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Fromm And The Conscience
Terms in this set (40)
What did he believe that free will was?
What did he believe that humans do?
Imagine that they have a choice and that their moral views are personal.
What does Fromm believe happens from birth?
That humans are reduced to a state of obedience by forces that they cannot see.
Who moulds/controls children?
Parents and society.
What works together?
Family and society.
What is an individual given?
A social character which makes them fit into society.
What happens after they gain a social character?
Individuality is removed creating a social consciousness thus making people aware of who they are/which group they belong to.
Who does Fromm believe created social character in the Middle Ages?
What replaced the Church?
What did the state become?
The means by which people identified themselves.
Example of the state creating social consciousness?
Nazi Germany- Jews were considered and treated as being less than human. They were mot part of the social consciousness of the German people.
What does Fromm refer to this state control as?
What did he argue happens in liberal/tolerant societies of modern Europe and America?
Not the Church or the state that creates group conscience, it's public opinion.
What is the modern liberal state compared to the Church/Nazi ideology?
Less straight forward, the other two just told people what to believe.
What does the modern liberal state use to create social consciousness?
Ads, scientists and politicians to convince people that there is no alternative.
What is this principle known as?
The TINA principle ('There Is No Alternative').
What are people tricked into?
Believing that they control their lives.
What did Fromm develop?
An understanding of the liberal economy and its moral conscience.
What does moral conscience argue?
That people believe they're making their own decisions but their actions are predetermined by the needs of the marketplace.
What becomes morally important?
The discipline of work.
Because it maximises the profits of companies, not for the good of the individual.
What do people feel when unemployed?
Why do people buy more?
To fuel the capitalist economy despite becoming guilty of over-exploitation of the earth when they do.
What does this mean about morality?
That it becomes consumer based.
What did Fromm do?
Painted a very bleak picture of humanity.
What do people have no influence on?
The society into which they are born.
What is humanity?
Creatures of their historic and economic situation.
What did he believe that people's attitudes are conditioned by?
Their economic/social background.
Predetermined by socio-economic forces.
What did he support?
How did he adapt this?
The Freudian sense of guilt.
Their anxieties are social/economic and they feel guilt about the benefits that come from their place in history.
Example of this guilt?
A middle class person will want the wealth needed to buy a house in a leafy suburb yet will feel guilt about these desires.
What does this lead to?
An individual living a happy, economically prosperous life but will have no inner contentment.
What is broken as a result?
The link between happiness and contentment.
What was Fromm's change of opinion?
''Man is the only creature endowed with a conscience. His conscience is the voice that calls him back to himself.''
What did he develop?
The idea of hope and individual liberation from self-alienation.
What did he argue that the conscience does?
Allows humans to rise above the alienation of modern society.
What did he believe the conscience was based on?
Biophilia, the love of and for life.
What is love identified as?
'care, responsibility, respect and knowledge'.
3 criticisms of Fromm?
- Theoretical problem.
- How is a conscience based on biophilia used?
- Conscience should condemn.
Explain the theoretical problem?
Fromm argues that humans are predetermined creatures. This determinism sits uncomfortably with his view that life offers hope. How is it possible to rise above alienation if everyone is determined to be alienated?
Explain the criticism of a conscience based on biophilia?
How is it used? A love of life should be applied to all moral decisions which would mean businesses treated employees as partners. It would mean not destroying the environment. Fromm's conscience is designed to enhance quality of life and empower every individual but there isn't evidence of this being universalized.
Explain the criticism of a condemning conscience?
Michel Foucault argued that the conscience acts to condemn not liberate and points to the link between the conscience and the guilt complex.
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