Erich Fromm on Love as an Art (Part Two)

Feb 15, 2016, 12:00 PM

Continuing on Fromm's The Art of Loving (1956).

In this second half of our discussion, we talk about love as requiring knowledge: as "knowing the secret" of humanity or at least being interested. This is related to sadism. Is there a difference between motherly and fatherly love? Fromm thinks so. He also talks about different degrees of maturity in one's belief in God, the best being like Spinoza's, where God is not an entity, but is the equivalent to the world and love of God is love of humanity, i.e., general orientation toward the good. Finally, we get Fromm's social recommendations: How could we reform society's structures and norms so that healthy love as he's describing it can be the norm instead of the purview of only those rebellious enough to reject the consumerist outlook? Hint: He likes Marx, though he argues that no allegedly Marxist actual state comes anywhere close to what Marx was after in terms of letting people live free, unalienated, fulfilling lives.

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End songs: "Kimmy" (recorded 1995), from Mark Lint's Black Jelly Beans & Smokes. Listen to the album free. Also its sequel, "Kimmy 2002 (Mommy)." #philosophy #psychoanalysis #fromm #love #valentine Go to the blog: