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      Roberto Ardigo’s (and Wilhelm Wundt’s) Pupil Gino Melati and the First Attempt to Introduce Experimental Psychology at the University of Padua

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      European Yearbook of the History of Psychology

      Brepols Publishers

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          Abstract

          Although a philosopher and not a scientist, Roberto Ardigò, the father of Italian positivism, actively contributed to the birth of psychology as an autonomous science. Since his arrival at the University of Padua in 1881, he proposed integrating the traditional teaching of theoretical philosophy with the experimental investigation of mental facts, and therefore argued for the establishment of a psychological laboratory. After some attempts to introduce his followers, such as Giovanni Marchesini, to psychological studies, Ardigò’s project started to take shape when in 1898 he sent his pupil Gino Melati to be trained at the Leipzig laboratory under the supervision of Wilhelm Wundt. Melati fruitfully spent around two years abroad investigating the perception of binaural beats, likely with the cooperation of Felix Krueger. His research was published in the scholarly journal Philosophische Studien. In 1903 Melati asked for a libera docenza (a sort of Privatdozentur) in Psychology, which would have enabled him to teach at university. However, he did not obtain the qualification and eventually Melati gave up science for politics. This paper aims to reconstruct, with the support of unpublished archival material, the almost completely ignored story of this disciple of Ardigò and his unsuccessful effort to introduce experimental psychology in Padua long before the arrival of Vittorio Benussi in 1919.

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          Most cited references 22

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                eyhp
                eyhp
                European Yearbook of the History of Psychology
                Brepols Publishers
                2295-5267
                2507-0304
                January 2020
                : 6
                : 97-127
                Article
                10.1484/J.EYHP.5.121862
                Product
                Self URI (journal page): https://www.brepolsonline.net/loi/eyhp

                Psychology, Anthropology, Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

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