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Gedo, J.E. (1973). Kant's Way: The Psychoanalytic Contribution of David Rapaport. Psychoanal Q., 42:409-434.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:409-434

Kant's Way: The Psychoanalytic Contribution of David Rapaport

John E. Gedo, M.D.

It might be argued that David Rapaport was one of the most learned persons to have become involved with psychoanalysis. Aside from his encyclopedic grasp of psychology, he studied physics and mathematics, and his doctorate was obtained in epistemology; hence his expertise in much of philosophy was unmatched among us. He was well qualified to review Kris's collection of papers on art, having thought deeply about matters of style and form. He gave evidence, in his only piece of published self-revelation, of significant immersion in poetry, and he was a writer of touching obituaries, capacities astonishing in a person whose work is characterized primarily by intellectual austerity. He was also a political activist deeply committed to Zionism, but one who was able to step back in order to view the causes he espoused with detachment when scientific questions arose about them. He spent little more than two decades in the United States but gave to and took from this country in full measure without ceasing to be a typical central European Jew. This array of qualities and achievements is so seldom found in one man that it is difficult to grasp that Rapaport died before the age of fifty. His intellectual brilliance and his prodigious scientific output had earned him the status of a senior theoretician at what is usually considered the age of a fledgling.


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