Philosophy & Ideas

Sigismund Koch and the Meaningful Human Life

Sigismund Koch (1917–1996) was a forceful critic of his own profession. When he was born, so enamoured were his parents of Freud, psychology’s ascendant star, that they bestowed his first name “Sigismund” on their son. With such hallowed beginnings, it is not surprising that Koch became a psychologist, but it is surprising that his principal contributions to psychology were acerbic, lambasting attacks on psychology and its surrounding culture. And how he attacked it—when few others were doing so. He came to perceive that the behaviourist psychology of the time was “one of the purest instances in history of an academic…

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