Erich Fromm was best known for his revolutionary views on modern society, particularly in the areas of psychological and social development. He was a prolific writer who authored many books on psychology. Although Erich had studied at International Psychoanalytic University Berlin, he did not have an extensive background in clinical psychiatry. Erich had no formal training in clinical psychology, but he is widely considered a psychoanalytic theorist.
Erich was a true humanist thinker and his work forms part of the foundations of several disciplines, including sociology, clinical psychology, and cultural criticism – Erich Fromm biography . Erich’s most popular book by far is The Art of Loving . Erich studied various philosophical theories on love as well as psychoanalysis to develop his own perspective on loving. Erich believed that there were three main elements in all forms of love: care, responsibility and respect.
Erich believed that although these three concepts are important for building successful relationships they do not ensure success. Erich believed that lasting satisfaction can only be achieved through a couple working together to achieve a state of being which Erich called fusion. Erich believed that the ultimate goal of human life is to achieve this state of being, though Erich was quick to point out that achieving fusion with another person is not necessary for a rewarding existence.
Erich wrote The Art of Loving as an attempt to teach readers how they can cultivate this sense of fusing without it requiring another person. Erich also wrote The Art of Being in addition to his other works on love because Erich believed that the ability to be alone without feeling lonely was vital for achieving this state of fusion. Erich used psychoanalytic theory as well as concepts from phenomenology and existentialism in developing his theories on love. Erich used these theories, along with some Marxist philosophy, to develop Erich’s own concept of love.
Erich believed that people need to feel fulfillment in their lives, which Erich called self-actualization or fusion, and Erich believed that this could only be achieved through truly loving another person. Erich also saw the necessity of being able to enjoy time alone without feeling lonely, which Erich called solitude or The Art of Being. Erich argued that if an individual achieves these two things then he or she can lead a life full of happiness. Erich Fromm was born on March 23rd 1900 in Frankfurt am Main Germany.
Erich died at his home in 1980 at age 80. Erich did not leave behind any living relatives due to his decision not to marry nor have children. Erich’s parents were wealthy manufacturers of home furnishings that Erich described as materialistic and possessive. Erich said that this left him feeling lonely growing up, despite having numerous friends Erich felt like something was missing from his life; Erich would later identify this void as the longing to love another person unconditionally (Hook).
Erich’s father was Jewish and Erich converted to Protestantism in 1926, but Erich did not see these religious affiliations as important. Erich often gave lectures on Marxism which angered many prominent figures including Jurgen Habermas who accused Fromm of being the only Marxist with a license to practice psychoanalysis. Erich never married or had children because he believed that Erich’s Erich’s work was a greater contribution to the world than Erich would have been able to make as a parent.
Erich was not ashamed of Erich’s decision not to marry nor have children, but Erich felt that Erich simply had too many other things Erich wanted to accomplish in Erich’s life. The Art of Loving is Erich Fromm’s manual on how one can achieve loving relationships with others and oneself. The English translation, first published in 1956, has sold over 1 million copies around the world and continues to sell well even today (Hook). Fromm starts off by describing two types of love: motherly love and fatherly love.
These two different types represent what he calls “biological bonds” or love that is a result of necessities such as the need to eat and be clothed. Erich then goes on describe what he calls “social bonds” which Erich describes as love between friends, Erich also includes romantic relationships in this category. Erich argues from an existentialist perspective that these two types of love rely too heavily on one’s own instincts and feelings rather than a conscious choice, Erich says that because of this reliance they are unstable and unreliable forms of achieving happiness (Hook).
Fromm uses four Freudian drives described by Erich: eros, logos, mania and agape to create a hierarchy of needs for people to fulfill in order to achieve happiness. Erich Fromm describes eros as “life instinct”, Erich states that everyone needs to feel love in order to be happy. Erich says that the love one feels for another person is an example of this type of need, Erich says that people who are unable to care for others in a loving manner are “infantile” or immature Erich recommends finding a lover in order to fulfill Erich’s drive of eros (Hook).
Erich argues against Freud’s idea of logos which Erich describes as “logical intelligence”. Erich calls this form of intelligence self-defeating because it separates humans from other animals by making them act only on reason rather than instincts. Erich claims that individuals can use their logical intelligence to be happy by using Erich’s ideas of logical-rationalism to form a “life plan” Erich believes life plans are critical in achieving happiness because it helps one have a purpose in Erich’s life.
Erich describes the kind of logic that is necessary for happiness as much different from what Erich calls “Freudian” or “analytical thought”. Erich says that natural instincts should, similarly to animals, control our behavior rather than always being subjected to interrogations about why we feel the way we do (Hook). Erich argues that mania can also lead people towards happiness. Erich defines mania as an obsession with oneself and says this fetishization of self-hood creates an inner turbulence that Erich says will only be resolved through an outward focus onto other people.
Erich Fromm argues that mania can lead to happiness after Erich’s experiences as a prisoner of war, Erich claims he felt the most alive during those times and Erich argues that feeling alive is Erich’s drive of mania (Hook). Finally Erich describes agape or “selfless love”. Erich describes this form of love as giving without expecting anything in return and Erich uses Christianity to justify this idea. Erich believes selfless love is the highest state of all because it requires such a large amount of empathy and respect for others (Hook).