Philosopher, psychologist, and author; b. Betzdorf, Germany, Aug. 26, 1866; d. Cologne, March 24, 1947. After brief public education, Fröbes entered a Catholic grammar school near Darmstadt; when this was suppressed by the Kulturkampf, he went to Stella Matutina, a Jesuit boarding school in Austria (1877–82). At age 16 he entered the Society of Jesus. He completed his philosophical studies in 1889, and spent five years teaching mathematics, physics, and chemistry; then he studied theology (1894–99), was ordained (1900), and was assigned to teach philosophy. Having been convinced that the teaching of psychology demanded revision, he undertook intensive training in experimental psychology under G.E. Müller at Göttingen (1902–04) and attended the lectures of Wilhelm Wundt at Leipzig. Fröbes then became professor of philosophy and founded a psychological laboratory at Ignatius College, a Jesuit house of studies in Holland. He taught there for more than 20 years, encouraging his students, notably, Johannes Lindworsky, to pursue scientific psychology. In Germany, Fröbes was the Catholic pioneer of experimental psychology. As the first to recognize the independence of experimental psychology from philosophical psychology, he wrote several textbooks in which the respective domains of these two fields were clearly distinguished.
Bibliography: j. frÖbes, Lehrbuch der experimentellen Psychologie, 2 v. (3d ed. Freiburg 1923–29); Psychologia speculativa in usum scholarum, 2 v. (Freiburg 1927); Brevior cursus psychologiae speculativae (Paris 1933); Compendium psychologiae experimentalis (rev. ed. Rome 1948); Tractatus logicae formalis (Rome 1940). Literature. l. koch, Jesuiten-Lexikon (Louvain-Heverlee 1962) c. a. murchison, ed., A History of Psychology in Autobiography, v. 3 (Worcester, Mass. 1934) 121–152. h. misiak and v. m. staudt, Catholics in Psychology (New York 1954).
[v. s. sexton]