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Isakower, O. (1974). Self-Observation, Self-Experimentation, and Creative Vision. Psychoanal. St. Child, 29:451-472.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 29:451-472

Self-Observation, Self-Experimentation, and Creative Vision

Otto Isakower, M.D.

IN THE COURSE OF STUDYING THE PLACE OF THE ORGANS OF perception in the structure of the ego, I was prompted to acquaint myself somewhat more closely with the history of the physiological investigation of the sense organs. These studies soon concentrated on the eye as one of the foremost tools of recognition in the sciences.

A particular problem attracted my attention: the attitude of the investigator in this field, on the one hand, to observation and, on the other, to experimentation; or even more specifically, to observation of and experimentation with his own person.

Thus I engaged in the study of one particular group of investigators who lived at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the most interesting among them being Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Johann Evangelist Purkinje, and Johannes Müller.

Goethe must be credited with having inaugurated a new departure in the physiological and psychological investigation of the processes of vision.

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