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Sletvold, H. (2012). A Norwegian in Freud's Works: John Mourly Vold. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 35(2):127-130.

(2012). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 35(2):127-130

Reports and Brief Communications

A Norwegian in Freud's Works: John Mourly Vold

Helge Sletvold

The vigilant reader may have noticed that the Editorial Office of The Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review has now been transferred from Stockholm to Trondheim. Some would certainly think a city even further away from the centres of psychoanalysis. Let me therefore point out, that when reading Freud, you will come across the name of a philosopher and psychologist from this particular geographical area. He first appears in The interpretation of dreams (1900), later in the Leonardo essay (1910) and finally in The introductory lectures (1917).

John Mourly Vold (1850-1907) was born in Trondhjem, as it was then called, in central Norway. After his matriculation examination from Katedralskolen (The Cathedral School) in 1868, he worked as a teacher during 1870-71, after which he went to Christiania (today's Oslo) to study theology, where he received his degree in 1873 on a dissertation on Spinoza's theory of knowledge. He made several visits abroad, mainly in Germany, where he studied philosophy. His interest in experimental psychology was probably awakened in 1878 while he was in Göttingen, studying under the philosopher R.H. Lotze (Nilsen, 2010). He received the Crown Prince's Gold Medal in 1881 on the thesis Über den Begriff der Teleologie (On the concept of teleology). After a year as Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Christiania, he became Professor in Philosophy in 1890. Having secured his position, he moved from philosophy to the study of psychology, which had become his main interest.

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