ON BEING HUMAN

Editor’s Foreword


WHOEVER ATTEMPTS TO IDENTIFY the “scarlet
thread” that runs through the entire corpus of
Fromm’s writings will, first of all, discover the
socio-psychological approach by which he searched
for man’s socially molded passionate strivings. Yet,
no later than the late 1930s, in conjunction with his
departure from the Institute for Social Research and
his disputes with Horkheimer, Marcuse, and
Adorno, something different and unmistakably
Frommian becomes noticeable and runs through his
life and work like a scarlet thread: his humanistic
view of man and the world. Whenever Fromm
wants, from this point on to characterize even his
own thought, he uses the attribute “humanistic.” He
speaks of a humanistic science of man, of
humanistic socialism, of humanistic industrial
society, of humanistic conscientiousness, of
humanistic religion, of humanistic management, of a
humanistic view of the world, of humanistic
psychoanalysis, of humanistic character, of
humanistic ethics, and of humanistic utopia.

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