A New Frontier in the Eighteenth Century: Karl Philipp Moritz and the Exploration of the Human Mind
Eckhard Rölz

The 18th century brought about a new and different interest in the workings of the human mind. Karl Philipp Moritz and others retrospectively examined their childhoods in order to recognize ailments of the soul or what we would call psychological disorders. Moritz believed that childhood holds the key to understanding the adult mind. In order to promote such introspection, Moritz published a psychological journal,   oder Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde als ein Lesebuch für Gelehrte und Ungelehrte, from 1783 to 1793. He urged his readers to submit reports and anecdotes—essentially case studies— from their lives of unusual and out of the norm behavior. With its novel emphasis on the case study as a means of diagnosing mental illness, the Magazin is generally acknowledged as the forerunner of modern psychological journals and paved the way for later research. The mind became a new frontier which deserved attention and exploration.

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