie28 and the Völkerpsychologie29 appeared in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901) and Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1916-1917 [1915-1917]).

Table 1 Cites about Wundt in the Standard Edition of Sigmund Freud 

Volume Origin of the citation Citations Cited work

  • The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

  • I. The Scientific literature dealing with the problems of dream

  • III. A dream is the fulfilment of a wish

  • V. The material and sources of dreams

12 Wundt, W. 1874. Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie (p. 66; 235; 236; 656; 657; 658; 662)

  • The Psychopathology of Everyday life (1901)

  • V. Slips of the Tongue

  • VII. The Forgetting of Impressions and Intentions

11 Wundt, W. (1900) Völkerpsychologie. Die Sprache Teil I (p. 63-4; 83; 131-2)
9 Psycho-analysis and the establishment of the facts in legal proceedings (1906) 2 No work mentioned

  • Analysis of a phobia in a five-year-old boy (1909)

  • I. Introduction

2 No work mentioned
13 Totem and Taboo and Others Works (1913) 14 Wund, W. (1906). Völkerpsychologie. Mythus und Religion, Teil II (p. 3; 18; 22-25; 58; 62; 65-66; 75-77; 91; 101; 106; 119)
14 The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement (1914) 1 No work mentioned

  • Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1916-1917 [1915-1917])

  • Part 1. Failed events

2 Wundt, W. 1874. Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie

According to Table 1. The Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie is the most cited work of Wilhelm Wundt in the complete works of Sigmund Freud. The Völkerpsychologie Die Sprache Teil I is the cornerstone of The Psychopathology of Everyday life30 (1901). While volume II of the Völkerpsychologie. Mythus und Religion31 (1906) was fundamental for the writings on anthropology, folklore and philology collected under the name Totem and Taboo and Other Works (1913). For Freud, the work of the Zurich psychoanalytic school led by Carl Jung and the work of Wundt are pioneers in these subject and inspirational sources “it was from these two sources that I received the first stimulus for my own essays”.32

According to Table 2. The appearance of references to Freud in Wundt’s work occurs from the fifth and last editions of the first and third volumes of the Grundzüge der physiologischen psychologie published in 1908 and 1911 respectively. A mention of Freud’s work also appeared in the fourteenth edition of the Grundriss der Psychologie in 1911. The Interpretation of Dreams [Traumdeutung] is Wundt’s most cited work, just the work where Freud includes most of Wundt’s references.

Table 2 Cites about Freud in Wundt’s works 

Origin of the citation Citations Cited work
Grundzüge der physiologischen psychologie (1908) 1 Freud, S. (1891). Zur Auffassung der Aphasien,

  • Grundriss der Psychologie (1922)

  • III. The connection of the mental entities

  • 18. Mental states

  • 9a. Physiological theory of sleep, dream and hypnosis

1 Freud, S. (1900). Die Traumdeutung (p. 340)

  • Grundzüge der physiologischen psychologie (1911)

  • Twentieth Chapter Anomalies of Consciousness 2. Sleep and dream

  • c. Theory of the dream

  • 4. Mental Disorders

3 Freud, S. (1909). Die Traumdeutung (p. 636-638; p. 653)

Wundt’s and Freud’s Doctrine of Dream Manifestation

The first citation to Wilhelm Wundt in the complete works of Sigmund Freud is found in the first part “Scientific Bibliography on the Problems of Sleep” section C “Stimuli and Sources of Sleep” of the book The Interpretation of Dream of 1900. In this section he cites that Wundt and Strümpel to elucidate the problem of the formation of illusions in the face of stimuli that burst in during sleep. Freud cited Wundt as an authoritative argument to defend his doctrine of the formation of dreams as result of psychic operations, from the criticism of his opponents who considered that the dream was the exclusive reproduction of the material already experienced in wakefulness,

Nevertheless, the writers who in general take so unfavourable a view of psychical functioning in dreams allow that a certain remnant of mental activity stills remains in them. This is explicity admitted by Wundt, whose theories have had a determining influence on so many other workers in this field.33

Freud affirmed that Wundt - in what has to do with the formation of the dream - takes an intermediate position, that is, dreams are constructed by the cooperation of both external somatic stimuli and internal subjective stimuli.34 Thus, Freud indicates that authors such as Wundt, Wilhelm Weygandt (1870-1939) and Adolf von Strümpel (1853-1925) represent the formation of the dream as: the sum of sensory impressions that occur during sleep from various external and internal sources, which awaken in the soul several representations that appear as hallucinations. According to Freud, Wundt rightly puts in equivalence the dream with delirium, in the words of the German psychologist, “we can ourselves experience in the dream almost all the phenomena that we encounter in the insane asylums”.35 Thus, it can be affirmed that Freud develops his theory of dreams where Wundt and other physiologists left off, “the doctrine of Strümpel and Wundt is incapable of indicating any motive that regulates the relation between the external stimulus and the dream representation chosen to interpret it, and thus of explaining the “rare selection” that stimuli “carry out with great frequency in their productive activity”.36

Wundt’s doctrine of the manifestation of dreams states that the representations that we know of a dream are based on sensory stimuli, especially kinaesthetic stimuli, which manage to establish associative links with mnemic representations and which we manage to remember in a distorted way in wakefulness, however, in the words of Freud, “it has not been possible to penetrate the reasons why the arousal of images not coming from outside is fulfilled following one or another of the laws of association”.37 In other words, what is the logic that makes a particular sensory stimulus to be associated with a particular mnemic representation?38 This is the first step Freud uses to argue that there are indeed psychic and psychic operations that make the formation of dreams possible. Indeed, the link that Freud intuits between a stimulus and a mnemic representation is the unconscious mechanism, a hypothesis that was always inconceivable to Wundt. Although Freud places Wundt as an important influence in his explanation of the formation of dreams, the latter considers that the psychoanalytic approach to dreams is totally removed from the pretensions of experimental psychology and is a product of the revival of the old dream mysticism and natural philosophy in a modern form,

