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Emde, R.N. (1981). Changing Models of Infancy and the Nature of Early Development: Remodeling the Foundation. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 29:179-219.

(1981). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 29:179-219

Changing Models of Infancy and the Nature of Early Development: Remodeling the Foundation

Review by:
Robert N. Emde, M.D.

SOME TIME AGO AN IMAGE OF "shaking of the foundations" was conjured up from the prophet Isaiah in a book concerned about changing values in our post-atomic bomb era (Tillich, 1948). The image returns as I consider the books to be discussed. Psychoanalysis has undergone its own foundation shaking. It seems to me the first shaking was inadvertently begun by David Rapaport, who, in a tour de force, systematized psychoanalytic metapsychology using the economic theory as a keystone (Rapaport, 1959). After his death, Rapaport's former students and colleagues pursued his disciplined scholarship and, on both evidential and logical grounds, began questioning fundamental assumptions of the economic theory and then those of metapsychology in general (Holt, 1967). Following this questioning, the entire edifice of psychoanalytic metapsychology has been regarded by some critics as weak or outmoded (see Gill and Holtzman, 1976). Some have advocated a modification of theory.

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