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date: 25 February 2021

Wertheimer, Maxlocked

(15 April 1880–12 October 1943)
  • Michael Wertheimer


Wertheimer, Max (15 April 1880–12 October 1943), psychologist and philosopher, was born in Prague, Bohemia, the son of Wilhelm Wertheimer, a business educator, and Rosa Zwicker. Wertheimer’s father had become financially well off from the success of his private school for individualized instruction in business and accounting; he was also a government consultant (drafting the laws for warehouse practices in Austria-Hungary), was active in the International Order of Oddfellows (a philanthropic and benevolent organization), and was a prominent member of the Jewish community of Prague. His father’s civic concerns and educational endeavours undoubtedly influenced Wertheimer during his early years, and his later development of Gestalt theory in part may have reflected the holistic orientation of Jewish cosmology. Wertheimer attended a Catholic elementary school and a municipal high school before enrolling in Charles University in Prague, primarily to study law, in 1898. He changed his studies to philosophy and psychology before transferring to the University of Berlin in 1901. In the spring of 1904 he went to the University of Würzburg, where he obtained his Ph.D. in psychology later that same year....

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