It is a strange sign of the times that this mystical psychology of dreams finds its most zealous representatives among neuropathologists. In this respect, Sigmund Freud’s dream studies are characteristic. The acclaim which these works enjoy in some medical circles indicates that they give expression to a widespread school of thought which may probably be regarded as a continuation of the preceding hypnotism movement, which has now more or less receded.39

Wundt makes the following reading of Freud’s doctrine of dreams, thus he considers that “every dream contains a thought, and this thought contains, at least in most cases, a wish. Only this desire is not obvious but must first be found through the analysis of the dream”.40 For Wundt, desire is never present in the content of the dream, it is only a reinterpretation that is made of them, therefore, “that totally imaginary psychic mechanism of the unconscious, the preconscious and the conscious must first be invented to make an interpretation possible”.41 Wundt considers that the mechanism used42 to explain dreams are just a fiction and do not have a basis in a real observation as Wundt later stated in Grundriss der Psychologie,43 dreams resist to an exact examination and to the psychological and physiological explanation. As far as dreams were concerned, for Wundt, psychoanalysis was simply an heir to Schellingian philosophy.

The Phenomena of the Unraveling and the Völkerpsychologie

Although indeed Wundt’s work cited by Freud was the Grundzüge der Physiologischen of 1874, it will be shown very briefly below that the publication of the Völkerpsychologie also influenced two very important works of psychoanalysis viz: The Psychopathology of everyday life (1906) and Totem and Taboo (1913). In the Völkerpsychologie he enunciates the phenomena of untranslating, i.e., the uninhibited flow of sound and word associations thus Freud states “In a large series of substitutions,44 the untranslating completely dispenses with such phonetic laws. In this I find myself in full agreement with Wundt, who likewise conjectures that the conditions of retranslating are complex and far exceed the effects of phonetic contact”.45 The work of Totem and Taboo is inspired by the writings of Völkerpsychologie and Jungian psychology, “I readily confess that it was from these two sources that I received the first stimulus for my own essays”, also Freud admits in the beginning that the main difference of his work with those of Wundt and Jung is the methodological aspect,

Thus they offer a methodological contrast on the one hand to Wilhelm Wundt’s extensive work, which applies the hypotheses and working methods of non-analytic psychology to the same purposes, and on the other hand to the writings of the Zurich school of psychoanalysis, which endeavour, on the contrary, to solve the problems of individual psychology with the help of material derived from social psychology.46

Wundt considers that the taboo “describes taboo as the oldest human unwritten code of laws. It is generally supposed that taboo is older than gods and dates to a period before any kind of religion existed”.47 Wundt’s objective is thus to refer to “to trace back the concept of taboo to its earliest roots”. Wundt considers that the taboo is the result of the belief of primitive peoples in demonic powers and that later it was detached from that root and becomes a power that has its own foundation as law or tradition. Against this thesis outlined by Wundt, Freud declares that he finds it dissapointment, “Neither fear nor demons can be regarded by psychology as ‘earliest’ things, impervious to any attempt at discovering their antecedents”.48

For Freud the explanation given by Wundt that the essence of the taboo is the fear of demons may be acceptable, but he considers that it is necessary to go deeper into the fact that demons are projections of hostile feelings. Freud uses the concept of projection as it would be used more rigorously -two years later- in his text Mourning and Melancholia, which consists in throwing [werfen] -what one does not want to know- from the inside to the outside world and it is placed in another person or in the totem itself (Freud, 1915-1917). Freud in his bibliographical review, in addition to Wundt, cites the sociologists James Georges Frazer [1854-1941] and the Dutchman G.A. Wilken [1847-1891] and the American ethnologists Franz Boas [1858-1942] and Charles Hill-Tout [1858-1944], to conclude that none dared to review the close relationship of totemism with exogamy and the prohibition of incest.

Finally, in this text, Freud ratifies his opposition with Wundt when he points out in the Elemente der Völkerpsychologie concerning the taboo, that “we promise to go back to the ultimate roots of the representations of the taboo”, however, his approach is questioned when he begins his study of the circumstances of the Australian savages, rather than in the higher culture of the Polynesians. For Freud, understanding the ultimate roots of the representations of the taboo must necessarily be in line with psychoanalysis, i.e., that the taboo, although - as Wundt pointed out - implies the sacred and the venerated, should not be understood as the ratification of the law that one stage surpasses the other but, as Freud states, it is the persistence of a lower stage, even if the objects of its veneration are transformed into objects of abhorrence.

The Parallax Structure of Unconscious between Freud and Wundt

In relation to the first category of citations Wundt School, shows that Freud was very critical of Wilhelm Wundt, “Wundt’s experiments obtained nothing [...] because they were not carried out within a certain approach and lacked an idea that could be applied to the results”.49 Moreover, Freud claimed that Wundt’s experiments became fruitful when Bleuler and Jung, inspired by psychoanalysis, began to deal with association experiments. Freud considered that the experiments developed by experimental psychology alone lacked a theory capable of making sense of the results or explaining the reactions obtained from the association experiments. This criticism made by Freud is consistent with what Wundt thought about the “modest help” that experimental psychology could offer to the psychopathologist precisely because to the extent that the results of experimental psychology are focused on normal consciousness, little can be applied to the “disturbed life of the soul”.50

Freud’s differences with the School of Wundt became even more palpable in the 1909 Analysis of a phobia in a five-year-old boy [Analyse der Phobie eines fünfjährigen Knaben], in which Freud compared Wundt to Little Hans,

