Logos, Paradox, and the Search for Meaning

  • Viktor E. Frankl


In a paper presented to the Second World Congress of Logotherapy, Alfried A. Laengle came up with the contention that “by its main term and program, logotherapy is the first cognitive psychotherapy.” In fact, when logotherapy was launched in the late 1920s, the idea behind it was to overcome so-called psychologism, which represents one among the various outgrowths of reductionism, namely, the tendency to interpret a psychological phenomenon by “reducing” it, that is, tracing it back to its alleged emotional origin, thereby totally neglecting the question of its rational validity. As early as in 1925, I cautioned against this one-sided approach by pointing out (Frankl, 1925) that renouncing a priori any dispute of the patient’s Weltanschauung on rational grounds results in giving away one of the most powerful weapons within our therapeutic armamentarium. Anyway, the very name coined to denote the new approach, namely, logotherapy, was intended to signify the shifting emphasis from the affective to the cognitive aspects of human behavior.


Mass Grave International Forum Circle Formation Anticipatory Anxiety Powerful Weapon 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viktor E. Frankl
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Vienna Medical SchoolViennaAustria

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