THE WELL-BEING OF MAN AND SOCIETY: ESSAYS ON A HUMANIST PSYCHOLOGY by Erich Fromm

THE WELL-BEING OF MAN AND SOCIETY: ESSAYS ON A HUMANIST PSYCHOLOGY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fromm continues to explore the central themes of To Have and To Be (1976), the differences between possession and inner peace as modes of experience, and to propose an arching framework that embraces human experience within the larger society. In the modulated, reasonable voice that has always characterized his work, he expresses dismay at current trends--the split between affect and intellect, man's ""dethronement""--and at a troubling paradox: the discrepancy between widespread access to the great philosophers and virtual disregard of their teachings in favor of a rampant egotism. Maintaining that economic wealth and human fulfillment are not incompatible despite the failure of socialism and capitalist excesses (Homo consumens--""an eternal suckling""), he offers a third alternative--""democratic, humanistic socialism""--and attempts to incorporate biology-based characterological differences between men and women into his world view. It's a relatively complex scheme which also recognizes basic needs (love, rootedness, transcendence, identity) and mixes the essence of Marx and Freud in with several other key influences like Bachofen. But ultimately the book lacks the striking power of some of Fromm's earlier works, even though it falls firmly within the same tradition.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Seabury