The Emancipative Potential of the Social Unconscious: Erich Fromm’s Renewal of Freud’s Approach as a Link between Ethico-Political and Psychoanalytical Forms of Social Critique


  • Florian Maiwald Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn



marxism, philosophy, unconscious, psychoanalysis, contradiction


With his concept of the social unconscious, Erich Fromm showed that the reproduction of social ideologies depends on the suppression of specific social contradictions. Fromm’s concept represents an extension of Freud’s individual-based approach to the unconscious combined with a Marxist-influenced critique of society. In this paper, I will argue that Fromm’s concept of the social unconscious is not only an indispensable component of an emancipative social critique. Furthermore, I will argue that it is through Fromm’s concept that the productive relationship between philosophy, in the sense of an ethical-political social critique, and psychoanalysis becomes fully apparent.


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How to Cite

Maiwald, F. (2023). The Emancipative Potential of the Social Unconscious: Erich Fromm’s Renewal of Freud’s Approach as a Link between Ethico-Political and Psychoanalytical Forms of Social Critique. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (23), 53–68.



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