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The Gestalt Bookshelf
Looking for hard-to-find Gestalt theory and Gestalt psychology books (new or used)?
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Books on Demand GmbH 2006

ISBN 3833452552

216 pp. (Paperback), € 18,00

Click here for preface and introduction in full text!

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About this book:

Over the last years, colleagues and friends of Jürgen Kriz have encouraged him to translate more of his writing into the English language. Indeed, compared to Kriz' manifold publications in the German language, his accessible works from the perspective of an (only) English-speaking reader are extremely small—hardly a dozen papers and book chapters. Moreover, some are in volumes addressed more to colleagues from the natural sciences or systems theoretic psychology. And that is hardly something that psychologists and psychotherapists, for example, want to read.

This book now contains seven chapters based on the translation of papers focusing on the concept of self-actualization. Jürgen Kriz chose this term—an alternative to “self-organization”— in order to particularly reach out to people interested in and influenced by Carl Rogers’ person-centered approach to psychotherapy. Moreover, the preference for “self-actualization” should make it clear that processes of self-organization in the context of matter or even biology are not the main concern in this book.

Jürgen Kriz is one of the editors of "Gestalt Theory - An International Multidisciplinary Journal".


  • Chapter 1: My Theoretical Orientation and its Underlying Path of Life
  • Chapter 2: On Chaos and Order
  • Chapter 3: Our Lebenswelt in Upheaval
  • Chapter 4: The Re-enchantment of our World
  • Chapter 5: Intuition in Therapeutic Processes
  • Chapter 6: (Self)-Actualization, Meaning Structures and Meaning fields
  • Chapter 7: The Effectiveness of the 195 Humanistic Psychological Approach


Wolfgang Metzger

Laws of Seeing

(translated by Lothar Spillmann, Michael Wertheimer, Steven Lehar)

MIT Press, Cambridge 2006

ISBN 0-262-13467-5

6 x 9, 194 illus. $48.00/£30.95 (CLOTH)

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English translation of the 1st edition of Metzger's 'Gesetze des Sehens'.

This classic work in vision science, written by a leading figure in Germany's Gestalt movement in psychology and first published in 1936, addresses topics that remain of major interest to vision researchers today.

Wolfgang Metzger's main argument, drawn from Gestalt theory, is that the objects we perceive in visual experience are not the objects themselves but perceptual effigies of those objects constructed by our brain according to natural rules. Gestalt concepts are currently being increasingly integrated into mainstream neuroscience by researchers proposing network processing beyond the classical receptive field. Metzger's discussion of such topics as ambiguous figures, hidden forms, camouflage, shadows and depth, and three-dimensional representations in paintings will interest anyone working in the field of vision and perception, including psychologists, biologists, neurophysiologists, and researchers in computational vision--and artists, designers, and philosophers.

Each chapter is accompanied by compelling visual demonstrations of the phenomena described; the book includes 194 illustrations, drawn from visual science, art, and everyday experience, that invite readers to verify Metzger's observations for themselves. Today's researchers may find themselves pondering the intriguing question of what effect Metzger's theories might have had on vision research if The Laws of Seeing and its treasure trove of perceptual observations had been available to the English-speaking world at the time of its writing.

Herbert FITZEK / Ralph SICHLER (Hrsg. / Editors):

Gestalttheorie in der modernen Psychologie
[Gestalt theory in modern psychology]

Journal für Psychologie, 13 (4/2005) [ ISSN 0942-2285]

135 pages; € 23,90 / 24,60 (Austria)

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Inhalt / Contents:

  • Ernst PLAUM:
    Qualität - Totalität - Komplexität - Alltagsrealität. Zum Erbe der Gestalttheorie in der Angewandten Psychologie und Diagnostik
    [Quality - Totality - Complexity - Reality of everyday life. About heritage of Gestalt theory in applied psychology and diagnostics]

  • Nadine van HOLT & Norbert GROEBEN:
    Das Konzept des Foregrounding in der modernen Textverarbeitungspsychologie
    [The concept of foregrounding in modern text processing psychology]

  • Rainer KÄSTL & Gerhard STEMBERGER:
    Gestalttheorie in der Psychotherapie
    [Gestalt theory in psychotherapy]

  • Herbert FITZEK:
    Gestaltpsychologie als Grundlage einer Methodologie der qualitativen Forschung - dargestellt am Gütekriterium "gegenständliche Relevanz"
    [Gestalt psychology as basis for a methodology of qualitative research - presented in connection with the quality criteria of 'subject relevance']

