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(2000). The Vanishing of the Past: Martin Dornes. Pp. 530-570. Psychoanal Q., 69(3):591-592.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Vanishing of the Past: Martin Dornes. Pp. 530-570

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(3):591-592

The Vanishing of the Past: Martin Dornes. Pp. 530-570

The author examines the more recent attempts to abolish the past in developmental psychology. Contextualistic developmental models, such as the one proposed by Michael Lewis, maintain that human behavior and emotions are determined by present conditions of life rather than by (early) childhood experiences. In his overview of the pertinent research concerning developmental psychology, neuropsychology, and psychology of memory, the author illustrates the one-sidedness of this approach. He then discusses social tendencies which may contribute to the relativization of the significance of the past; the constantly increasing speed of modernization in contemporary

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societies seems to dissolve the past in that it leads to a general devaluation of experince and an almost exclusive focus on the here and now. Theoretical models articulating this trend—in spite of their limited truth value—therefore have the merit of capturing the prevailing contemporary mood.

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Article Citation

(2000). The Vanishing of the Past. Psychoanal. Q., 69(3):591-592

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