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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » Erich Fromm (1900-1980)

German-American philosopher, psychologist and sociologist, the chief representative neofreydizma. Based on the ideas of psychoanalysis, existentialism and Marxism, sought to resolve the basic contradictions of human existence. Ways out of the crisis of modern civilization saw the creation of "healthy society" based on the principles and values ​​of humanistic ethics. Major works "Escape from Freedom" (1941), "Psychoanalysis and Religion" (1950), "Revolution of Hope" (1964).

Erich Fromm was born March 23, 1900 in Frankfurt am Main in a pious Jewish family. His father traded grape wine, grandfather and great-grandfather on the paternal side were rabbis. Erich Mother - Rose Krause came from Russian immigrants who moved to Finland and to Judaism.

The family lived in accordance with the patriarchal traditions of pre-bourgeois era - in the spirit of piety, diligence and careful observance. Erich received a good primary education. College, where he studied Latin, English and French, awakened in the youth interest in the Old Testament texts. True, he did not like the tales of heroic battles because of their cruelty and destructiveness, but he liked the story of Adam and Eve, Abraham and the predictions especially Isaiah's prophecy and other prophets.

The First World War brought in the shower 14-year-old boys present confusion; Erich could not answer his question agitated that causes millions of people to kill each other?

In 1918 he began to study psychology, philosophy and sociology at Frankfurt and then Heidelberg University, where, among his other teachers were such prominent social scientists as Max Weber, Karl Jaspers, and Heinrich Rickert. Fromm early acquainted with the philosophical works of Karl Marx, who attracted him above all the ideas of humanism, understood as "complete liberation of man, and to create opportunities for its expression."

Another important source of his personal and professional interests in the 1920s, the theory becomes instinct Sigmund Freud. The fact that his first wife was Frieda Fromm Reichman - academic, psychoanalyst. And Erich, who was much younger Frida, her influence became interested in clinical practice of psychoanalysis. They lived together for four years, but for life preserved mutual friendliness and ability to creative collaboration.

Almost ten years of his fate has been associated with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, who led Max Horkheimer. Fromm here led the department of social psychology, conducted a series of empirical studies of workers and employees and in 1932 concluded that the workers will not have any serious resistance to the dictatorial regime of Hitler.

It was Europe's first case study of value orientations in small and large groups. 600 questionnaires were analyzed, each 270 questions aimed at understanding the unconscious motives. The analysis showed that the workers, despite the revolutionary phrases in the party and the trade unions, will not prevent fascism.

In 1933 he left Germany, moved to Chicago and then to New York, where he was soon relocated and Horkheimer with his institute. Here they continue to study together the socio-psychological problems of authoritarianism ... The program was called "Authority and the family." The results of these studies Fromm wrote a book, "Escape from Freedom" (1941), who made his name in America, these materials were later used by Theodor Adorno in his book "The Authoritarian Personality."

Then they create their periodical "Journal of Social Research." However, due to the confrontation with Adorno and Marcuse, Fromm forced to leave the institute and goodbye to the Frankfurt School. Breaking with the "German roots," he is completely in the American environment; works in many educational institutions, engaged in various unions and associations of American psychoanalysts, and when in 1946 in Washington created the Institute of psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis, Fromm actively involved in the systematic training in psychoanalysis.

Erich Fromm was never a full professor of the department, he read his course on "interdisciplinary" level, has always been able not only to tie together data from anthropology, political science and social psychology, but also illustrate their facts from his clinical practice, he was truly brilliant lecturer and a favorite of the young. But this is not its main merit, and that he was a great thinker and a great humanist, the subject of his life was a man of scientific interest.

Fromm kept returning to his "spiritual ancestors" - Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Using every opportunity to present their American reader, he wrote the preface and commentary to the English edition of Marx, articles and some books about the life and work of Sigmund Freud. Fromm so later explained his quest.

"For many years I tried to extract and preserve the truth that was in Freud, and refute those provisions needed to be reconsidered. I tried to do the same in relation to Marx's theory. Finally, I tried to come to a synthesis which follows from the understanding and criticism of both thinkers. "

Reason for revision Fromm Freud's fairly obvious. This is especially the rapid development of science, especially social psychology and sociology. This is the shock that Fromm himself suffered in connection with the coming to power of fascism, forced emigration and the need to switch to a whole new clientele. It is the practice of psychotherapy in the Americas led him to the conclusion that the neuroses of the XX century can not be explained solely by biological factors.

Fromm comes to creating their own concept of a "new man and a new society." Despite all the differences in the views of the radical humanists, their principled positions coincide on the following points should be the production of man, not the economy, the relationship between man and nature must be based not on exploitation but on cooperation, the supreme goal of all social activities must be human good and prevent human suffering, not the maximum consumption, but only reasonable consumption is the health and welfare of man.

Impossible to list all the radical humanists, Fromm says, but if you try to name the most important, it will be GD Toro, Emerson, Ralph Waldo, A.

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