Anna Arfelli Galli
Ivana Bianchi
Nevia Dolcini
Giuseppe Galli
Francesco Orilia
Stefano Polenta

L'Io allo Specchio

Macerata: Edizioni Simple (2005)

92 pagine

ISBN : 88-89177-44-6

€ 10,00

Sommario / Contents:

  • Introduzione

  • Anna Arfelli Galli: Prima Di Dire "Io"

  • Ivana Bianchi: La percezione della propria identità-contrarietà allo specchio - Percorsi sperimentali

  • Giuseppe Galli: L'Io fenomenico allo "specchio" della Gestalttheorie

  • Francesco Orilia, Nevia Dolcini: Il pronome "Io". Dati protofilosofici

  • Stefano Polenta: Specchio e conscienza di Sé in Pirandello

L. Pizzo Russo (ed.)

Rudolf Arnheim
Arte e percezione visiva

Aesthetica edizioni, Palermo, Supplementa (2005)

290 pagine

ISSN : 0393-8522

free full text download

This volume collects the lectures and papers presented at the International Conference "Rudolf Arnheim: Art and Visual Perception", which took place in Palermo on November 19-20, 2004, organized by The International Centre for the Study of Aesthetics for the centenary of Rudolf Arnheim's birth and the 50th anniversary of "Art and Visul Perception". The main feature of this volume is the interdisciplinary approach it put forth about the assessment of Arnheim's theory whose deep impact is also due to its implications for psychology, aesthetics, theory of mind, art history. Henceforth, this volume collects papers by relevant researchers in the above mentioned fields ranging from psychological analysis of Gestaltist concepts and their consequence for a psychological theory of the mind, the perception and the human ability of using different kind of media in order to express meanings, also in comparison with other psychological schools, to the philosophical and historical issues about vision and thought, imagery, picture perception, and art studies.

This issue is part of a no-profit editorial series, whose items are usually to be freely sent of by the Centro Internazionale di Estetica (Palermo, Italy) to its members, to researchers engaged in the field of Humanities and Art Psychology and to relevant institutional subjects. For those who will be interested, the text can be downloaded for free at the following address:

Now released:
The new Max Wertheimer classic - A terrific, breathtaking book
by D. Brett King and Michael Wertheimer:

Max Wertheimer & Gestalt Theory

Max Wertheimer  Gestalt Theory book

New Brunswick (USA) and London (U.K.): Transaction Publishers, 2005

ISBN 0-7658-0258-9

Now the italian translation is available:

Mitchell G. ASH

La psicologia della Gestalt nella cultura tedesca dal 1890 al 1967

Milano: Franco Angeli (2004).

ISBN : 88-464-5205-4

Fredrik Sundqvist

Perceptual dynamics :
Theoretical foundations and philosophical implications of gestalt psychology

Acta philosophica Gothoburgensia 16

Göteborg : Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2003

Partial Contents: Why Gestalt theory? The Berlin School. Sensations. Intuition. Constancy Hypothesis. Kohler's Critique. Introspection. Bundle Hypothesis. Path of Rationalism. Law of Pragnanz, Figure-Ground & Perceptual Frameworks. Gestalt Theory: Hypothesis of Psychophysical Isomorphism. Think & Being. Thought & Logic. Equilibrium & Ego. Field Structure. Productive Thinking. Behavioral Environment. Task of Gestalt Theory.

You may order this book now directly from Amazon.

Or contact:

Acta Universitatits Gothoburgensis
Box 222
405 30 Gothenburg




par Victor Rosenthal & Yves-Marie Visetti

Editions Les Belles Lettres, coll. Figures du Savoir

Paris, 2003

284 pages ISBN : 2251760490 Prix : 14 €

Gestalt : forme, figure, configuration, structure, ensemble… Ce mot de la langue allemande a donné son nom à l’un des courants majeurs de la psychologie du 20e siècle. Wolfgang Köhler (1887-1967), membre éminent de l’école gestaltiste de Berlin, en est incontestablement le représentant le plus brillant et le plus productif. Expérimentateur, théoricien, épistémologue, on lui doit la version la plus accomplie de la Gestalttheorie, qui est une théorie générale de la cognition, fondée sur le primat de la perception, en même temps qu’une théorie universelle des formes, ayant vocation à valoir dans une pluralité de champs de connaissance.

Pionnier des recherches sur l’intelligence des primates, Köhler est aussi l’auteur d’une théorie qui pour la première fois jette un pont entre phénoménologie et physique, entre l’expérience vécue et l’ordre décrit par les sciences de la matière. Deux leitmotivs reviennent à travers toute son œuvre : l’unité de la perception, de l’action, et de l’expression, et la continuité entre organisation physique, forme, et sens.

