Reason and the future of historical consciousness : Examining a possible influence of Hermann Cohen on Erich Fromm

  • In recent years, the influence of Cohen’s Religion of Reason on Erich Fromm’s con¬cept of Judaism began to appear in the research literature. The current study broadens the scope of Cohen’s influence to include Fromm’s concept of history, as well as his social criticism. In this paper I would like to suggest, that Cohen’s criticism of >historical consciousness’<in the early 20th century, can be compared to Fromm’s criticism of >intelligence< and >progress< in the mid- 20th century. Cohen’s distinction between >reason< (Vernunft) and >consciousness< (Bewusstsein) is echoed in Fromm’s distinction between >reason< and >intelligence<. For Cohen and Fromm, >reason< is an eternal universal and moral compass for evaluating history and progress. Both Cohen’s >consciousness< and Fromm’s >intelligence<, without >reason< as an ethical component, are perceived as a threat to the capability of the individual to achieve self-fulfillment, as well as to the progress of humanity.

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Author:Ronen Pinkas
Parent Title (English):Achives of Philosophy, Pisa, Vol. 88, pp. 149-161.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2020
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-file upon request / PDF-Datei auf Anfrage
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Articles / Artikel
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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