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240 Inspiring Quotes by Erich Fromm

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Erich Fromm.

Wikipedia Summary for Erich Fromm

Erich Seligmann Fromm (German: [fʁɔm]; March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was a German Jew who fled the Nazi regime and settled in the US. He was one of the founders of The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology in New York City and was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.

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Longer Version:

Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair. If one truly responds to man and his future, ie , concernedly and "responsibly." one can respond only by faith or by despair. Rational faith as well as rational despair are based on the most thorough, critical knowledge of all the factors that are relevant for the survival of man.




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Longer Version:

Giving is the highest expression of potency...Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.


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Longer Version:

Fairness means not to use fraud and trickery in the exchange of commodities and services and the exchange of feelings...Exploitation and manipulation produce boredom and triviality; they cripple man, and all factors that make man into a psychic cripple turn him also into a sadist or a destroyer.


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Longer Version:

Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves. If we do not understand the language in which they are written, we miss a great deal of what we know and tell ourselves in those hours when we are not busy manipulating the outside world.


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Longer Version:

Mother's love is bliss, is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. If it is there, it is like a blessing; if it is not there it is as if all the beauty had gone out of life.


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Longer Version:

Love is an act of faith and whoever is of little faith is also of title love.





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Longer Version:

The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation; in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society -- and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic.


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Longer Version:

Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. Love is not a spontaneous feeling, a thing that you fall into, but is something that requires thought, knowledge, care, giving, and respect. And it is something that is rare and difficult to find in capitalism, which commodifies human activity.


--Erich Fromm

Longer Version:

Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows 'what he wants,' while he actually wants what he is supposed to want. In order to accept this it is necessary to realize that to know what one really wants is not comparatively easy, as most people think, but one of the most difficult problems any human being has to solve. It is a task we frantically try to avoid by accepting ready-made goals as though they were our own.


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Longer Version:

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots. True enough, robots do not rebel. But given man's nature, robots cannot live and remain sane, they become ''Golems',' they will destroy their world and themselves because they cannot stand any longer the boredom of a meaningless life.


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