We can go a step further in vindicating little Hans’s honour. As a matter of fact, he was behaving no worse than a philosopher of the school of Wundt. In the view of that school, consciousness is the invariable characteristic of what is mental, just as in the view of little Hans a widdler is the indispensable criterion of what is animate.51

At the beginning of the analysis of little Hans, one of his most famous cases of infantile obsessional neurosis, Freud criticized the reasoning of the philosophers of consciousness, especially the school of Wundt. According to Freud, Wundt and his school, which he calls with special emphasis philosophers and not psychologists, were incapable of granting the unconscious an existence independent of consciousness, hence his insistence on calling it semi-consciousness,

If now the philosopher comes across mental processes whose existence cannot but be inferred, but about which there is not a trace of consciousness to be detected-for the subject, in fact, knows nothing of them, although it is impossible to avoid inferring their existence then, instead of saying that they are unconscious mental processes, he calls them semi-conscious.52

Although Wundt’s association experiments, as Jung related, gave some empirical glimpse of the unconscious, Wundt persisted that consciousness is the sign of all mental activity, in other words, there is no mental activity other than conscious activity, therefore, the existence of the unconscious cannot be declared. Freud pointed out the limits of Wundt’s experimental psychology and even more of the philosophical element that distanced them. Wundt is anchored in a paradigm of psychophysical parallelism, in that sense, he denies the interaction of the physical with the psychic; then, any physical event, however tenuous it may be, is necessarily accompanied by its psychic correlate, “Spiritual processes are no longer copies of physical processes, but are totally different from them, and are only in a fixed relationship with them in the sense that every material process corresponds to a spiritual one and every spiritual process to a material one”.53 For Wundt, the figure of parallelism was the way to demonstrate the compatibility of the figure of interaction with the principle of natural causality.54

In short, Wundt criticized the attribution of psychological processes as effects of physical processes, so that they would degenerate into pure “shadow or mirror images” of them (Wundt’s Critique), the better to recognize two independent causalities (Wundt’s Solution),

Nothing prevents us from saying: the psychic effects of physical causes are psychic processes that arise from a physical causal series in such a way that their appearance does not produce any change in the course of that physical series; and the physical effects of psychological causes are physical processes that are regularly connected with psychological conditions, but which, from a physical point of view, must always be completely deductible from a physical series of causalities.55

Freud, like Wundt, in his 1892 book on aphasias [Zur Auffassung der Aphasien], came out early in favor of psychophysiological parallelism as a philosophical basis for the critique of Carl Wernicke’s [1848-1905] localizationism. In the first volume of the Grundzüge der physiologischen psychologie he recognizes in Freud’s text on aphasias a work that supports the thesis that there is an incongruence between the anatomical mechanism and the functions of language.56 Freud opposed the localization theory of language disorders and proposed a fundamental change of perspective in aphasia research, thus addressing the “functional conditions of the language apparatus” and its “nature as a Mechanism of association”.57

The chain of physiological processes in the nervous system is probably not related to the causality of the psychological processes. Physiological processes do not stop from the beginning of psychological processes, but the physiological chain continues, only that each link in the chain (or individual links) corresponds from a certain moment to a psychological phenomenon. Therefore, the psychic is a process parallel to the physiological one (“a dependent concomitant”).58

Like John Hughlings Jackson, Freud contradicted Wernicke’s attempt to separate language and thought. In the text on aphasias, Freud’s use of concepts such as “language apparatus” borrowed from Meynert or “representations” and “projection” from Herbart, it demonstrates that Freud’s enduring adherence to physiological concepts. When psychoanalysis was created and expanded theoretically, Freud expressly said goodbye to parallelism and its “insoluble difficulties”.59 But neither did he take the figure of interaction as his new point of reference. Rather, Freud assigned the unconscious, itself, as the place between the psyche and the physical and described it as “the right mediation between the physical and the mental, perhaps the long-lost ‘missing link’”.60 Freud was aware of the problems that the psychophysiological parallelism could bring them, especially the inescapable “panpsychism” and the definitive foundation of dualism and its “indissoluble difficulties”.61

In other words, the unconscious and consciousness are not two different entities, they are one and the same entity inscribed on two Möbius strip surfaces. Freud posits the unconscious as an entity that pushes beyond the contents of consciousness. The Freudian unconscious is marked by an irreducible impossibility, it is that lost link between the mnemic representation and the external stimulus that Wundt could not resolve and that Freud was able to resolve through a movement that can be called parallax, i.e. the “negation of the negation” insofar as Freud constructs the unconscious from the denial made by Wundt and by the philosophers or psychologists of consciousness of the late nineteenth century that there are no psychological processes beyond those existing in consciousness.

Curiously the relationship between disciples of experimental psychology and psychoanalysis was very friendly and appreciative. Precisely in a letter of Hall to Freud made evident the paradoxical situation that arose between both psychoanalysis and experimental psychology, “psychopathologist have learned upon stock psychologists like Wundt, your own interpretation reverses the situation and make us Normal psychologist look to this work in the abnormal or borderline field for our chief light”62 (Hall, 1909: 1-2). Hall and other disciples of Wundt perceived the psychoanalysis as an abnormal or borderline field but some of them were interested in his theory and his applications in the field of psychopathology. In the same way, Carl Jung was assistant to Eugene Bleuler (1857-1939) at the Burghölzli University Clinic in Zurich, applied Wundt’s experimental and psychometric method of word associations, also used by Emil Kraepelin, and found that some people did not react to inducing words, which led him to prove empirically what Freud called “unconscious inhibition”.63

