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Thread: Erich Fromm's Human Nature and Character

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    Default Erich Fromm's Human Nature and Character

    I've been reading Erich Fromm's Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics and I've been wondering if I could correlate some of his ideas with Socionics. Let's start with a quotation of what he wrote about the temperaments.

    First, I'll summarize some of my (potentially misguided) associations. I associated "choleric" with the EJ Temperament (Linear-insistent), which is already fairly established. Yet I also associated the "choleric" temperament with the Beta quadra. I associated "sanguine" with the EP Temperament (Flexible-maneuvering), yet I also associated the "sanguine" temperament with the Alpha quadra. I associated the "phlegmatic" with the IP Temperament (Receptive-adaptive), yet I also associated the "phlegmatic" temperament with the Delta quadra. I associated "melancholic" with the IJ Temperament (Balanced-stable), yet I also associated the "melancholic" temperament with the Gamma quadra. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these correlations are wrong, and I'm most unsure about the "phlegmatic" and"melancholic" ones.

    - from Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics by Erich Fromm; pp. 59-60 [Chapter III - Human Nature and Character (2. Personality/A. TEMPERAMENT)]: "Hippocrates distinguished four temperaments: choleric, sanguine, melancholic, and phlegmatic. The sanguine and choleric temperaments are modes of reaction which are characterized by easy excitability and quick alternation of interest, the interests being feeble in the former and intense in the latter. The phlegmatic and melancholic temperaments, on the contrary, are characterized by persistent but slow excitability of interest, the interest in the phlegmatic being feeble and in the melancholic intense. In Hippocrates' view, these different modes of reaction were connected with different somatic sources. (It is interesting to note that in popular usage only the negative aspects of these temperaments are remembered: choleric today means easily angered; melancholic, depressed; sanguine, overoptimistic; and phlegmatic, too slow.)"

    - [footnote:] "The four temperaments were symbolized by the four elements: choleric = fire = warm and dry, quick and strong; sanguine = air = warm and moist, quick and weak; phlegmatic = water = cold and moist, slow and weak; melancholic = earth = cold and dry, slow and strong."

    Now regarding Erich Fromm's Types of Characters I've also made some correlations. I associated the Receptive Orientation (Accepting) with the "phlegmatic" temperament, the IP Temperament, and the Delta quadra. I associated the Exploitative Orientation (Taking) with the "choleric" temperament, the EJ Temperament, and the Beta quadra. I associated the Hoarding Orientation (Preserving) with the "melancholic" temperament, the IJ Temperament, and the Gamma quadra. I associated the Marketing Orientation (Exchanging) with the "sanguine" temperament, the EP Temperament, and the Alpha quadra.

    Here are some brief summaries of the character types in the book.
    pp. 120-121 (Erich Fromm's Man for Himself):

    RECEPTIVE ORIENTATION (ACCEPTING)

    Positive aspect........................Negative aspect

    accepting ...............................passive, without initiative
    responsive ............................opinionless, characterless
    devoted ................................submissive
    modest .................................without pride
    charming ..............................parasitical
    adaptable .............................unprincipled
    socially adjusted ...................servile, without self-confidence
    idealistic ..............................unrealistic
    sensitive ..............................cowardly
    polite ...................................spineless
    optimistic ..............................wishful thinking
    trusting ................................ gullible
    tender ...................................sentimental

    EXPLOITATIVE ORIENTATION (TAKING)

    Positive aspect................................Negative aspect

    active ............................................ exploitative
    able to take initiative ......................aggressive
    able to make claims ........................egocentric
    proud ............................................. conceited
    impulsive ........................................rash
    self-confident ..................................arrogant
    captivating ......................................seducing

    HOARDING ORIENTATION (PRESERVING)

    Positive aspect...................................Negative aspect

    practical ........................................... unimaginative
    economical .......................................stingy
    careful ............................................. suspicious
    reserved ..........................................cold
    patient ............................................. lethargic
    cautious ...........................................anxious
    steadfast, tenacious ..........................stubborn
    imperturbable ...................................indolent
    composed under stress ......................inert
    orderly ............................................. pedantic
    methodical .......................................obsessional
    loyal ................................................ possessive

    MARKETING ORIENTATION (EXCHANGING)

    Positive Aspect...................................Negative Aspect

    purposeful ......................................... opportunistic
    able to change ...................................inconsistent
    youthful ............................................ childish
    forward-looking .................................without a future or a past
    open-minded .....................................without principle and values
    social ................................................ unable to be alone
    experimenting ................................... aimless
    undogmatic ....................................... relativistic
    efficient ............................................ overactive
    curious ............................................. tactless
    intelligent ......................................... intellectualistic
    adaptable .......................................... undiscriminating
    tolerant .......................................... indifferent
    witty ................................................ silly
    generous ........................................... wasteful

    Here are some more detailed descriptions.

