Questions and Answers about
Gestalt Theory and Max Wertheimer:

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Latest update of this page: 12.02.2005

QUESTION (by Joel F.):

Hi , I am currently working on a research assignment which requires me to do a critical analysis on Max Wertheimer, or more specifically, Gestalt theory in general. Thanks in advance for giving me some advice on literature on this subject (and their applicable sources).

ANSWER (by Gerhard Stemberger):

As far as I know there is only one book of Max WERTHEIMER still available in bookstores in English: Productive thinking (Enlarged Edition, Edited by Michael Wertheimer, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1982, ISBN 0-226-89376-6, paperback). As this is one of the most important and inspiring books of Max WERTHEIMER I would strongly recommend it.

Michael WERTHEIMER, the son of Max WERTHEIMER, has published several valuable articles on the work and life of his father. Here are references of two of them:

"Gestalt theory, holistic psychology and Max Wertheimer". In: Zeitschrift f. Psychologie, 190 (1982), pp 125-140.
"Max Wertheimer, Gestalt Prophet". In: Gestalt Theory, 2 (1980), pp 3-17.

In 1995 David J. MURRAY, Professor of Psychology at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada, published a very interesting book: Gestalt Psychology and the Cognitive Revolution (Harvester Wheatsheaf, New York - London - Toronto 1995, ISBN 0-7450-1186-1, paperback). He points out the topicality of Gestalt theorists' ideas for modern cognitive science and argues that science needs to re-evaluate many of Gestalt psychology's ignored insights. Important parts of his book are dedicated to a critical discussion of Max WERTHEIMERs work.

And 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

Indispensable for a thorough and vivid understanding of Max WERTHEIMERs work after his forced emigration to the USA are Edith and Abraham LUCHINS' collections of WERTHEIMERs seminars at the New School: Wertheimer's Seminars Revisited. There are several volumes, dedicated to specific areas (all of them were published in the series: Psychology Department Reports, State University of New York, Albany; publishing years are given below):

1) Wertheimer's Seminars Revisited: Problem Solving and Thinking. Vol. I-III (1970)

2) Wertheimer's Seminars Revisited: Problems in perception. Vol. I-V (1972-1974)

3) Wertheimer's Seminars Revisited: Expression of personality and memory for impressions (1978)

4) Wertheimer's Seminars Revisited: Impression and conceptions of personality (1979)

5) Wertheimer's Seminars Revisited: Problems of psychology of character and personality (1979)

6) Wertheimer's Seminars Revisited: Character, personality, and the social order. Vol. I-III (1979-1980)

These volumes should be available via libraries. Used copies come up now and then when you search the ABE-listings.

AND: There is a special web site dedicated to Max Wertheimer which you should visit:
The Max Wertheimer Page

Last but not least I would recommend a look at the 'Links to Gestalt Related Sources' page on this web-site of the GTA where you will find several links to Wertheimer-related sites in the web.

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