Kurt Koffka, an Unwitting Self-Portrait

By Molly Harrower | Go to book overview

appendix a. biographical sketch: koffka

Kurt Koffka was born in Berlin on 18 March 1886 and died at Northampton, Massachusetts, on 22 November 1941. Despite a heart condition which had caused him to modify and restrict his activities for several years, he continued to teach until a few days before his death and had been working with vigor on various experimental projects, theoretical papers, and the manuscript of a new book up to the last. There is no question that his death left unfinished much that would have been among his more important contributions to psychology. At least he was saved the more complete invalidism that might have been his, and he died in harness as he would have wished.

As a boy, Koffka attended the Wilhelms Gymnasium in Berlin from 1892 to 1903. On leaving school, since he came from a family of lawyers, his career might well have followed along traditional lines, but his mother's brother, a biologist, had aroused his keen interest in science and philosophy, so that he decided to study the latter.

Before entering the University of Berlin, however, he spent a year at the University of Edinburgh, where he came under the influence of several outstanding British scientists and scholars. This student year abroad, in addition to perfecting his use of the language, brought him in close touch with English-speaking people and laid the foundation for the international scientific recognition that was to be his.

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Kurt Koffka, an Unwitting Self-Portrait
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Koffka as Psychologist 9
  • The Private Koffka 39
  • The Public Koffka 74
  • Koffka as Mentor 99
  • Koffka as Colleague 118
  • The Russian- Uzbekistan Expedition 143
  • Reactions to The Gathering Clouds Of War 165
  • In Oxford The Clinician 185
  • In Oxford The Year Unfolds 206
  • Epilogue. Koffka's Core Values And Beliefs 249
  • Appendix A. Biographical Sketch: Koffka 253
  • Appendix B. Major Dates: Koffka 259
  • Appendix C. Major Dates: Harrower 261
  • Appendix D. a Note on The Koffka Papers 263
  • Appendix E. - Koffka's Letter To Sir Arthur Eddington 276
  • Glossary of Names 307
  • Works Cited 319
  • Index 323
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