    -pp. 70-71 (Man for Himself by Erich Fromm):

    (a) The Receptive Orientation


    In the receptive orientation a person feels "the source of all good" to be outside, and he believes that the only way to get what he wants--be it something material, be it affection, love, knowledge, pleasure--is to receive it from that outside source. In this orientation the problem of love is almost exclusively that of "being loved" and not that of loving. Such people tend to be indiscriminate in the choice of their love objects, because being loved by anybody is such an overwhelming experience for them that they "fall for" anybody who gives them love or what looks like love. They are exceedingly sensitive to any withdrawal or rebuff they experience on the part of the loved person. Their orientation is the same in the sphere of thinking: if intelligent, they make the best listeners, since their orientation is one of receiving, not of producing, ideas; left to themselves, they feel paralyzed. It is characteristic of these people that their first thought is to find somebody else to give them needed information rather than to make even the smallest effort of their own. If religious, these persons have a concept of God in which they expect everything from God and nothing from their own activity. If not religious, their relationship to persons or institutions is very much the same; they are always in search of a "magic helper." They show a particular kind of loyalty, at the bottom of which is the gratitude for the hand that feeds them and the fear of ever losing it. Since they need many hands to feel secure, they have to be loyal to numerous people. It is difficult for them to say "no," and they are easily caught between conflicting loyalties and promises. Since they cannot say "no," they love to say "yes" to everything and everybody, and the resulting paralysis of their critical abilities makes them increasingly dependent on others.
    They are dependent not only on authorities for knowledge and help but on people in general for any kind of support. They feel lost when alone because they feel that they cannot do anything without help. This helplessness is especially important with regard to those acts which by their very nature can only be done alone--making decisions and taking responsibility. In personal relationships, for instance, they ask advice from the very person with regard to whom they have to make a decision.
    This receptive type has great fondness for food and drink. These persons tend to overcome anxiety and depression by eating or drinking. The mouth is an especially prominent feature, often the most expressive one; the lips tend to be open, as if in a state of continuous expectation of being fed. In their dreams, being fed is a frequent symbol of being loved; being starved, an expression of frustration or disappointment.
    By and large, the outlook of people of this receptive orientation is optimistic and friendly; they have a certain confidence in life and its gifts, but they become anxious and distraught when their "source of supply" is threatened. They often have a genuine warmth and a wish to help others, but doing things for others also assumes the function of securing their favor.

    -pp. 71-73:
    (b) The Exploitative Orientation


    The exploitative orientation, like the receptive, has as its basic premise the feeling that the source of all good is outside, that whatever one wants to get must be sought there, and that one cannot produce anything oneself. The difference between the two, however, is that the exploitative type does not expect to receive things from others as gifts, but to take them away from others by force or cunning. This orientation extends to all spheres of activity.
    In the realm of love and affection these people tend to grab and steal. They feel attracted only to people whom they can take away from somebody else. Attractiveness to them is conditioned by a person's attachment to somebody else; they tend not to fall in love with an unattached person.
    We find the same attitude with regard to thinking and intellectual pursuits. Such people will tend not to produce ideas but to steal them. This may be done directly in the form of plagiarism or more subtly by repeating in different phraseology the ideas voiced by others and insisting they are new and their own. It is a striking fact that frequently people with great intelligence proceed in this way, although if they relied on their own gifts they might well be able to have ideas of their own. The lack of original ideas or independent production in otherwise gifted people often has its explanation in this character orientation, rather than in any innate lack of originality. The same statement holds true with regard to their orientation to material things. Things which they can take away from others always seem better to them than anything they can produce themselves. They use and exploit anybody and anything from whom or from which they can squeeze something. Their motto is: "Stolen fruits are sweetest." Because they want to use and exploit people, they "love" those who, explicitly or implicitly, are promising objects of exploitation, and get "fed up" with persons whom they have squeezed out. An extreme example is the kleptomaniac who enjoys things only if he can steal them, although he has the money to buy them.
    This orientation seems to be symbolized by the biting mouth which is often a prominent feature in such people. It is not a play upon words to point out that they often make "biting" remarks about others. Their attitude is colored by a mixture of hostility and manipulation. Everyone is an object of exploitation and is judged according to his usefulness. Instead of the confidence and optimism which characterizes the receptive type, one finds here suspicion and cynicism, envy and jealousy. Since they are satisfied only with things they can take away from others, they tend to overrate what others have and underrate what is theirs.

