Self-determination at the beginning and end of life

Will be postponed!

Erich Fromm Study Conference in Tübingen on Saturday, 24. and Sunday, October 25, 2020

Increased self-determination is widely demanded by society, but in this field of tension at and between the poles of human life and death, is any progress worth striving for in times of rapid development?
In view of today’s ideas of feasibility, rapid medical technologization and the promise of reproductive medicine, questions arise as to whether we really want to be able to do everything in the future, and at what cost. The new opportunities are conflictual and require a high level of psychological integration. Where they cannot be provided, there is a risk of alienation or even loss of the self, despite all efforts to remove boundaries. A conscious confrontation that also reckons with unconscious forces is necessary.

What images of humanity can be found behind the demands for perfection typical of the time? What individualized conflicts, social characterological strategies of repression and denial guide and drive us?

We will deal with the complex of topics from a psychoanalytical, medical-ethical and socio-critical perspective. In Fromm’s biophilic sense, in view of the human condition, we want to ask at this conference about the opportunities and dangers of modern developments from the beginning to the end of life.

The event will take place on Saturday in the parish hall of the Ev. 26, 72072 Tübingen, on Sunday at the Weltethos-Institut, Hintere Grabenstr. 26, 72070 Tübingen and Fromm Institute, as well as at the Erich Fromm Institute on the edge of Tübingen’s old town. As always, we invite all members and interested parties of the Fromm Society, and guests are welcome.

The duration of the Saturday program is 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; as an optional offer there is the possibility to meet for an in-depth exchange on the conference topics in a discussion round on Sunday morning from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. in the Global Ethic Institute or Erich Fromm Institute and then take part in a guided tour.

Saturday, October 24, 2020
on the premises of the Global Ethic Institute


Welcome and introduction
Renate Oetker-Funk and Jörg Müller


On the one-sidedness of technological approaches to existential questions in medicine
Prof. Dr. Giovanni Maio, Freiburg


Questions for the speaker
and debate in plenary


Self-determination between desire and illusion – a psychoanalytical view
Prof. Dr. Martin Teising, Berlin


Questions for the speaker
and debate in plenary


Lunch snack


Impulses – insights into conflict scenarios
Plenum with Renate Oetker-Funk


2 discussion groups 
for exchange and in-depth discussion with the speakers Prof. Dr. G. Maio / Prof. Dr. M. Teising


Coffee break


Final discussion with the speakers


End of the day program

Sunday, October 25, 2020 
in the rooms of the Erich-Fromm-Institute

Talk time
Moderator: Renate Oetker-Funk, Tübingen


Guided tour of the Erich Fromm Institute
Dr. Rainer Funk, Tübingen


End of the conference


  • Renate Oetker-Funk, Tübingen Dipl. Theol., Dipl. Päd., marriage, family and life counselor
  • Dr. Rainer Funk, Tübingen Psychoanalyst, last assistant and administrator of Erich Fromm’s rights and estate as well as editor of his writings
  • Prof. Dr. med. Giovanni Maio, Freiburg Physician, philosopher, medical ethicist and university professor for bioethics/medical ethics at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Teising, Berlin Specialist in psychiatry, psychoanalyst, Chairman of the Dt. Psychoanalytic Association 2010-2012, President of the Int. psy-choanalytic University of Berlin (IPU) 2012-2018

Conference venues:

Saturday: Gemeindehaus der Ev. Eberhardsgemeinde, Eugenstr. 26, 72072 Tübingen (located 1.6 km south of the Global Ethic and Fromm Institute)
Sunday: Global Ethic Institute Tübingen, Hintere Grabenstr. 26, 72070 Tübingen; Phone: +49 7071 54940-30, Erich Fromm-Institut Tübingen, same address (1st floor), Phone: +49 7071 9490635,


 5 min. The METROPOL parking garage at Reutlinger Str. 5 (directly on the B28) is within walking distance. (At the community center itself there are no parking spaces).

Bus routes to the community center 
from Tübingen main station: various Bus lines to the bus stops Sternplatz or Hechinger Straße or Landestheater (from there a 4-minute walk)

Hygiene regulations/mouth and nose protection:
 Entering the community center is only permitted with mouth and nose protection. However, the mask may be removed at the seat. The chairs are approx. 2m apart – but couples can move their chairs together. The mask must be put back on when leaving the seat.

Conference fee:
  • Participation with lunch on 24.10.20: 20,- EUR
  • Participation without lunch: 10,- EUR
  • Participation as a student/without lunch: free admission

The conference fee is to be transferred by 10.10.20 to the account of the Int. Erich-Fromm-Ges. e.V., Sparkasse Tübingen, IBAN: DE63 6415 0020 0000 2543 13, BIC: SOLADES1TUB, note: “Fromm-Studientagung Tübingen”.



Register for the conference

(Alternatively, registration is also possible by e-mail to info[at-symbiol] or using the registration card in the flyer)

Please note that due to the Corona regulations, the specific conference room within Tübingen could still be changed after a certain number of registrations. We will of course inform you in good time.

Conference flyer with registration card



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