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Exploring the Concept of Positive Freedom - Research Paper Example

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This paper discusses Fromm’s explanation of positive freedom and analyzes the sort of freedom expressed by the activity of the consumer in the shopping mall and in the viewing of pornography. There is high positive freedom in mall shopping whereas low positive freedom in the making of pornography…
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Exploring the Concept of Positive Freedom
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Download file to see previous pages The most powerful contemporary explanation of freedom in a psychological point of view is presented by Erich Fromm and the similarity between the idealist argument and his notion of ‘positive freedom’ is interestingly direct, in view of the dissimilarities in overall perspective: “Positive freedom consists in the spontaneous activity of the total, integrated personality” (Fromm 257). In essence, “Positive freedom… is identical with the full realization of the individual’s potentialities, together with his ability to live actively and spontaneously” (Fromm 257-8). The primary purpose of Fromm is to demonstrate the reason ‘freedom’ within the utilitarian perspective—or the nonexistence of external controls—is psychologically self-destructive except if the cultural and social environment provides sustenance to the development of ‘positive freedom’. 

Fromm tried to prove that social freedom could turn into an affliction or a risk to the person, except if he is allowed to exercise even the least psychological freedom. Nevertheless, he in no way criticizes the importance of social freedom, and at this point, he moves off completely from the idealist thought. Fromm sees in individuals a need to be ruled or managed, but he tends to see it as a temporary requirement, created by the influence of society and culture on the natural state of humanity (Fromm 251). Fromm argues that an individual should be liberated psychologically so as to escape the break out of the psychological necessity to passively yield to the state. The belief of Fromm, and the belief of contemporary psychologists, is that individuals need society because human beings are ‘social’ and need the appreciation, sympathy, and company of others and some level of peace and order in their society (Fromm 251). However, the psychological desire to be ruled stems, Fromm believes, from unease brought about by isolation and alienation. He cautions that the growth of social freedom and individual in the contemporary period could heighten individuals’ need to be ruled, except if the person becomes skilled at avoiding psychological seclusion from other people. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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