    (c) The Hoarding Orientation


    While the receptive and exploitative types are similar inasmuch as both expect to get things from the outside world, the hoarding orientation is essentially different. This orientation makes people have little faith in anything new they might get from the outside world; their security is based upon hoarding and saving, while spending is felt to be a threat. They have surrounded themselves, as it were, by a protective wall, and their main aim is to bring as much as possible into this fortified position and to let as little as possible out of it. Their miserliness refers to money and material things as well as to feelings and thoughts. Love is essentially a possession; they do not give love but try to get it by possessing the "beloved." The hoarding person often shows a particular kind of faithfulness toward people and even toward memories. Their sentimentality makes the past appear as golden; they hold on to it and indulge in the memories of bygone feelings and experiences. They know everything but are sterile and incapable of productive thinking.
    One can recognize these people too by facial expressions and gestures. Theirs is the tight-lipped mouth; their gestures are characterstic of their withdrawn attitude. While those of the receptive type are inviting and round, as it were, and the gestures of the exploitative type are aggressive and pointed, those of the hoarding type are angular, as if they wanted to emphasize the frontiers between themselves and the outside world. Another characteristic element in this attitude is pedantic orderliness. The hoarder will be orderly with things, thoughts, or feelings, but again, as with memory, his orderliness is sterile and rigid. He cannot endure things out of place and will automatically rearrange them. To him the outside world threatens to break into his fortified position; orderliness signifies mastering the world outside by putting it, and keeping it, in its proper place in order to avoid the danger of intrusion. His compulsive cleanliness is another expression of his need to undo contact with the outside world. Things beyond his own frontiers are felt to be dangerous and "unclean"; he annuls the menacing contact by compulsive washing, similar to a religious washing ritual prescribed after contact with unclean things or people. Things have to be put not only in their proper place but also into their proper time; obsessive punctuality is characteristic of the hoarding type; it is another form of mastering the outside world. If the outside world is experienced as a threat to one's fortified position, obstinacy is a logical reaction. A constant "no" is the almost automatic defense against intrusion; sitting tight, the answer to the danger of being pushed. These people tend to feel that they possess only a fixed quantity of strength, energy, or mental capacity, and that this stock is diminished or exhausted by use and can never be replenished. They cannot understand the self-replenishing function of all living substance and that activity and the use of one's powers increase strength while stagnation paralyzes; to them, death and destruction have more reality than life and growth. The act of creation is a miracle of which they hear but in which they do not believe. Their highest values are order and security; their motto: "There is nothing new under the sun." In their relationship to others intimacy is a threat; either remoteness or possession of a person means security. The hoarder tends to be suspicious and to have a particular sense of justice which in effect says: "Mine is mine and yours is yours."

    pp. 117-118 [Man for Himself by Erich Fromm]: The marketing orientation is also based on detachment from others, but in contrast to the hoarding orientation, the detachment has a friendly rather than a destructive connotation. The whole principle of the marketing orientation implies easy contact, superficial attachment, and detachment from others only in a deeper emotional sense.
    Last edited by HERO; 03-23-2011 at 08:45 PM.

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    It is wrong but can be right depending on how many people will agree with you.

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    lol

    According to it you're Ej [Exploitative (Taking), Choleric] and Delta [Receptive (Accepting), Phlegmatic].


