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Erich Fromm

(1900—1980) German-born American psychoanalyst and social philosopher


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(1900–1980)

German-born US psychoanalyst and social philosopher who emphasized the cultural determinants of personality. His works investigate emotional problems in free societies and advocate psychoanalysis as a cure for cultural ills and an aid to the development of a sane society.

Born in Frankfurt, Fromm was educated at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich before establishing a private practice in psychotherapy in 1925. Fromm was initially a disciple of Freud, combining his psychological theories with the social principles of Karl Marx in both his clinical practice and his philosophy. His methods of therapy were unique in that the analyst confronted the patient both as his therapist and as another, empathic, person, stressing that there is no factor present in the patient that is not present in everyone else.

In 1933 Fromm went to Chicago to lecture at the Psychoanalytic Institute; rather than return to Hitler's Germany, he remained to become a US citizen (in 1934). He taught at several American universities and later expanded his views to incorporate some of the principles of Zen Buddhism. In 1957 he co-founded the National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy and in 1962 gave up his religion although acknowledging that it had profoundly influenced his philosophy.

Fromm wrote many books and articles for both academics and the general reader, including Escape from Freedom (1941), Psychoanalysis and Religion (1950), The Art of Loving (1956), and The Wellbeing of Man in Society (1978). He also published his analysis of Freud in Sigmund Freud's Mission: An Analysis of his Personality and Influence (1959) and The Greatness and Limitations of Freud's Thought (1980).

Subjects: Social Sciences — Arts and Humanities.


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