Rainer Funk

Erich Fromm: The Courage to Be Human

With a Postscript by Erich Fromm

First Published in English with Continuum – New York 1982

Translated from German by Michael Shaw

Prefaces (pp. xi-xvi)
Part One: The Socio-Psychological Insights
and Philosophical-Anthropological Ideas of Erich Fromm
Social Psychology (pp. 11-26)
The Questioning of Freud’s Concept of Man
The Molding of Man by Socioeconomic Conditions: The Sociopsychological Method
The Shaping of Man by His Relation to the World: The Formation of Character
The „social character“ as mediation between the socioeconomic structure and the ideas and ideals that prevail in a society
Summary: The critique of Freud’s concept of man
The dynamic concept of character
Character orientations
Orientations in the Process of Assimilation
The Nonproductive Orientations
The Productive Orientations
The Orientations in the Process of Socialization
The Nonproductive Orientations
The Productive Orientations
The Affinity and the Blends of the Various Orientations
The Syndrome of Growth and the Syndrome of Decay
Biophilia and Necrophilia and Their Relation to Freud’s Eros and Thanatos
Narcissism and Incestuous Symbiosis
The Convergence Within the Syndromes of Growth and Decay and the Correlation of the Sy ndromes
Man’s Nature
The „Essence“ or „Nature“ of Man
Man’s Dichotomtes
The Needs of Man as Human Needs
The History of Man
The History of the Messianic Idea as a Historical-Philosophical Theory
Fromm’s View of History as a Continuation of Karl Marx’s Theory of History
Man’s Alienation in History
The Roots of Fromm’s Concept of Alienation In Intellectual History
Alienation as idolatry
The Possibility of Overcoming Alienation
On the Ambiguity of the Concept of Alienation
Part Two: The Humanism of Erich Fromm and Its Critique
Authority and Religion
Rational and Irrational Authority
The Authoritarian and the Revolutionary Character and Their Dialectic
Essential Nature and Function of Religion
Authoritarian versus Humanistic Religion
Fromm’s Interpretation of the History of the Concept of God
The Humanist Religion As the Realization of the X Experience
On the Path Toward the Humanistic X Experience
The X Experience As the Mysticism of the ONE
The Humanistic Ethic (pp. 129-180)
A Comparison Between Humanistic Ethics as an Applied Science of the Art of Life and Other Systems of Ethics
The Basis of a Humanistic Ethic
The „Science of Man“ and Its Relation to the „Nature of Man”
The Path Toward the Knowledge of objectively Valid Norms and Values
Man’s Capacity for the Moral
The Question Concerning Man’s Potential Goodness
The Determinants of Man’s Capacity for the Moral
Character or Instinct as Determinant of Man’s Capacity for the Moral: The Dispute with Konrad Lorenz
Man’s Capacity for Making Choices: Freedom as the Ability to Act in Alternative Ways
Authoritarian and Humanistic Conscience
The Meaning of the Humanistic Ethic for the Discovery of Norms in a Theological Ethic
On the Present Self-Understanding of Theological Ethics
Preliminary Critical Examination of Fromm’s Humanistic Ethic
The Search for a Natural „Unbeliebigkeit“ [= not left to discretion] of Human Normativeness
Character as the Principle of the Methodological Unity of Empirical Data, Philosophical-Anthropological Reflection, and the Creation of Ethical Nouns
The Empirical Data and Their Significance for an Ethical Perspective
The Philosophical-Anthropological Reflections and Their Significance for an Ethical Point of View
Summary: Ethical Norms as Based on a Human-Natural „Unbeliebigkeit“

Part Three: Sources and Forms of the Thought of Erich Fromm
Moses Maimonides: The Jewish Tradition of the Negative Knowledge of God
Hermann Cohen: The Relationship of Ethics and Religion in the Jewish Philosophy of Religion
Shneur Zalman: Ethos Become Mysticism
Karl Marx: Man as the Maker of His History
The Ecstatic-Cathartic Conceptual Model and Its Forms of Thought or Contentless Formulae (Leerformeln)
The Concept and Function of Contentless Formulae According to Ernst Topitsch, and Their Critique
The History of the Ecstatic-Cathartic Conceptual Model and of Its Forms of Thought
The Concept of Dialectics as Form of Thought and Contentless Formula as Rooted in the Ecstatic-Cathartic Model
Dialectics in Fromm’s Work
Fromm’s Thought in the Tradition of the Ecstatic-Cathartic Model
Dialectics as Form of Thought and Contentless Formulae
The Universal Claim of Dialectical Thinking and Its Critique
Part Four: Humanism as Science
and as Religious Ethos in Fromm’s Work
The Modes of Having and Being as Characterological Concepts
Having and Being as Ultimate Assessments of Human Reality
Definition of the Two Modes
Characteristics of the Two Modes
Exemplifications of the Modes in Human Action
Having and Being as Fundamental Orientations of the Character Structure
Having and Being as Religious Concepts
From the Characterological to the Religious Understanding of the Having/Being Alternative
The Having/Being Alternative as the Essence of a Religious Ethos
The Function of Humanistic Religion in the Grounding of a Humanistic Understanding of Man
Reflections on a Fruitful Discussion between Christian Theologians and the Humanist Fromm
Questions Christian Theologians Might Address to the Humanist Fromm
Secondary Literature (pp. 384-407)

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