    Alpha [Marketing (Exchanging) and Sanguine]

    ENTp: Ep [Marketing (Exchanging) and Sanguine] and Alpha [Marketing/Sanguine]
    ISFp: Ip [Receptive (Accepting) and Phlegmatic] and Alpha [Marketing/Sanguine]
    ESFj: Ej [Exploitative (Taking) and Choleric] and Alpha [Marketing/Sanguine]
    INTj: Ij [Hoarding (Preserving) and Melancholic] and Alpha [Marketing/Sanguine]

    Beta [Exploitative (Taking) and Choleric]

    ENFj: Ej [Exploitative (Taking) and Choleric] and Beta [Exploitative/Choleric]
    ISTj: Ij [Hoarding (Preserving) and Melancholic] and Beta [Exploitative/Choleric]
    ESTp: Ep [Marketing (Exchanging) and Sanguine] and Beta [Exploitative/Choleric]
    INFp: Ip [Receptive (Accepting) and Phlegmatic] and Beta [Exploitative/Choleric]

    Gamma [Hoarding (Preserving) and Melancholic]

    ESFp: Ep [Marketing (Exchanging) and Sanguine] and Gamma: Hoarding/Melancholic
    INTp: Ip [Receptive (Accepting) and Phlegmatic] and Gamma [Hoarding/Melancholic]
    ENTj: Ej [Exploitative (Taking) and Choleric] and Gamma [Hoarding/Melancholic]
    ISFj: Ij [Hoarding (Preserving) and Melancholic] and Gamma [Hoarding/Melancholic]

    Delta [Receptive (Accepting) and Phlegmatic]

    ESTj: Ej [Exploitative (Taking) and Choleric] and Delta [Receptive/Phlegmatic]
    INFj: Ij [Hoarding (Preserving) and Melancholic] and Delta [Accepting/Phlegmatic]
    ENFp: Ep [Marketing (Exchanging) and Sanguine] and Delta [Receptive/Phlegmatic]
    ISTp: Ip [Receptive (Accepting) and Phlegmatic] and Delta [Accepting/Phlegmatic]
    Last edited by HERO; 03-31-2011 at 09:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lazybones View Post
    lol

    According to it you're Ej [Exploitative (Taking), Choleric] and Delta [Receptive (Accepting), Phlegmatic].
    Ouch...

    And of course no one here agrees with me, because the majority of people here are too "Canadian." In other words, they're "assholes."
    Hitta, for instance.

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    I never really do manage to make one typing system fit neatly with another, as satisfying as it would be to make objective correlations.

    Fwiw, the way I learned the temperaments comes from anthroposophy, and it goes somewhat like this:

    One way of understanding the human being is to say s/he has four "bodies" (but this is not offered as the only model, just one model):

    1. The physical body--this is something that rocks, plants, and animals also have. If the human's physical body predominates, the temperament is melancholic.

    2. The etheric (life force) body--this is something that plants and animals also have. (Rocks don't.) If the human's etheric body predominates, the temperament is phlegmatic.

    3. The astral (emotional) body--this is something that animals also have. (Rocks and plants don't.) If the human's astral body predominates, the temperament is sanguine.

    4. The ego body--this is something only humans have in the individuated form. (Animals have egos that are not fully individuated--they're still connected to the other animals of their kind.) If the human's ego body predominates, the temperament is choleric.

    Although I have seen so far that, for example, people with Si in the ego block will seem phlegmatic to me, I have not seen any exact correspondences.

    By this approach I am melancholic, or I have sometimes called myself "melancholeric."

    Of the Fromm types, I'd say I'm more marketing-oriented, followed by exploitative.

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    The descriptions from anthroposophy seem interesting.

    I guess I'm probably wrong then. Pride goeth before the fall.

    Perhaps Fe-valuing in general is more Sanguine/Marketing (as well as Extraversion). Rationality in general is more Melancholic/Hoarding. And Beta almost always has a backdrop or background of the Choleric/Exploitative, as well as the Ej temperament (in general).

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    Quote Originally Posted by polikujm View Post
    No don't type me laghlagh's conflictor!
    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    Ouch...



    Hitta, for instance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Uh, no. Keep that shit over in your quadra.


    Sergei Moshenkov and Wing Tung Tang M. Sc., MBTI and Socionics: Legacy of Dr. Carl Jung (Lexington: USA, 2010/2011), 16:

    - p. 16 [Functions (Introverted intuition)]: "Introverted intuition - is the ability to bring out of memory the data that is most relevant for a specific moment. It allows one to imagine things, to write creatively, to use metaphors -- and more practically to carry on a conversation skillfully."

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    bump



    I'm a Canadian loonie . . . because I don't do anal.

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    I relate a lot to the Hoarding Orientation. I feel much more Hoarding then I do Receptive.

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