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Sharoff, R.L. (1958). The Art of Loving: An Inquiry Into the Nature of love. Erich Fromm, Harper Brothers New York, 1957. Pp. xx + 133 $2.75.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 18(1):99-100.
(1958). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 18(1):99-100
The Art of Loving: An Inquiry Into the Nature of love. Erich Fromm, Harper Brothers New York, 1957. Pp. xx + 133 $2.75.
Review by: Robert L. Sharoff, M.D.
This book was written for World Perspectives. As described by the editor of The Science of Culture Series, Dr. Ruth Nanda Anshen, World Perspectives is a program to bring to the public short books in a variety of fields by the most distinguished contemporary thinkers and world leaders. The purpose is to reveal basic new trends in modern civilization, to interpret the creative forces at work today in religion, politics, the arts and sciences, and to contribute to a deeper understanding of the interrelation of man and the universe, the individual and society, and the values shared by all people. World Perspectives represents and presents the world community of ideas. It emphasizes the principle of unity in mankind and of permanence within change.
In a sense, then, this book represents Fromm's philosophy of a mature, healthy existence. Only an individual who achieves healthy maturity is capable of love as Fromm understands it. Much that he has to say in this volume consists of ideas expressed in his previous books. Fromm states this in the foreword. However, in this book he attempts to go beyond previously expressed ideas, mainly by developing his understanding of the nature of love.
He attempts to divide his inquiry into two parts: 1) the theory of love, which occupies the major part of the book, and 2) the practice of love.
For Fromm, love is the answer to the problem of human existence. Man, he states, is gifted with reason. His reason makes him aware of himself as a separate entity, his own short life, of the fact that he is born against his will and dies against his will.
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