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Rangell, L. (1986). The Executive Functions of the Ego—An Extension of the Concept of Ego Autonomy. Psychoanal. St. Child, 41:1-37.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 41:1-37

Original Articles

The Executive Functions of the Ego—An Extension of the Concept of Ego Autonomy

Leo Rangell, M.D.


IT HAS BEEN COMMON, ALMOST ROUTINE IN PSYCHOANALYTIC writing, for an author to start with a passage of Freud's in which a subject has been laid down but incompletely developed which can then be further explored in depth. Hartmann (1956b) pointed out that Freud made "radical new departures" and reformulations up to his last papers, that he freely admitted to the quality of not being finished, and that there were a number of important chapters "he had not yet come round to" (p. 268). Freud himself continued to expand old ideas as he added new ones. But whatever Freud laid down during his lifetime, a seemingly endless mine was left for others to discover or appear to discover.

The same can be done, although it is far less routine, with the work of Heinz Hartmann.

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