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Jacob Robert Kantor

William S. Verplanck

Alfred Wegener (born 1880) died on the Greenland Ice Cap in 1930, fifteen years after the publication of the first edition of his major work, Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane. Through the intervening years, and for another thirty-odd years, his seminal ideas found few adherents. Most geologists ignored or ridiculed them. Those ideas were based on Wegener’s observation of maps, and of paleontological and lithological correlations; they were set forth unenlightened by the currently received geological theories. Those theories led to the rejection and ridicule of Wegener’s hypothesis. What Wegener saw in the maps and rocks could not be.

Now we know that continents do move, and have moved. Now Wegener’s teachings are basic; geologists are crossing its t’s, dotting its i’s, and extending its implications.

So it will be for Robert Kantor. How long before his interbehavioral framework will be understood and utilized we cannot foresee. The thicket of theories, the labyrinth of laboratories, the congelation of concepts are far denser, twisted, and firmly frozen among those who term themselves psychologists.

But Kantor was patient and, undiscouraged to the end, he continued brilliantly to hack his way through, to lay the thread, to melt the ice. And so must we be patient, continuously teaching, demonstrating, elucidating, extending.

Kantor’s unquestionable preeminence among 20th Century psychologists is clear to those who read this. It will be clear to all psychologists in a generation or so.

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