Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm

By Erich Fromm

If humanity can't dwell with the risks and tasks inherent in freedom, it could flip to authoritarianism. this is often the significant suggestion of Escape from Freedom, a landmark paintings by way of the most exceptional thinkers of our time, and a ebook that's as well timed now as whilst first released in 1941. Few books have thrown such gentle upon the forces that form sleek society or penetrated so deeply into the explanations of authoritarian platforms. If the increase of democracy set a few humans loose, whilst it gave delivery to a society within which the person feels alienated and dehumanized. utilizing the insights of psychoanalysis as probing brokers, Fromm’s paintings analyzes the disease of up to date civilization as witnessed through its willingness to undergo totalitarian rule.

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However normative rationality is defi ned or conceptualized, the question can always be asked, why should one wish to be normatively rational in that sense. From a pragmatic point of view, the answer might be: because that is how one maximizes the chances of realizing one’s goals. But how strong is the evidence that this is true? Hardman (2000) suggests that the evidence is not compelling that correspondence to traditional norms brings any benefit outside the psychological laboratory. He points to several studies (Clemen, 1999; Galotti, 1995; Wilson & Schooler, 1991) that looked for such evidence in decision-making contexts and failed to fi nd it.

Something close to this idea is encountered often in both the philosophical and the psychological literature. Dewey (1933) promotes reflective thinking and equates it with controlled deliberate critical thinking, the kind of thinking that does not jump to conclusions, but demands compelling justifications for conclusions that are drawn. He describes it also as the kind of thinking that is called for when one is faced with a problem for which one has no ready rule or formula to apply. Gauthier (1986/1990) expresses a similar view, but with an emphasis on critical reflection aimed at oneself: “At the core of our rational capacity is the ability to engage in self-critical reflection.

Note that MacIntyre’s contention is against the possibility of fi nding a conception of rationality with which all rational persons would agree. Whether or not one accepts his position, it is not obvious that failure to do so would put us very far ahead. To defi ne rationality in terms of principles that would be considered undeniably true by all rational persons is clearly circular. In the absence of a standard with which to distinguish between rational and irrational persons, we would have no way of knowing whose opinions to take seriously on this matter and whose to ignore.

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