39 Facts About Erich Fromm


Erich Seligmann Fromm was a German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist.


Erich Fromm was a German Jew who fled the Nazi regime and settled in the US Erich Fromm was one of the founders of The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology in New York City and was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.


Erich Fromm was born on March 23,1900, at Frankfurt am Main, the only child of Orthodox Jewish parents, Rosa and Naphtali Fromm.


Erich Fromm started his academic studies in 1918 at the University of Frankfurt am Main with two semesters of jurisprudence.


Erich Fromm received his PhD in sociology from Heidelberg in 1922 with a dissertation "On Jewish Law".


Erich Fromm was very active in Jewish Studentenverbindungen and other Zionist organisations.


Together with Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan, Erich Fromm belongs to a Neo-Freudian school of psychoanalytical thought.


Horney and Erich Fromm each had a marked influence on the other's thought, with Horney illuminating some aspects of psychoanalysis for Erich Fromm and the latter elucidating sociology for Horney.


Erich Fromm was on the faculty of Bennington College from 1941 to 1949, and taught courses at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1941 to 1959.


When Erich Fromm moved to Mexico City in 1949, he became a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and established a psychoanalytic section at the medical school there.


Erich Fromm taught at UNAM until his retirement, in 1965, and at the Mexican Society of Psychoanalysis until 1974.


All the while, Erich Fromm maintained his own clinical practice and published a series of books.


Erich Fromm was reportedly an atheist but described his position as "nontheistic mysticism".


Erich Fromm began studying Talmud as a young man under Rabbi J Horowitz and later under Rabbi Salman Baruch Rabinkow, a Chabad Hasid.


Erich Fromm studied under Nehemia Nobel and Ludwig Krause while studying in Frankfurt.


Erich Fromm's grandfather and two great-grandfathers on his father's side were rabbis, and a great uncle on his mother's side was a noted Talmudic scholar.


However, Erich Fromm turned away from orthodox Judaism in 1926, towards secular interpretations of scriptural ideals.


However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy on this, Erich Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.


Beyond a simple condemnation of authoritarian value systems, Erich Fromm used the story of Adam and Eve as an allegorical explanation for human biological evolution and existential angst, asserting that when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being part of it.


However, Erich Fromm distinguished his concept of love from unreflective popular notions as well as Freudian paradoxical love.


Erich Fromm considered love an interpersonal creative capacity rather than an emotion, and he distinguished this creative capacity from what he considered to be various forms of narcissistic neuroses and sado-masochistic tendencies that are commonly held out as proof of "true love".


Indeed, Erich Fromm viewed the experience of "falling in love" as evidence of one's failure to understand the true nature of love, which he believed always had the common elements of care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge.


Erich Fromm asserted that few people in modern society had respect for the autonomy of their fellow human beings, much less the objective knowledge of what other people truly wanted and needed.


Erich Fromm believed that freedom was an aspect of human nature that we either embrace or escape.


Erich Fromm observed that embracing our freedom of will was healthy, whereas escaping freedom through the use of escape mechanisms was the root of psychological conflicts.


For example, in an addendum to his book The Heart of Man: Its Genius For Good and Evil, Erich Fromm wrote as part of his humanist credo:.


Erich Fromm asserted that these two ways of relating to the world were not instinctive, but an individual's response to the peculiar circumstances of his or her life; he believed that people are never exclusively one type of orientation.


Erich Fromm examined the life and work of Sigmund Freud at length.


Erich Fromm identified a discrepancy between early and later Freudian theory: namely that, prior to World War I, Freud had described human drives as a tension between desire and repression, but after the end of the war, began framing human drives as a struggle between biologically universal Life and Death instincts.


Erich Fromm charged Freud and his followers with never acknowledging the contradictions between the two theories.


Erich Fromm condemned Freud as a misogynist unable to think outside the patriarchal milieu of early 20th century Vienna.


However, in spite of these criticisms, Erich Fromm nonetheless expressed a great respect for Freud and his accomplishments.


Erich Fromm contended that Freud was one of the "architects of the modern age", alongside Albert Einstein and Karl Marx, but emphasized that he considered Marx both far more historically important than Freud and a finer thinker.


Erich Fromm's best known work, Escape from Freedom, focuses on the human urge to seek a source of authority and control upon reaching a freedom that was thought to be an individual's true desire.


Erich Fromm became one of the founders of socialist humanism, promoting the early writings of Marx and his humanist messages to the US and Western European public.


In 1965, working to stimulate the Western and Eastern cooperation between Marxist humanists, Erich Fromm published a series of articles entitled Socialist Humanism: An International Symposium.


Erich Fromm joined the Socialist Party of America in the mid-1950s, and did his best to help them provide an alternative viewpoint to McCarthyist trends in some US political thought.


In Eros and Civilization, Herbert Marcuse is critical of Erich Fromm: In the beginning, he was a radical theorist, but later he turned to conformity.


Erich Fromm argues that later scholars such as Marcuse accepted these concepts as dogma, whereas social psychology requires a more dynamic theoretical and empirical approach.