Max Dessoir

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dessoir, Max


Born Feb. 8, 1867, in Berlin; died July 19, 1947, in Königstein. German philosopher and psychologist. Professor at the University of Berlin from 1897.

In opposition to the psychological approach to a work of art, Dessoir introduced into aesthetics the conception of art as the objective process of creating form. He was one of the founders of the so-called general science of art, which he contrasted as a descriptive positive science with aesthetics as an evaluative discipline. In 1906 he began to publish the journal Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft. In psychology he was occupied with the critical study of so-called occult phenomena, introducing the term parapsychology, which subsequently became widespread.


Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft. Stuttgart, 1906; 2nd ed., 1923.
Vom Jenseits der Seele. Stuttgart, 1917; 6th ed., 1967.
In Russian translation.
Ocherk istorii psichologii. St. Petersburg, 1912.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In an instructive introduction, the editors depict the history of comparative aesthetics through accounts of the role of the empirically minded Max Dessoir, or the importance of the International Association of Aesthetics.
The term parapsychology was coined in 1889 by the German psychologist Max Dessoir, and 35 years later the French poet and thinker Andre Breton gave a definition of surrealism.