In: English and Literature

Submitted By blaine
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This is a critique of Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem by Eric Fromm, written in 1963. Fromm states in his article that disobedience is what originally

set the human race on the path to thinking on their own, but obedience to authority in the

end will be what kills us all. Overall his article has several compelling reasons to believe

his theory, but it is also not completely believable for several reasons. There are several

points that are debatable and his high use of emotion alone could cause one to question

his article on a whole. Fromm being a psychoanalyst, sociologist, historian, and

philosopher may have contributed to his using the pull of emotion so much.

In his article Fromm states that history began with an act of disobedience and that

history will possibly end with an act of obedience. Adam and Eve’s disobedience caused

humans to then rely on themselves, and that until this happened humans were not able to

fully develop the ability to reason or love. Similar to Adam and Eve, other cultures also

have their own stories of how history began with disobedience. Through disobedience

man has continued to evolve spiritually and intellectually, through this enlightening was

learned that not all disobedience is a virtue and not all obedience is vice.

Fromm defines autonomous obedience or humanistic conscience as obeying

yourself, and this is not submissive. Heteronomous obedience or authoritarian

conscience is obeying a power outside your own person such as another person or society

laws, and this type of obedience is submissive. Fromm goes on to define rational and

irrational authority. He defines rational authority as being when two or more parties have

the same idea or goal. He uses the example of a teacher to student, all work is to further

the student.…...

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