Wundt claimed that psychoanalysis was a “double-edged sword”, he conceded that psychoanalysis was fruitful for the diagnosis and therapy of mental illness,

the physician must analyze the patient’s emotional life, keeping all disturbing influences at bay, by means of participatory questions until he finds the emotions from the suppression of which, according to Freud’s hypothesis, the disease has arisen and which, according to him, are mostly of a sexual nature. By recalling this occasion, which usually goes back to childhood, the sick person is supposed to provoke the discharge of the repressed affect and thus reduce or eliminate it and with it the malady. Accordingly, Freud relies here on the real property of affects that their uninhibited discharge can bring about their resolution, while their suppression has not infrequently a prejudicial effect.64

For Wundt there is a similarity with some hypotheses of the psychology of affects that governs psychoanalytic therapy, i.e., that the non-discharge of repressed affect produces certain mental pathologies, “Freud’s psychological hypothesis, based on these observations, and the therapeutic method derived from it, have already been dealt with from the point of view of the general psychology of the affects”.65

At the Gates of the Unconscious. Pulsion [Trieb] a Concept Outlined by Wundt

Although Wundt’s estrangement from the natural sciences made him unable to take the definitive step in the recognition of the psychic unconscious, in Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie he outlined a theory of the drive [Trieb] one of the most important concepts of Freudian metapsychology, according to Freud a borderline concept between the biological and the psychic,

We cannot observe this inner development of the instincts of animals, but only of some instincts of the human being. Here we can see that, for example, in the case of the sex instinct, desire in its first obscure movements is not at all conscious of any particular goal; it is not dominated by ideas, but the existing instinct only takes possession of certain ideas that are presented to it during the development of individual consciousness.66

Wundt, like Freud, speaks of the indeterminacy of the original impulses and uses the term Trieb in seiner and states that therein lies the seed of the manifold aberrations to which men are subject. As Freud states in his theory of drives, these differ from instincts [instink], in the way that they are not completely biological and mainly because the object of satisfaction is far from being fixed, this bears similarity with the following passage from Wundt: “sensory stimuli are certainly necessary for the first appearance of the impulses; but these sensory stimuli have no particular relation to the ideas of which the impulse takes hold in its realization, since they produce no ideas at all, but only sensory sensations and feelings”.67

According to Wundt, “the child’s food instinct does not come from the sight of the mother’s breast or from the idea of food, but from a feeling of hunger which provokes all the movements that finally lead to the satisfaction of desire. If the child’s impulse has often been satisfied in this way, then the obscure idea of the external objects that present themselves and of its own movements will gradually be added to it, and it will be capable of the reproduced image of all these persons is thus combined with the sensation of hunger”.68 Wundt anticipated a fundamental idea of Freud, and that is that the “biological need” is determined by the interaction with the person who satisfies it, “If the child’s drive has often been satisfied in this way, then the obscure idea of external objects presenting themselves and of his own movements will gradually be added to it, and he will be capable of the reproduced image of all these persons is thus combined with the sensation of hunger”, here again we glimpse the radical idea that the satisfaction occurs in a partial manner.

According to Freud, the drive aims at satisfaction the “suppression of the state of excitation in the pulsional origin”, what do we understand by pulsional origin? Let us recall that in the Project of Psychology it was stated that the principle of inertia of physiology -which postulated that every neural system tends to discharge by excitation- in this sense, can be defined as endogenous stimuli or in other words that come from the bodily element itself, “All the functions of the nervous system can be comprised either under the aspect of the primary function or of the secondary one imposed by the exigencies of life”.69 Wundt stated on the same point, that “the idea only arises when the drive reaches its fulfillment; but the drive itself returns from bodily feelings which contain nothing of that idea. In other cases, the stimuli which arouse the instincts become effective immediately with the onset of independent life and remain so continuously”.70


At the end of An Outline of psychoanalysis, Freud affirmed that between psychoanalysis and philosophy there was some conflict over the psychic apparatus, “Now it would seem as if this dispute between psychoanalysis and philosophy concerned only an insignificant question of definition - the question of whether the name “psychic” should be applied to one or the other sequence of phenomena”.71 In the same text, alluding to the psychology of consciousness, whose major representative was precisely Wundt and his school, although not explicitly named. Freud stated, “In fact, however, this step has become of the highest significance While the psychology of consciousness never went beyond the broken sequences which obviously depended on something else, the other point of view, which held that the psychic is unconscious in itself, enables psychology to take its place as a natural science”.72 Freud also uses Wundt in many cases to put in evidence the legitimacy of his “discovery”, thus his unconscious, the Freudian unconscious, is not the same “unconscious” intuited by philosophers and/or psychologists of consciousness.

After reviewing the biographical elements of Wundt and Freud and the mutual cites can be concluded that their relationship has a parallax structure because the wundtian definition of unconscious belongs of his own system of psychology where this kind of instance is seeing like a metaphysical while the Freudian approach of unconscious belongs of the natural sciences.73 Wundt affirmed that the object of study of experimental psychology should move away from the metaphysical problems of philosophy and was not the same of the natural sciences because they prevented to scientific psychology raise his own problems.74 In contrast, in 1938 Freud declared that the psychoanalysis “is also a natural science” [Die Psychologie ist auch eine Naturwissenschaft], in other words, psychoanalysis had its origin and would have its future in the sciences of nature.75 Clearly, psychoanalysis creates the unconscious as a thing that persists beyond the death sentence that experimental psychology passed on any hint of mysticism or transcendental philosophy that might exist in the treatment of psychic phenomena. The Freudian unconscious acts as a ghost resulting from the failure of the Project of experimental psychology, Wundt himself indicates the modest help that it presents to the knowledge of sick consciousness or non-normal stages of consciousness present in the third volume of the last re-edition of Grundzüge der physiologischen psychologie (1911).

