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Meng, H. (1957). Dr. Leo Kaplan—1876–1956. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:277.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:277

Dr. Leo Kaplan—1876–1956

Heinrich Meng

Dr. Leo Kaplan was born in Russia in 1876, left his native land in 1897, and settled in Switzerland, where he recently died. He did not belong to any psycho-analytical organization, but from 1910 onwards showed an intense and creative interest in Freud's teaching. Trained as a mathematician and physicist, he made use of his talents in relating the early theories of psycho-analysis to the philosophical teaching of his day, and as a result published before 1914 the first comprehensive treatise on psycho-analysis (Grundzüge der Psychoanalyse) and in 1916 Psychoanalytische Probleme. In both he manifested the highest standards of logical and critical thinking and a genuine understanding of the basic problems with which the young science of psycho-analysis had become concerned.

For a time Kaplan exchanged many letters with Freud, who must have thought highly of his capabilities, and accepted his paper 'Zur Psychologie des Tragischen' for publication in the first volume of Imago (1914). His papers cover a wide field, including ethnology, anthropology, and sociology, and he wrote especially on Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, and Sartre. He influenced many continental thinkers, especially by his searching interest in psycho-analysis. There are many who will always think of him with gratitude.

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