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Erich Fromm's Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem

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Length: 1408 words (4 double-spaced pages)
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Erich Fromm's Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem


In "Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem," Erich Fromm (1963) argues that society will self-destruct without achieving freedom through disobedience. Fromm begins with analogies of Hebrew and Greek mythology showing how disobedience to a god freed humans. Using this correlation, Fromm shows freedom as a condition for disobedience, and vice- versa. Therefore, Fromm proclaims that without disobedience the human race could destroy itself within a generation.

Fromm’s article, first published in 1963, stems from fear of a third world war. Despite the “outdated” comment by Behrens and Rosen in the introduction, the article still applies to suggestion human nature during the War on Terrorism. Fromm (1963) Fromm predominately uses logos, with underlying pathos (appeals to emotions) when discussing religion. Fromm adds a section near the end about Hitler’s right hand man, Adolf Eichmann, which seems out of place. However, in 1963 the reference to individual players of the Holocaust such as Eichmann probably ...


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...to fight. When we win the War on Terrorism, the people of Iraq will be free with their own constitution and government. At that time, any attempt to disobey the government might shake their foundation, but it will not “free” the insurgency as Fromm suggests.

Sources Cited

Childbirth.org. (2001). Pregnancy & Childbirth Information. Retried October 10, 2005, from http://childbirth.org/

Fromm, E. (1963). Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem (Ed.), Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum (pp. 357-361). New York: Pearson.

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