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Tauber, E.S. Landis, B. (1975). On Erich Fromm. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:407-416.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:407-416

On Erich Fromm

Edward S. Tauber, M.D. and Bernard Landis, Ph.D.

ERICH FROMM IS CONCERNED WITH a transformation of life experience, not simply with adaptive modifications of personality. He challenges conventional standards through fresh and precise inquiry to expose their pretenses and lifelessness. The search for truth, he makes clear, is every man's domain, not restricted to scholars and specialists. His all-absorbing concern is the unfolding of life and, as a consequence, the radical and uncompromising critique of all individual and social factors that impede the development of man and his possibilities "to become what he could be."

It is this spirit that forms Fromm's radical approach to psychoanalysis. Stressing the importance of growth, he sees that the achievement of sanity is not to be found in submission, or power-oriented security operations but through efforts to be authentically oneself. Indeed, to Fromm, the aim of life is the process, fundamental to the nature of human existence, of giving birth to oneself.

Although some comprehensive studies of Fromm's work, past and ongoing, have already been made and others are anticipated, in this celebration volume we would like to sketch an over-view of Fromm's main theoretical ideas. In particular, we would like to refer to certain important themes that are touched on repeatedly throughout Fromm's works and constitute much of the substance of his theoretical position, but have not as yet been put into strong relief.


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