Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Erich Fromm - short biography and summary of main books and ideas

Erich Fromm (1900 - 1980 ) was a Jewish German psychologist, a social , a psychoanalyst and philosopher. Fromm tried to establish the place of man in society, and how society affects man. He also explored the place of mental motives in driving socio-historical processes. Influenced by the views of Sigmund Freud , Alfred Adler and Karl Marx, he tried to combine different aspects of their theories.

Fromm was born in Frankfurt , Germany and grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family . He was the grandson of Rabbi Yitzchak Dov Bamberger And grandson of Rabbi Pinchas Seligman Fromm . In 1918 he began studying jurisprudence at the University of Frankfurt , where he studied for two semesters. During the summer semester he moved to the University of Heidelberg , and moved from law school to study sociology with Alfred Weber (brother of the sociologist Max Weber ), with the psychoanalyst and philosopher Karl Jaspers and with Heinrich Rickert .

In 1922 he completed a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Heidelberg . In 1930 he completed his training as a psychoanalyst at the Berlin Institute of Psychoanalysis . This year he joined the Institute for Sociological Research in Frankfurt, which was the headquarters of the Frankfurt School of Socialism. In 1926 he married the physician and psychoanalyst Frida Fromm-Reichman , from whom he later divorced in the United States .

Following the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany , Fromm first emigrated to Geneva and from there to the United States in 1934 and was invited to lecture at the Psychoanalytic Institute in Chicago . In 1935 - 1939 he taught at Columbia University . He went on to practice psychology and teach at universities in the United States.

In 1950 he emigrated to Mexico and received a professorship at the National University of Mexico , where he established a psychoanalytic department at the University School of Medicine. He taught there until his retirement in 1965 . In 1957 - 1961 he taught psychology in the University of Michigan . He also taught as an adjunct professor at New York University . In 1974 he emigrated to Moralto , Switzerland , and at the same time published a series of books. He died at his home in 1980 , five days before his 80th birthday.

His most popular book is The Art of Loving , which has sold about six million copies worldwide. Another prominent book by Fromm is Escape From Freedom.

Early in his career as a psychoanalyst, Fromm was greatly influenced by the theories of Freud and Adler . Unlike Freud, Fromm did not see the motivation in man as stemming from frustration and dissatisfaction with biological and physical impulses, but emphasized the origin of these - as faithful to his approach emphasizing interpersonal interaction - in the dissatisfaction of man's psychological needs. His first book was published in the early 1940s and led to his removal from the International Psychoanalytic Association as well as from the corresponding American Association, headed by Karen Horny . Karl Marx 's social theory had a great influence on Fromm. Hence his method in psychoanalysis is a combination of the inner mental structure of man, taking into account the effect that the social structure and the limitations arising from it may narrow the degree of freedom that man can acquire, and therefore slow down his unique development.