Freud’s inclusion in the last revised part of Wundt’s Grundzüge der physiologischen psychologie shows the impossibility of closing his own system of thought, that some of the proposed categories show a lack and give way to the need to recognize again a remainder that had been denied in his doctrine, as evidenced in his rejection of hypnosis,

Sigmund Freud’s dream studies are characteristic. The acclaim enjoyed by these works in some medical circles indicates that they give expression to a widespread school of thought which can probably be regarded as a continuation of the preceding hypnotism movement, which has now more or less receded.76

The parallax structure between Wundt and Freud is palpable in that both place their objects of research on different theoretical planes, different positions that they took derived from the “quarrel of methods” (Methodenstreit), which arose from the rise of the so-called human or spirit sciences and their criticism of the sciences of nature and led to the division of the scientific community between the sciences of nature (Naturwissenchaften) and the sciences of the spirit (Geiteswissenschaften).77 Freud claimed a place for the psychoanalysis in the natural sciences, “Freud uses the same vocabulary as Haeckel in everything he says (in relation to the humanities)” and is “influenced by the anti-dualist culture of physicists, physiologists, German psychologists and the empiricism of John Stuart Mill”.78 As noted in the article, the major point of relationship of Wundt and Freud occurs in the book The Interpretation of Dream, which contrary to what authors such as Ricoeur79 (1970) who asserted that this work brought psychoanalysis into the field of hermeneutic sciences; this work does not change its belonging to the natural sciences and this is palpable insofar as Freud cites as antecedents to his theory of dream formation authors from physiology, among whom he cites Wundt. Precisely Freud’s doctrine of dream formation is a continuation of a problem that Wundt could not develop, as was shown in the article, as a consequence of the theoretical restrictions that his model designated for him. The interpretation of the dream that often stands out on the hermeneutic side, its explanation never breaks with a causal and explanatory deterministic structure; this is how Freudian dream interpretation always leads to an explanation as it does in the natural sciences.

This article showed for the first time the mutual influences between the works of Wundt and Freud and it was found that the relationship of antagonism is the product of a superficial and prejudiced reading of both. The best way to prove the contrary was to refer to reading directly what each had said about the other in the strictly academic field. This fact leads us to the need to examine the existing and past psychological projects in search of the true elements that differentiate them from each other precisely because the search for psychology to be a science must necessarily be based on solid and clearly defined conceptual, epistemological, and methodological foundations. This article aimed to find a “philosophical explanation of a historical event” in this case the historical separation of both psychological systems (Fierro & de Freitas-Araujo, 2020).80


Anderson, Marc H. y Lemken, Russell K. “Citation Context Analysis as a Method for Conducting Rigorous and Impactful Literature Reviews”. Organizational Research Methods, 2020. [ Links ]

Araujo, Saulo De Freitas. Wundt and the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology: A Reappraisal. Cham: Springer, 2016. [ Links ]

Ardila, Rubén. “La necesidad de unificar la psicología: el paradigma de la síntesis experimental del comportamiento”. Revista Colombiana de Psicología, núm. 12 (2003): 28-37. [ Links ]

Assoun-Laurent, Paul. Introducción a la epistemología freudiana. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores, 1981. [ Links ]

Bernfeld, Siegfried. “Freud’s Earliest Theories and the School of Helmholtz”. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 13 (1944): 341-362. [ Links ]

Boring, Edwing. A History of Experimental Psychology. New York: The Century CO, 1929. [ Links ]

Biehler, Johannes. “Freud et les sciences de la nature (Naturwissenschaften)”. Wißbegierde et structuration psychique , Section I et II, 2006: s.p. [ Links ]

Blumenthal, Arthur. “Wilhelm Wundt: Psychology as the propaedeutic Science”. En Claude E. Buxton (ed.), Points of View in the Modern History of Psychology, 19-47. Florida: Academic Press, 1985. [ Links ]

Boruttau, Heinrich. Emil du Bois-Reymond. Leipzig: Rikola Verlag, 1922. [ Links ]

Bringmann, Wolfgang G. “Wundt in Heidelberg: 1845-1874”. Canadian Psychological Review 16, num. 2 (1975): 124-129. [ Links ]

Busacchi, Vinicio. “Lacan’s Epistemic Role in Ricœur's Re-Reading of Freud”. Ricoeur Studies/Etudes Ricoeuriennes 7, núm. 1 (2016): 56-71. [ Links ]

Danziger, Kurt. “Wilhelm Wundt and the Emergence of Experimental Psychology”. En R. C. Olby, G. N. Cantor, J. R. R. Christie y M. J. S. Hodge (eds.), Companion to the History of Modern Science, 396-409. London & New York: Routledge, 1996. [ Links ]

Diamond, Solomon. “Wundt before Leipzig”. En R. W. Rieber., D. K. Robinson (eds.), Wilhelm Wundt in History. Path in Psychology, 1-68. Boston: Springer, 2001. [ Links ]

Erlingsson, Steindór J. “From Haeckelian Monist to Anti-haeckelian Vitalist: The Transformation of the Icelandic Naturalist Thorvaldur Thoroddsen (1855-1921)”. Journal of the History of Biology 35 (2002): 443-470. [ Links ]

Fierro, Catriel, y Saulo Araujo de Freitas. “A Case for a Philosophical History of Psychology: An Interview with Saulo de Freitas Araujo at the Centenary of the Death of Wilhelm Wundt”. Human Arenas, núm. 4. (2021): 64-73. [ Links ]

Fink, Karl J. “Actio in Distans, Repulsion, Attraction: The Origin of an Eighteenth Century Fiction”. Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte 25, núm. 1 (1982): 69-87. [ Links ]

