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Psychology in Human Context

Essays in Dissidence and Reconstruction

Edited and with a Preface by David Finkelman and Frank Kessel
Sigmund Koch (1917-1996) was one of the twentieth century’s most penetrating and wide-ranging critics of the scientistic ambitions of psychology. Writing in a style sometimes scathing, sometimes witty, always lucid, he decried any psychology that attempted to eradicate the human dimension from the study, scientific and otherwise, of human experience and action. A philosopher and humanist by nature, Koch also sought to change the multifaceted field of psychology by moving it closer to the humanities and arts.

The broad scope of essays in Psychology in Human Context—which began as the basis for the eagerly anticipated postscript to Koch’s seminal Psychology: A Study of a Science—reveals his writings to be as fresh and relevant today as ever. Carefully edited by two of Koch’s close associates, this collection places psychological and philosophical issues in the context of twentieth-century thought and provides intellectual and moral signposts for future travelers in what Koch regarded as the irreducibly rich and human realm of the psychological studies.

Sigmund Koch was University Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Boston University, the editor of the landmark six-volume series Psychology: A Study of a Science (1959-1963) and coeditor of A Century of Psychology as Science. He served as the president of three divisions of the American Psychological Association and was director of the Ford Foundation program in the Humanities and the Arts (1964-1967).

452 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1999

Psychology: General Psychology

Table of Contents

Editors’ Preface
1. Vagrant Confessions of an Asystematic Psychologist: An Intellectual Autobiography
Part One: The Prospects and Limits of a Significant Psychology
2. Psychology and Emerging Conceptions of Knowledge as Unitary
3. The Age of the "Paradigm"
4. Psychology versus the Psychological Studies
Part Two: Steps toward Reconstruction
5. A Theory of Definition: Implications for Psychology, Science, and the Humanities
6. The Concept of "Value Properties" in Relation to Motivation, Perception, and the Axiological Disciplines
Part Three - Studies in the Pathology of Knowledge
7. The Allures of Ameaning in Modern Psychology
8. Ameaning in the Humanities
9. Psychology and Its Human Clientele: Beneficiaries or Victims?
10. The Image of Man in Encounter Groups
11. Clark Hull and Psychology’s Age of Theory
12. Skinner’s Philosophy of Behaviorism
13. Karl Edward Zener: A Contract Case
14. Psychology’s Bridgman versus Bridgman’s Bridgman: A Study in Cognitive Psychology
15. The Limits of Psychological Knowledge: Lessons of a Century qua "Science"

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