The radical humanism of Erich Fromm: a re-appropriation

Durkin, Kieran (2013) The radical humanism of Erich Fromm: a re-appropriation. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis attempts to advance the underappreciated thought of Erich Fromm as both a crucial contribution to twentieth century intellectual history and a potentially pivotal point from which to transcend current theoretical impasses. In particular, I argue that Fromm’s radical humanism can participate in the rejuvenation of contemporary social theory, which is still largely constrained by the dual reductionism of positivism and poststructuralism, and that a return to it will encourage renewed theorising of, and empirical engagement with, the connections that obtain between the ‘psychological’ and the ‘social’, the ‘essential’ and the ‘constructed’, and the ‘is’ and the ‘ought’. I try to show that Fromm’s qualified essentialism and ethical normativism are sensible, viable, and desirable, and that they, coupled with his analytic social psychology, which is based on his underlying humanism and elaborated through a unique fusion of Marx and Freud, provide the basis for the development of practical strategies to realise humanism in the world. Perhaps above all, I try to show that there is a deceptive complexity and sophistication to Fromm’s ideas, which are all too often taken as simple and naïve.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Dr. Andrew and Fowler, Prof. Bridget
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Mr Kieran Durkin
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4544
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2014 15:47
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2014 15:47

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