On This Day … 22 October

Events

  • Fechner Day (International observance).

People (Deaths)

  • 1979 – Mieko Kamiya, Japanese psychiatrist and author (b. 1914).

Fechner Day

Gustav Theodor Fechner (19 April 1801 to 18 November 1887) was a German experimental psychologist, philosopher, and physicist.

An early pioneer in experimental psychology and founder of psychophysics, he inspired many 20th-century scientists and philosophers.

Psychophysics quantitatively investigates the relationship between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they produce.

He is also credited with demonstrating the non-linear relationship between psychological sensation and the physical intensity of a stimulus via the formula: S = K 1n I, which became known as the Weber–Fechner law.

Honours

  • Fechner Crater:
    • In 1970, the International Astronomical Union named a crater on the far side of the moon after Fechner.
  • Fechner Day:
    • In 1985 the International Society for Psychophysics called its annual conference Fechner Day.
    • The conference is now scheduled to include 22 October to allow psychophysicists to celebrate the anniversary of Fechner’s waking up on that day in 1850 with a new approach into how to study the mind.
    • Fechner Day runs annually with the 2018 Fechner Day being the 34th.
    • It is organised annually, by a different academic host each year.

Mieko Kamiya

Mieko Kamiya (神谷 美恵子, Kamiya Mieko, 12 January 1914 to 22 October 1979) was a Japanese psychiatrist who treated leprosy patients at Nagashima Aiseien Sanatorium.

She was known for translating books on philosophy.

She worked as a medical doctor in the Department of Psychiatry at Tokyo University following World War II. She was said to have greatly helped the Ministry of Education and the General Headquarters, where the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers stayed, in her role as an English-speaking secretary, and served as an adviser to Empress Michiko.

She wrote many books as a highly educated, multi-lingual person; one of her books, titled On the Meaning of Life (Ikigai Ni Tsuite in Japanese), based on her experiences with leprosy patients, attracted many readers.

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