Abraham Kaplan and Irving Copi

Duluth Central High School Debate Team, 1932-33

From the Zenith (Duluth Central High School Yearbook), 1933

Abraham Kaplan and Irving Copi

Noted philosophers, writers, and teachers, Abraham Kaplan and Irving Copi both grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. Kaplan’s family immigrated to the United States from Russia, arriving in Duluth when Abraham was six years of age. Copi was born in Duluth as Irving Copilowish.

Kaplan was younger than Copi but was a year ahead of him at Duluth Central High School, starting there at the age of thirteen in 1931. According to Copi, they first met at debate team tryouts in 1932 and quickly became friends. Kaplan was captain of that debate team.

After graduation from high school in 1933, Kaplan attended the Duluth Junior College for two years, then went off to the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Copi graduated from Duluth Central in 1934 and then attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They both returned to Duluth during the summer breaks and spent their time reading and discussing philosophy, according to Copi.

During the 1938-39 academic year, when both men were attending graduate school, they arranged to study at the University of Chicago, where Bertrand Russell was a guest lecturer.

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