Fromm Erich 1900 - 1980 (80)

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.


The art

of loving

The art

of being

“Infantile love follows the principle: "I love because I am loved." Mature love follows the principle: "I am loved because I love." Immature love says: "I love you because I need you." Mature love says: "I need you because I love you.”

Erich Fromm was a German-born American psychoanalyst, sociologist and social psychologist. He was born on March 23, 1900 in Frankfurt, the only child of an Orthodox Jewish couple. He began his academic studies in 1918 at the University of Frankfurt with two semesters of jurisprudence and continued at the University of Heidelberg, studying sociology and philosophy with an interest in the study of the Bible and the Talmud. In 1922 he received his Ph.D. in sociology. During the mid 1920s he was trained in Heidelberg to become a psychoanalyst, in 1927 began his clinical practice, in 1929 he joined the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt and completed his psychoanalytic training. In 1930 he was divorced after 4 years of marriage with Freida Reichmann, a women ten years his senior who had once been Fromm's own psychoanalyst. When Nazi came to power in Germany, Erich moved first to Geneva and then, in 1934, to New York, where he became a faculty member at the University of Columbia. Together with Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan, Fromm formed a Neo-Freudian school of psychoanalytical thought. Horney and Fromm each had a marked influence on the other's thought, with Horney illuminating some aspects of psychoanalysis for Fromm and the latter elucidating sociology for Horney.

Fromm rejected Freud's biological orientation and focused on the understanding of human nature in accordance with history and the environment. After leaving Columbia, Fromm helped form the New York branch of the Washington School of Psychiatry in 1943, and in 1946 co-founded the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology. He was on the faculty of Bennington College from 1941 to 1949. He remarried in 1944, acquired U.S. citizenship and in 1949 moved to Mexico in search of a cure for his sick wife. He became a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and established a psychoanalytic section at the medical school there. Meanwhile, he taught as a professor of psychology at Michigan State University from 1957 to 1961 and as an adjunct professor of psychology at the graduate division of Arts and Sciences at New York University after 1962. He taught at UNAM until his retirement, in 1965, and at the Mexican Society of Psychoanalysis (SMP) until 1974. His wife died in 1952 and he remarried in 1953. In 1974 he moved from Mexico City to Muralto, Switzerland, and died at his home in 1980, five days before his eightieth birthday. All the while, Fromm maintained his own clinical practice and published a series of books.