Hans Furth, Professor Emeritus

Department: 

 

  • Psychology

Dr. Hans G. Furth, Professor Emeritus at The Catholic University of America, and an author specializing in developmental psychology, was a former director of the Institute for Policy Research.  He died Nov. 7, 1998 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 79.

Dr. Furth fled Austria as a teenager when Nazi Germany annexed the country, and made his way to England where he graduated from the Royal Academy of Music.  He lived for a decade afterward as a monk in the order of Carthusians. 

 

In the early 1950s he moved to Canada, and later the U.S. where he received his Masters in clinical psychology and his Ph.D. in experimental psychology, respectively. He joined Catholic University in 1960. 

 

In 1966 Furth began publishing, ultimately writing 10 books over the course of his career. The earliest was "Thinking Without Language: Psychological Implications of Deafness," an examination of how the deaf communicate without spoken language and a critique of how the deaf are taught.

Dr. Furth worked with Swiss  psychologist Jean Piaget in the 1960s, and wrote several book on Piaget's thinking that popularized and made accessible the author's notions of child-development.

After retiring from teaching in 1990, he continued to write, but on subjects from his own past.  One was a manuscript entitled, "Society Faces Extinction:  The Psychology of Auschwitz and Hiroshima, which explored the capacity for genocide that exists in many cultures.

Furth's experience as a classically trained pianist served his community well during his retirement as he regularly gave concerts for local audiences and nursing home residents.  He was survived by 7 children and twenty grandchildren.

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