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Braunschweig, M. (1929). Die Grundlagen Der Psychoanalyse: By Heinz Hartmann. (Georg-Thieme-Verlag, Leipzig, 1927.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:451-466.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:451-466

Die Grundlagen Der Psychoanalyse: By Heinz Hartmann. (Georg-Thieme-Verlag, Leipzig, 1927.)

Review by:
Müller Braunschweig

When a new empirical science can look back over several decades of research, it is not only permissible, but it becomes a duty to take stock of its principles. In the earlier years of psycho-analysis there was already no lack of critical, methodological essays of this sort. But they gave the impression of being over-precipitate and premature, and also one noted in them a tendency, due to ambivalence, to substitute mere theoretical considerations for the thorough empirical work which should accompany such writings.

Hartmann's book stands in fundamental and welcome contrast to these earlier works. It shows a sense of methodology which gives evidence of a thorough empirical knowledge of the theory and practice of psycho-analysis and is thereby completely justified. It examines the principal concepts of psycho-analytical theory; hence it is a methodological treatise on psycho-analysis as a science and not an inquiry into psycho-analysis as a practical and technical method.

For an examination on these lines to be successful it is first of all necessary that the writer should have thoroughly mastered the science in question, both as regards the scientific technique which it employs and the mass of knowledge which it has thus gained. And further, he must be able to take a survey of the whole of the empirical sources from which the said scientific theory derives and the concepts upon which it is based and to turn upon them the searchlight of his criticism for the benefit of his readers. Dr. Hartmann has this capacity. He has also studied the kindred subjects of experimental psychology, thought-psychology, phenomenology, the psychological theories of modern psychotherapy and psychopathology as well as scientific theory in general (Richert).

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