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Schafer, R. (1994). The Practice of Revisiting Classics: An Essay on Heinz Hartmann's Psychoanalysis and Moral Values. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 17(2):251-285.

(1994). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 17(2):251-285

The Practice of Revisiting Classics: An Essay on Heinz Hartmann's Psychoanalysis and Moral Values

Roy Schafer, Ph.D.

Revisiting classics uses the present to forecast and perhaps influence the future; however, the idea of the present and possible future depends on the reader's point of view, which, in turn, depends on changed historical, cultural, and professional conditions. Because psychoanalytic points of view vary within and between schools of thought, differences among revisits arise inevitably. Even the same reader may revisit differently, as I do in the two varied, though congenial, revisits of Hartmann's classic monograph presented here. Today, it is essential to rethink this thirty-five-year-old classic because great changes have taken place in basic aspects of the outlook on moral values. My two readings point up values built into Hartmann's thought, as they are into all analysts' thoughts, owing to unexamined assumptions, selective emphases, and the place of values in what is presented and accepted as factual.

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