Jouant de façon exemplaire sur une pluralité de registres qui vont des mathématiques et de la physique des formes jusqu’à une anthropologie générale, l’œuvre de Köhler reste d’une étonnante modernité. Ce livre en retrace les grands moments, et en démontre les résonances contemporaines, dans le contexte des neurosciences montantes et du difficile débat entre les sciences cognitives et les sciences de la culture.

Victor Rosenthal, psychologue, est chercheur à l’INSERM ; Yves-Marie Visetti, chercheur au CNRS, a publié avec P. Cadiot Pour une théorie des formes sémantiques (P.U.F, 2001).

Steven M. LEHAR:

The World In Your Head:
A Gestalt view of the mechanism of conscious experience

published 2002 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
ISBN: 0-8058-4176-8

Read Prof. Metz-Goeckel's review of this important new Gestalt publication - click here!

Click here for further information on the author's web site!

A new book about Gestalt theory and psychopathology:

Gerhard Stemberger (Hrsg.):

Psychische Störungen im Ich-Welt-Verhältnis

Gestalttheorie und psychotherapeutische Krankheitslehre

Wien 2002: Verlag Wolfgang Krammer
184 Seiten, Preis € 21,80 zuzügl. Versandkosten

Dieser Sammelband enthält einige frühe gestaltpsychologische Arbeiten zur Psychopathologie (Schulte/Wertheimer zur Paranoia 1924, Erwin Levy zur Manie 1936 und zur Schizophrenie 1943), z.T. erstmals in deutscher Übersetzung, und neue Diskussions- und Übersichtsbeiträge deutscher, österreichischer und amerikanischer PsychotherapeutInnen und Psychiater zur Aktualität dieser Ansätze für eine psychotherapeutische Krankheitslehre.

Click here for further information (in German)

Order this book by Email from the publishing house Krammer, Vienna

Wolfgang Metzger

Psicologia per l'educazione. Modelli antropologici. Regole sociali. Applicazioni pedagogiche

Roma : Armando, 2000

Italian translation of W. Metzger's book "Psychologie in der Erziehung" (Psychology in Education)

Pagine: 192. Collana: Psicologia dell'educazione Psicologia - Psicoanalisi Prezzo: € 15,49

Questo saggio di Metzger è diviso in tre parti. Nella prima viene messo in evidenza come fenomeni basilari in campo educativo, quali l'ubbidienza e l'autorità, il premio e la punizione, assumano un significativo assai diverso a seconda del sistema teorico adottato. La seconda parte tratta dello sviluppo della conoscienza morale con particolare riferimento alla teoria freudiana a cui l'Autore contrappone una sua diversa concezione. Nella terza parte viene dato ampio spazio alla psicologia del pensiero produttivo. Metzger si rifà alle ricerche classiche di Kohler, Dunker, Wertheimer e Katona, nella convizione che, al di là delle terminologie più recenti, i risultati conseguiti da tali Autori siano quelli che maggiormente illuminano le strategie messe in atto nella soluzione intuitiva dei problemi.



La Gestaltpsychologie tra filosofia e ricerca sperimentale (1912-1922)

published 2000 in Milano/Italy, FrancoAngeli (Collana di Storia della Psicologia).

Présences de la Gestalt - "Intellectica" No. 28 (1/99)

R. CASATI : Introduction

J.-P. D'ALES, J. FROMENT, J.-M. MOREL : Reconstruction visuelle et généricité

M. A. PETERSON : Organisation, séparation en profondeur et reconnaissance

S.-E. PALMER : Les théories contemporaines de la perception de Gestalt

B. SMITH : L'esprit connexionniste : une étude de la psychologie de Hayek

H.-A. SIMON : L'explication en termes de traitement de l'information des
phénomènes de Gestalt

P. BOZZI : L'"erreur du stimulus"

Autres présences de la Gestalt:

V. ROSENTHAL, Y.-M. VISETTI : Sens et temps de la Gestalt

O. GAPENNE, K. ROVIRA : Gestalt Psychologie et cognition sans langage. Actualité d'une figure historique

Ekkehart SCHLICHT:
"On Custom in the Economy"
Oxford: Clarendon Press 1998

On Custom in the Economy

Custom is an integral part of the institutional matrix of modern economies. Market processes are affected by custom and mould custom in turn. "On Custom in the Economy" explores this interaction by means of a cross-disciplinary approach which is rooted in classical Gestalt psychology. It integrates modern developments in cognitive psychology and institutional economics. Applications relate to the theory of property, legal reasoning, the theory of the firm, and the division of labour in society.