Fortineau, Elisabeth. “Bernheim face à Charcot et Freud. L’École de Nancy”. L’Information Psychiatrique 61, núm. 3 (1985): 413-420. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “The Interpretation of Dream (First part)”. En SE 4, 1-338, 1900. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life”. En SE 6, 1-239, 1901. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “Psycho-analysis and the Establishment of the Facts in Legal Proceedings”. En SE 9, 97-114, 1906. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy”. En SE 10, 3-148, 1909. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “Totem and Taboo”. En SE 13, 1-162, 1913. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement”. En SE, 14, 1-66, 1914. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis”. En SE, 15, 1-483, 1916-1917 [1915-1917]. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “An Autobiographical Study”. En SE, 20, 3-71, 1925. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “Project for a Scientific Psychology”, En SE, 1, pp. 283-397, 1950 [1895]. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess 1887-1904. London: Harvard University Press, 1985. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund. “An Outline of Psycho-analysis”. En SE, 23, 141-205, 1940[1938]. [ Links ]

Freud, Sigmund, y Georg Groddeck. “Correspondance (1917-1934)”. The Mental Illness, 31-108, 1988. [ Links ]

Green, Christopher D. “Why Psychology isn’t Unified, and Probably Never Will Be”. Review of General Psychology 19, núm. 3. (2015): 207-214. [ Links ]

Greenwood, John. “Wundt, Völkerpsychologie, and Experimental Social Psychology”. History of Psychology 6, núm. 1. (2003): 70-88. [ Links ]

Grünbaum, Adolf. “Eine zusammenfassende Darstellung von die Grundlagen der Psychoanalyse: Eine philosophische Kritik”. En Adolf Grünbaum (ed.), Kritische Betrachtungen zur Psychoanalyse Adolf Grünbaums “Grundlagen” in der Diskussion, 3-34. Budapest, Springer, 1991. [ Links ]

Haberman, Jhon Victor. “A Criticism of Psychoanalysis”. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology 9, núm. 4. (1914): 265-280. [ Links ]

Jones, Ernest. Vida y obra de Sigmund Freud. Tomo I. Barcelona: Anagrama, 1981. [ Links ]

Jovanovic, Gordana. “A Revival of Wundt’s Heritage: Searching for the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology from an Historical Perspective”. Theory & Pscyhology 28, núm. 6. (2018): 847-854. [ Links ]

Jung, Carl. “The Huston Films [1957]”. En William Mcguire y R. F. C Hull (eds.), C. G. Jung Speaking. Interviewers and Encounters, 276-352. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957. [ Links ]

Lemm, Vanessa. “Deconstructing the Human: Ludwig Binswanger on Homo Natura in Nietzsche and Freud”. En Daniel Conway (ed.), Nietzsche an the Antichrist. Religion, Politics and culture in Late Modernity, 205-228. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. [ Links ]

Myers, Frederic W. H. “Wundt on Hypnotism and Suggestion”. Mind 2 (1893): 95-101. [ Links ]

Ricoeur, Paul. Freud and Philosophy. An Essay on Interpretation. New Heaven and London: Yale University Press, 1970. [ Links ]

Robinson, David Kent. Wilhelm Wundt and the Establishment of Experimental Psychology, 1875-1914: The Context of a New Field of Scientific Research. Doctoral Dissertation, University of California, 1987. [ Links ]

Roudinesco, Élisabeth. Freud en su tiempo y en el. Madrid: Debate, 2014. [ Links ]

Simonsz, H. J. “Johannes Peter Müller’s First Description of the Relation Between Accommodation and Vergence, and of Accommodative Esotropia in 1826”. Strabismus 18, núm. 1. (2010): 1-2. https://doi: 10.3109/09273971003627310. [ Links ]

Stadler, Christian. “Aufstellungsarbeit von Träumen”. En C. Stadler y B. Kress (eds.), Praxishandbuch Aufstellungsarbeit. Grundlagen, Methodik und Anwendungsgebiete, 461-475. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2020. [ Links ]

Stanley-Hall, Granville. “Letter to Freud, 4 November 1909”. En Sigmund Freud Papers: General Correspondence, 1871-1996; Hall, G. Stanley; Originals and miscellaneous photocopies, 1908-1913, 1909. [ Links ]

Stanley-Hall, Granville. “The Message of the Zeitgeist”. The Scientific Monthly 13, núm. 2 (1921): 106-116. [ Links ]

Vygotsky, Lev Semenovich. “Istoricheskii smysl krizisa v psikhologii”. Sobranie sochienlli (1927). [ Links ]

Wassmann, Claudia. “Physiological Optics, Cognition and Emotion: A Novel Look at the Early Work of Wilhelm Wundt”. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 64 (2009): 213-249. https://doi: 10.1093/jhmas/jrn058. [ Links ]

Weneger, Mai. “Der psychophysische parrallelismus”. NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 17 (2009): 277-316. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Physikalischen Axiome un Ihre Beziehung zum Causalprincip. Erlangen: Verlag von Ferdinand Enke, 1866. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie, Leipzig, Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1874. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Hipnotismus und Suggestion. Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1892. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology. Leipzig: Swan Sonneschein & Co, 1894. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Völkerpsychologie Vol. 1. Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann , 1900. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Outlines of Psychology. Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann , 1902. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Völkerpsychologie. Eine Untersuchung der Entwicklungsgesetze von Sprache, Mythus und Sitte [Folk Psychology. An Investigation of the Developmental Laws of Language, Myth, and Cutom]. Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann , 1906. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Grundzüge der Physiologischen Psychologie Band I (6. Aufl.) [Basic Principles of Physiological Psychology Volume I (6th ed.)]. Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann , 1908. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Grundzüge der Physiologischen Psychologie Band III (6. Aufl.) [Basic Principles of Physiological Psychology Volume III (6th ed.)]. Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann , 1911. [ Links ]

Wundt, Wilhelm. Grundriss der Psychologie (15 . Aufl.) [Outlines of Psychology (15th ed.)]. Leipzig: Alfred Kröner Verlag, 1922. [ Links ]

Žižek, Slavoj. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Lacan (But were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock). London y New York: Verso, 1992. [ Links ]

Žižek, Slavoj. The Parallax View (Short Circuits). Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. [ Links ]

1 Christopher D. Green, “Why Psychology isn’t Unified, and Probably Never Will Be”. Review of General Psychology 19, no. 3 (2015): 208.

