Gestalt (n.)

"quality of perceiving a complex organization of things or events as an organized whole and also as more than the sum of the parts," 1922, from German Gestaltqualität (1890, introduced in philosophy by German philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels, 1859-1932), from German gestalt "shape, form, figure, configuration, appearance," abstracted from ungestalt "deformity," noun use of adj. ungestalt "misshapen," from gestalt, obsolete past participle of stellen "to set, place, arrange," from Old High German stellen, from Proto-Germanic *stalljanan, from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place. As a school of psychology, it was founded c. 1912 by M. Wertheimer, K. Koffka, W. Köhler.

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