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Ramzy, I. (1983). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 3(4):715-717.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 3(4):715-717


Ishak Ramzy, Ph.D.

Early in the 1960's i was asked by the Editors of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis to contribute to a special issue being planned to honor the 70th birthday of Heinz Hartmann. By that time I had spent by choice more than 20 years in the study, the practice, and the teaching of psychoanalysis. From what knowledge of the literature I was able to acquire I had begun to realize the glaring absence in the library of our discipline, which rightfully claimed to be both a science and a mode of therapy, of any coherent or articulate formulation of two essential components that make up a science — namely, the methodology of psychoanalysis as a specific scientific pursuit and its ethic as a rational healing service. I therefore offered to contribute a paper about one or the other of these topics. Little did I then know how much work and deliberation either of the two topics would entail. It was the Editors' decision that I write about values, an auspicious choice, with which I readily concurred, especially because Hartmann had recently published his book Psychoanalysis and Moral Values (1960). For the foresight of those Editors in choosing the topic of values I came to feel very grateful, for it took me more than another decade to write something about the methodology of psychoanalysis (Ramzy, 1974).

The time and effort needed to track and assess the relevant available literature on the subject of values, then to formulate what conclusions compellingly emerged out of due reflection and consideration were not the hardest part of the work. To write in honor of a person of Hartmann's stature something that refuted a thesis with which he was crowning his outstanding contributions and illustrious position in the field, was — I felt — bad manners if not bad values.

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