Theodor Lipps

Theodor Lipps nsIn hmolscience, Theodor Lipps (1851-1914) was a German psychologist noted, in psychological thermodynamics, for his 1903 views on a mechanistic theory of psychic energy, based on, or akin to, in some way, physical energy.

In 1903, Lipps, in his Guide to Psychology, discussed the concept of “psychic energy” and its possible interactions with the subconscious. [1]

Lipps' notion of how psychic energy or nervous energy works via mechanism in the subconscious was an inspiration to Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud in his later work on the subject. [3] Freud, supposedly, was attracted by the way Lipps, his friend, and Herbert Spencer had worked the concept of psychic energy into a mechanical explanation of laughter. (Ѻ)

Lipps' views formed a certain basis for Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. [2] Jung credits Lipps as having been the first to differentiate between psychic force and psychic energy; and on Lipps’ view that psychology had the right to develop its own versions of energy concepts, juggled around with terms such as life energy (lebens-energie), as differing from life force (lebenskraft); libido, as the representation of life-energy, and discussed his views on bioenergetic terms as bioenergy or vital energy. [4]

1. (a) Lipps, Theodor. (1903). Guide to Psychology (Leitfaden der Psychologie). Publisher.
(b) Bishop, Paul. (1999). Jung in Contexts. (pg. xxiii). Routledge.
2. Jung, Carl. (1928). “On Psychic Energy” (pgs. 15-16), in On the Nature of the Psyche (1960). Princeton University Press.
3. Morreall, John. (1983). Taking Laughter Seriously (pg. 27). SUNY Press.
4. Shamdasani, Sonu. (2003). Jung and the Making of Modern Psycholgy (pg. 245). Cambridge University Press.

External links
Theodor Lipps – Wikipedia.

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