Alli's Reviews > The Art of Loving

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
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Jun 14, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

Have you ever held an idea so closely to the sides of your skull, you could never find the words or phrases to articulate it until someone stopped by and presented you with exactly what you had been searching for? Erich Fromm did this for me in the context of mature and fulfilling relationships. In the words of a good friend "more people should realized that 'serious' philosophers devote think about such things" - 'such things' being how interpersonal relationships are the bedrock of most human beings' sanity, and the fact that most of us have the incredible ability to create very unhealthy relationships.

Fromm tells us that first, being an happy, full person on your own, full of self-love, discipline, and productivity is necessary. Then, wishing for all the same in another human being, creates a bridge of emotion. Respect, awareness, and rationality then form the basis of "practicing" love.

Above all, Fromm tells us that loving someone is a decision, and as such, we have full control over our relationships with others and the satisfaction that we derive from them.

As a critique, I will say this: Fromm very obviously had little understanding (or concern with) homosexuality, or any other sexual identity not in line with heterosexual, adult couples. This ignorance on his part is apparent at a point in his writing, but I feel also colors his opinions on fatherhood and the relationship between parents and children. After all, if one believes that a parent's role is directly related to their gender to the extent that it restricts and forms their emotional attachments, then that person could not understand healthy and fulfilled couples of the same gender (or no gender) who successfully fill all the necessary roles of parenthood.
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04/17/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Simon That's a good point you raise Alli about Fromm's seemingly exclusion of homosexuality from his discussion of love, in this case the erotic one. didn't he know about it? didn't he approve it? didn't he simply have the space to discuss it here for lack of information and knowledge?
i go for the latter.
i loved your review.


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