2 Gordana Jovanocić, "A Revival of Wundt’s Heritage: Searching for the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology from an hisTorical Perspective". Theory & Psychology 28, num. 6 (2018): 847-854.

3See Rubén Ardila, “La necesidad de unificar la psicología: el paradigma de la síntesis experimental del comportamiento”, Revista Colombiana de Psicología, no. 12 (2003): 34.

4 J. Victor Haberman, “A Criticism of Psychoanalysis”, The Journal of Abnormal Psychology 9, no. 4 (1914): 275.

5 Kurt Danziger, “Wilhelm Wundt and the Emergence of Experimental Psychology”, in Companion to the History of Modern Science, ed. R. C. Olby, G. N. Cantor, J. R. R. Christie y M. J. S. Hodge (London & New York: Routledge, 1996): 396-409.

6 Arthur Blumenthal, “Wilhelm Wundt: Psychology as the Propaedeutic Science”, in Points of View in the Modern History of Psychology, ed. Claude E. Buxton (Florida, Academic Press, 1985): 19-47; Vanessa Lemm, “Deconstructing the human: Ludwig Binswanger on Homo Natura in Nietzsche and Freud”, in Nietzsche an the Antichrist. Religion, Politics and culture in Late Modernity, ed. Daniel Conway (New York: NY, Bloomsbury Academic, 2019): 205-228.

7 Saulo De Freitas Araujo, Wundt and the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology: A Reappraisal (Springer, 2016).

8 Solomon Diamond, “Wundt Before Leipzig”, in Wilhelm Wundt in History. Path in Psychology, ed. R.W. Rieber., D.K. Robinson (Boston: Springer, 2001): 1-68; Herb Simonsz, “Johannes Peter Müller’s first description of the relation between accommodation and vergence, and of accommodative esotropia in 1826”, Strabismus, 18, no. 1 (2010): 1-2; Claudia Wassmann, “Physiological optics, cognition and emotion: a novel look at the early work of Wilhelm Wundt”, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 64 (2009): 213-249.

9 Ernest Jones, Vida y obra de Sigmund Freud. Tomo I [Life and Work of Sigmund Freud. Volume I] (Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1981).

10 Heinrich Boruttau, Emil du Bois-Reymond (Leipzig: Rikola Verlag, 1922).

11 Karl J. Fink, “Actio in Distans, Repulsion, Attraction: The Origin of an Eighteenth Century Fiction”, Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte 25, num. 1 (1982): 69-87.

12 Ernest Jones, Vida y obra de Sigmund Freud. Tomo I [Life and Work of Sigmund Freud. Volume I] (Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1981), 65.

13 Siegfried Bernfeld, “Freud’s earliest theories and the school of Helmholtz”, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 13 (1944): 341-362.

14 Steindór J. Erlingsson, “From Haeckelian Monist to Anti-haeckelian Vitalist: The Transformation of the Icelandic naturalist Thorvaldur Thoroddsen (1855-1921)”, Journal of the History of Biology 35 (2002): 443-470; David Kent Robinson, Wilhelm Wundt and the Establishment of Experimental Psychology, 1875-1914: The Context of a New Field of Scientific Research, Doctoral dissertation, University of California (1987).

15 Wolfgang G. Bringmann, “Wundt in Heidelberg: 1845-1874”, Canadian Psychological Review 6, no. 2 (1975): 124-129; Élisabeth Roudinesco, Freud en su tiempo y en el nuestro [Freud in his Time and in Ours] (Madrid: Debate, 2014).

16 Wilhelm Wundt, Hipnotismus und Suggestion (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1892), 40.


18 Sigmund Freud, “An Autobiographical Study”, SE, 20 (1925), 28.

19 Elisabeth Fortineau, “Bernheim face à Charcot et Freud. L’École de Nancy”. L’Information Psychiatrique61, num. 3 (1985): 413-420.

20 Frederic W. H Myers, “Wundt on Hypnotism and Suggestion”, Mind, 2 (1893): 95-101.

21 John Greenwood, “Wundt, Völkerpsychologie, and experimental social psychology”, History of Psychology6, num. 1 (2003): 70-88.

22 Edwing Boring, A History of Experimental Psychology (New York: The Century CO, 1929).

23Wilhelm Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie Band III (6. Aufl.) [Basic Principles of Physiological Psychology Volume III (6th ed.)] (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1911), v.

24 Sigmund Freud, “The history of the psychoanalytic movement”, SE, 14 (1914); Sigmund Freud, “Introductory lectures on psychoanalysis”, SE, 15 (1916-1917 [1915-1917]).

25 Slavoj Žižek, The Parallax View (Short Circuits) (Cambridge: MA, MIT Press, 2006).

26 Slavoj Žižek, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Lacan (But were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock) (London and New York: Verso, 1992), 227.

27 Marc H. Anderson y Russell K Lemken Citation context analysis as a method for conducting rigorous and impactful literature reviews. Organizational Research Methods (2020).

28Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen.

