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Erich Fromm Quotes

Erich Fromm
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Erich Seligmann Fromm
  • Born: 23rd March 1900, Frankfurt am Main, German Empire
  • Died: 18th March 1980, Muralto, Ticino, Switzerland
  • Resting place: Cremated, then his ashes were scattered over the Lake Maggiore in Switzerland
  • Alma mater: University of Heidelberg
  • Occupation: Psychologist and philosopher
  • Era: 20th century philosophy
  • Region: Western philosophy
  • Books: Fromm penned many books with some notable titles listed here: Escape from Freedom (1941), Man for Himself (1947), The Sane Society (1955), The Art of Loving (1956), Beyond The Chains Of Illusion (1962) and On Being Human (1991)

"The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues"

Erich Fromm

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties"

Erich Fromm

"It takes a moment to tell someone you love them, but it takes a lifetime to prove it"

Erich Fromm

"The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness"

Erich Fromm

"Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much"

Erich Fromm

"The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves"

Erich Fromm

"I consider Marx, the thinker, as being of much greater depth and scope than Freud"

Erich Fromm

"Love is only the satisfactory solution to the problems of human existence"

Erich Fromm

"Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality"

Erich Fromm

"An illusion shared by everyone becomes a reality"

Erich Fromm

"The destruction of the world is the last, almost desperate attempt to save myself from being crushed by it"

Erich Fromm

"Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience"

Erich Fromm

"Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves"

Erich Fromm

"The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal"

Erich Fromm
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Erich Fromm Biography

As one of the most prominent psychologists of the twentieth century Erich Fromm was also profoundly influenced by the events that played out in Europe during and up to both world wars.

The first world war had a deep and lasting effect on Fromm and it completely changed his views on and all ideological beliefs, he was once quoted as saying: "When the war ended in 1918, I was a deeply troubled young man who was obsessed by the question of how war was possible".

In between the wars he completed his education at the University of Heidelberg and the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research leading to Fromm learning what is now known as the Frankfurt School Of Social Theory which was spearheaded by Max Horkheimer.

Being of Jewish origins meant that the rise of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party caused Fromm to flee first to Switzerland and then to the U.S. where he took a post at Columbia University in New York. He bore witness to fascist ideologies and the hatred they spewed resonated to make him realise that religion was much the same with the harsh discord they all postulated.

Eight Basic Needs Of A Human

Like all eminent psychologists, Erich Fromm created a list of the eight basic needs of a human and he expanded on these in great detail in his papers and books, they were:

  1. Relatedness
  2. Transcendence
  3. Rootedness
  4. Sense of Identity
  5. Frame of orientation
  6. Excitation and Stimulation
  7. Unity
  8. Effectiveness

His works had a more humanist leaning which brought him to the forefront of world psychoanalysts making him one of the most talked about psychologists of his generation. Eminent psychologists tend to make cracking one liners and he was no different so this is my compilation of 14 of the best Erich Fromm quotes.

Quotes About Erich Fromm

The philosopher Herbert Marcuse described him thus: "Fromm revives all the time-honored values of idealistic ethics as if nobody had ever demonstrated their conformist and repressive features"

The German psychoanalyst Rainer Funk talked on his regard for institutions of learning: "Dr Fromm regarded universities as apologists for the status quo, and as essentially uninterested in the truth"

The philosopher Noam Chomsky gave his balanced opinion: "I liked Fromm's attitudes but thought his work was pretty superficial"

Erich Fromm image quote