Early life and scientific career
Fechner was born at Groß Särchen, near Muskau, in Lower Lusatia, where his father was a pastor. Despite being raised by his religious father, Fechner became an atheist in later life. He was educated first at Sorau (now Żary in Western Poland).
In 1817 he studied of medicine at the
Medizinische Akademie Carl Gustav CarusDresden and from 1818 at the University of Leipzig, the city in which he spent the rest of his life. He earned his PhD from Leipzig in 1835.
In 1834 he was appointed professor of physics. But in 1839, he contracted an eye disorder while studying the phenomena of color and vision, and, after much suffering, resigned. Subsequently recovering, he turned to the study of the mind and its relations with the body, giving public lectures on the subjects dealt with in his books. Whilst lying in bed Fechner had an insight into the relationship between mental sensations and material sensations. This insight proved to be significant in the development of psychology as there was now a quantitative relationship between the mental and physical worlds.