Comprehensive Paper in Theories of Personality about
By: Erich Fromm
In Partial fulfillment for the requirements in
Psych 105 (Theories of Personality)
BS Psychology 2
July 18, 2013
Erich Fromm was born on March 23, 1900, at Frankfurt Germany, the only child of Orthodox Jewish parents. He referred himself as an “atheistic mystic” although he did not formally practice religion. He acknowledged that his parents were probably neurotic and himself as an “unbearable neurotic child.” He received Ph. D. in 1922 in the University of Heidelberg. He was one of the early lay analysts; he had no formal medical training. Fromm’s retreat from Freudism may have begun during the writing of his highly successful book, escape from freedom published in 1941. Fromm’s socialist inclinations may have begun in childhood when he talked politics with a socialist. He suggested a name humanistic Communitarian Socialism for perfect society.He suggested a name Humanistic Communitarian Socialism for perfect society. Co-founder of SANE (the organization for a sane nuclear policy). He was married three times and one of it is Karen Horney. He died in the Swiss town of Muralto on March 18, 1980 because of heart attack.
Assumes that humanity’s separation from the natural world has produced feelings of loneliness and isolation, a condition called basic anxiety. He looks at people from a historical and cultural perspective rather than a strictly psychological one. It is more concerned with those characteristics common to a culture. There are two modes that are competing for the spirit of humanity. The having mode relies on the possessions that a person has. It is the source of the lust for power and leads to isolation and fear. The being mode, which depends solely on the fact of existence, is the source of productive love and activity and leads to solidarity and joy. Freedom
Fromm defined Freedom as a basic human condition that posits a “psychological problem.” For him if humans will be gain freedom he will be separated from the natural world that’s why causes basic anxiety.Thetwo alternatives on how human beings respond to the “psychological problem” posed by freedom: first, Work with one another in a spirit of love to create a society that will optimally fulfill their needs. Second, “Escape from the burden” of freedom into “new dependencies and submission.” Mechanisms of Escape
Fromm identified three mechanisms of escape from freedom: authoritarianism, destructiveness, and automaton conformity. These mechanisms do not resolve the underlying problem of loneliness they merely mask it. Authoritarianism this is the tendency to fuse one’s self with somebody or something outside of oneself in order to acquire the strength which the individual self is lacking. He describes this character as reflecting an ironic combination of striving for submission or the masochism and striving for domination or the sadism. Destructiveness attempts to overcome life’s threatening situations by destroying them, sometimes if they cannot destroy those situation it might be end up in self-destruction, this might be lead to suicide, drug addiction and etc. Automaton Conformity according to Fromm this is the very common in our society, most of us seek out our own little niche from which we historically have escaped. Individuals who are using this in order to cope with others are changing their personalities by following the personality of others but it might lead to the loss of self. Fromm’s mechanism of escape has similarities with Horney’s neurotic trends. The only difference is Horney’s emphasis was on anxiety, Fromm’s was on isolation.
According to Fromm, our human dilemma cannot be solved by satisfying our animal needs. It can be addressed by fulfilling our uniquely human needs, an accomplishment that moves us toward a reunion...
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