Best Known For:
- His concept of freedom as a fundamental part of human nature
- The social unconscious
- Social analysis
- Personality orientations
- Theory of human needs
Birth and Death:
- Erich Fromm was born on March 23, 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany.
- He died on March 18, 1980 in Switzerland.
Fromm remarried in 1944, became a U.S. citizen and moved to Mexico in hopes of alleviating his second wife's illness. He began teaching at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1949 and continued to work there until he retired in 1965. After his wife's death in 1952, Fromm founded the Mexican Institute of Psychoanalysis and continued to serve as its director until 1976. He remarried in 1953 and continued to teach in Mexico while also teaching at other schools including Michigan State University and New York State University for part of each year.
Fromm moved from Mexico City to Muralto, Switzerland in 1974 and remained there until his death in 1980.
Contributions to Psychology:
Fromm also had a major influence on humanistic psychology. Life, Fromm believed, was a contradiction, since humans are both part of nature and separate from it. From this conflict arises basic existential needs including relatedness, creativity, rootedness, identity and a frame of orientation.
Of his own work, Fromm would later explain, "I wanted to understand the laws that govern the life of the individual man, and the laws of society-that is, of men in their social existence. I tried to see the lasting truth in Freud's concepts as against those assumptions which were in need of revision. I tried to do the same with Marx's theory, and finally I tried to arrive at a synthesis which followed from the understanding and the criticism of both thinkers."
- Escape from Freedom, 1941
- Man for himself, 1947
- Psychoanalysis and Religion, 1950
- The Sane Society, 1955
- The Art of Loving, 1956
- The Heart of Man, 1964
- The Nature of Man, 1968
- The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, 1979
- The Art of Being, 1993
- On Being Human, 1997
Fromm, E. (1947) Man For Himself. An inquiry into the psychology of ethics. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Premier.
Fromm, E. (1962). Beyond the chains of illusion: my encounter with Marx and Freud. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Funk, R. (1999) Erich Fromm’s Life and Work, erichfromm.org, http://www.erichfromm.de/english/life/life_bio2.html
Smith, M. K. (2002) ‘Erich Fromm: alienation, being and education’ the encyclopedia of informal education, http://www.infed.org/thinkers/fromm.htm