The "Oxford University Press Reading Room" offers the opportunity to browse/download this book for some time with no obligation to buy.
You may order this book now directly from Amazon.

The Complete Social Scientist:
A Kurt LEWIN Reader
Compiled and edited by Martin GOLD


will be published these days by the American Psychological Association.
You may order this book from the A.P.A. page or from Amazon! (US)

"Gestalt Psychology in German Culture, 1890-1967"
by Mitchell ASH

has finally been published in a paperback edition.
Michael Wertheimer about this book:

"With unstinting attention to detail and to careful documentation, yet without ever loosing sight of the larger picture, Mitchell Ash has produced a comprehensive history of the Gestalt movement in Germany. Professor Ash's expert skills as an historian have generated a full, rich account of the emergence of the school in all its human, institutional, intellectual, social and political contexts. ... This book will long stand out as a model of what a book on the history of ideas at its best can be."
By clicking on one of the following links you can have more information about this book and order it online.
Order from Amazon!

David J. Murray:
"Gestalt Psychology and the Cognitive Revolution"

In this book David J. Murray discusses the historical relationships between behaviourism, Gestalt psychology and the cognitive revolution, and outlines the main principles of Gestalt psychology through an account of the intellectual careers of Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Köhler, the three leaders of the movement. The book emphasizes the value of the insights of Gestalt psychology for the understanding of cognitive psychology, and argues that we need to re-evaluate many of Gestalt psychology's ignored insights.
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Marc LEMAN, professor for musicology in Belgium, has edited and published a new book on Gestalt psychology and musicology:

Music, Gestalt, and Computing
Studies in Cognitive and Systematic Musicology

This book presents a coherent state-of-the-art survey on the area of systematic and cognitive musicology which has enjoyed dynamic growth now for many years. It is devoted to exploring the relationships between acoustics, human information processing, and culture as well as to methodological issues raised by the widespread use of computers as a powerful tool for theory construction, theory testing, and the manipulation of musical information or any kind of data manipulation related to music. The book comes with a CD providing sound examples for various chapters; it contains a comprehensive name and subject index and the following chapters: Gestalt theory revisited, from pitch to harmony, from rhythm to expectation, from timbre to texture, from musical expression to interactive computer systems.

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The American Psychological Association (APA) has just reissued two important volumes of collected writings by Kurt LEWIN as a single volume:

Kurt Lewin
Resolving Social Conflicts (first published in 1948)
Field Theory in Social Science (first published in 1951)

In his Publisher's Note Gary R. VandenBos says:

"Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) was undoubtedly one of the most creative and controversial figure in the history of psychology. His legacy is evident in contemporary social psychology - in studies of learning, development, and regression; achievement motivation and socialization; cognitive dissonance; and group dynamics and its applications in the laboratory, in schools, and in industry. ...
Because of the pervasiveness of Kurt Lewin's intellectual contributions to contemporary social psychology, the American Psychological Association, with the cooperation of Kurt Lewin's daughter, Miriam Lewin, PhD, is pleased to reissue both titles in one comprehensive volume. ... Bringing together these two volumes will familiarize readers with the broad range of Lewin's thinking. APA's goal is to stimulate renewed interest among contemporary scholars in Lewin's work."

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The Gestalt Journal (New York) has published a new edition of the famous book of Willis D. ELLIS:

"A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology",

which was originally published in 1938 under the guidance of Kurt KOFFKA. This valuable book bridged the gap between the English-speaking readers and the main works of the Gestalt psychologists up till then only published in German. The book is a series of abstracts or summaries of thirty-four articles and one book published in German between 1915 and 1929 by the leading exponents of Gestalt psychology and their students.

Main sections:

I. General Problems (Wertheimer, Köhler)

II. Special Problems

First group: Perception and Organization
A. Perception and Organization (Wertheimer, Fuchs, Benary, Gottschaldt, Wulf)
B. Perception and Movement (Ternus, Duncker, Lindemann, Hartmann)
C. Perception and Related Phenomena (v.Frey, Gelb, v.Hornbostel

Second group: Animal Experiments
(Koehler, Hertz)

Third group: Thought

Fourth group: Psychical Forces
(Lewin, Zeigarnik)

Fifth group: Studies in Pathological Phenomena
(Gelb and Goldstein, Fuchs, Schulte)

III. Replies
(Koffka, Köhler)

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For new Gestalt related JOURNAL ARTICLES please click here!

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