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Jackel, M.M. (1959). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 28:446-447.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:446-447

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Merl M. Jackel

DISCUSSION: Dr. Heinz Hartmann drew attention to the danger of confusing a descriptive phenomenological approach with a metapsychological one. If the self is considered as an additional system of the mental apparatus, to be added to the ego, id, and superego, a state of confusion arises since these can be defined by their functions but the self cannot. He was of the opinion that one could no more equate self with self-representation than one could equate object with object-representation. In the phenomena of pooling and the establishment of a frame of reference, Hartmann sees the synthetic function of the ego functioning at two different points. It comes into play first in the pooling and then in the answer to the question whether certain tensions between the individual experience and the average self-experience lead to conflict. It is not only a matter of the relationship of an immediate self-representation to a more or less constant one but, conceivably under various circumstances, the yardstick itself may change.

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