29 Wilhelm Wundt, Völkerpsychologie Vol. 1 (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1900).

30 Sigmund Freud, “The Psychopathology of everyday life”, SE 6 (1901).

31 Sigmund Freud, “Psycho-analysis and the establishment of the facts in legal proceedings”, SE 9 (1906).

32 Sigmund Freud, “Totem and Taboo”, SE 13 (1913), xiii.

33 Sigmund Freud, “The Interpretation of Dream (First part)”, SE 4 (1900), 57.


35Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie, 662.

36Freud, “The Interpretation of Dream (First part)”, 120.

37Ibid., 122.

38Ibid., 130.

39Wilhelm Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie Band III (6. Aufl.) [Basic Principles of Physiological Psychology Volume III (6th ed.)] (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1911), 640.


41Ibid., 640.

42This is the version Wundt received on dream formation from Freud, “Since the unfulfilled wishes of the waking state of the child play an important role in dreams, it is said that most dreams, including those of adults, are “wish dreams”. But this character is determined by the peculiar interaction of the unconscious, which is the real home of dreams, with consciousness and the “preconscious” that lies between the two. It is this preconscious that retains, mutilates or falsifies the “dream thought” that has arisen in the unconscious according to the intentions of the waking consciousness”.

43 Wilhelm Wundt, Grundriss der Psychologie (15. Aufl.) [Outlines of Psychology (15th ed.)] (Leipzig: Alfred Kröner Verlag, 1922).

44 Wilhelm Wundt, Völkerpsychologie Vol. 1 (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1900), 58.

45Freud, “The Psychopathology of everyday life”, 83.

46Freud, “Totem and Taboo”, xiii.

47Freud, “Psycho-analysis and the establishment of the facts in legal proceedings”, 308.

48Freud, “Totem and Taboo”, 24.

49 Sigmund Freud, “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy”, SE 10 (1909), 87.

50Wilhelm Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie Band III.

51Freud, “Analysis of a Phobia…”, 12.


53 Wilhelm Wundt, Lectures on human and animal psychology (Leipzig: Swan Sonneschein & Co, 1894), 41.

54 Mai Weneger, “Der psychophysische parrallelismus”. NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin, 17 (2009): 277-316.

55Wundt, Lectures on Human…, 36.

56Wilhelm Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie Band I (6. Aufl.) [Basic Principles of Physiological Psychology Volume I (6th ed.)] (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1908), 308.

57Sigmund Freud, Zur Auffassung der Aphasien (Leipzig: Franz Deuticke, 1895), 98.


59Weneger, “Der Psychophysische Parrallelismus”, 277-316.

60 Sigmund Freud and Georg Groddeck “Correspondance (1917-1934)”, The Mental Illness (1988).

61Weneger, “Der Psychophysische Parrallelismus”, 277-316.

62 Granville Stanley-Hall, “Letter to Freud, 4 November 1909”. In Sigmund Freud Papers: General Correspondence, 1871-1996; Hall, G. Stanley; Originals and miscellaneous photocopies, 1908-1913” (1909).

63 Carl Jung, “The Huston films [1957]”, In C. G. Jung Speaking. Interviewers and Encounters. Princeton, ed. William Mcguire and R. F. C Hull (NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957)

64Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie Band III, 640.

65Ibid., 636.

66Wilhelm Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie (Leipzig, Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1874), 810.



69 Sigmund Freud, “Project for a scientific psychology”, SE, 1 (1950 [1895]), 297.

70Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie, 810-811.

71 Sigmund Freud, “An outline of Psycho-analysis”, SE, 23 ([1938] 1940), 158.


73 Paul Assoun-Laurent, Introducción a la epistemología freudiana [Introduction to Freudian Epistemology] (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores, 1981); Adolf Grünbaum, “Eine zusammenfassende Darstellung von die Grundlagen der Psychoanalyse: Eine philosophische Kritik”, In Kritische Betrachtungen zur Psychoanalyse Adolf Grünbaums “Grundlagen” in der Diskussion, Adolf Grünbaum ed (1991) (Budapest, Springer: 3-34.

74 Saulo De Freitas Araujo, Wundt and the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology: A Reappraisal (Springer, 2016); Wilhelm Wundt, Outlines of Psychology (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, 1902).

75 Johannes Biehler, “Freud et les sciences de la nature (Naturwissenschaften)”, Wißbegierde et structuration psychique, Section I et II (2006). s.p.

76Wundt, Grundzüe der Physiologischen Psychologie Band III, 653.

77 Vinicio Busacchi, “Lacan’s Epistemic Role in Ricœur’s Re-Reading of Freud” Ricoeur Studies/Etudes Ricoeuriennes 7, num. 1 (2016): 56-71; Christian Stadler, “Aufstellungsarbeit von Träumen”, in Praxishandbuch Aufstellungsarbeit. Grundlagen, methodik und anwendungsgebiete, 461-475. C. Stadler and B. Kress eds. (Wiesbaden: Springer, 2020).

78Assoun-Laurent, Introducción a la epistemología freudiana; Grünbaum, “Eine zusammenfassende Darstellung…”.

79 Paul Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy. An Essay on Interpretation (New Heaven and London: Yale University Press, 1970).

80 Catriel Fierro y Saulo Araujo de Freitas, “A Case for a Philosophical History of Psychology: An Interview with Saulo de Freitas Araujo at the Centenary of the Death of Wilhelm Wundt”. Human Arenas, núm. 4 (2021): 64-73.

How to cite: Millán, J., Barria-Asenjo, N., Žižek, S., Ossa, J., Salas, G., (2023). Una historia de paralaje conceptual. Un estudio sobre la influencia mutua entre las obras de Wundt y Freud. En-Claves del Pensamiento, (34), e590.

Received: November 02, 2022; Accepted: April 11, 2023; Published: July 01, 2023

Creative Commons License Este es un artículo publicado en acceso abierto bajo una licencia Creative Commons