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Prof. Hartmut Rosa gives the Erich Fromm Lecture 2019

Each year, the Erich Fromm Study Center organizes an Erich Fromm Lecture at IPU by a renowned visiting scholar. The focus is on the discussion of key social issues with reference to the work of Fromm. This years speaker is Prof. Hartmut Rosa.

The speaker
Prof. Hartmut Rosa is Professor of General and Theoretical Sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and Director of the Max Weber Kolleg in Erfurt. In 2018, he was awarded the Erich Fromm Prize by the Erich Fromm Society.

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 7 pm. Registration is requested, please use the form on the IPU website. Deadline for registration is November 24, 2019.

The event will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Thomas Kühn and Dr. Rainer Funk.

Beyond Aggression, Fusion and Depression? Contours of a Mediopassive World Relationship

The lecture first develops - in discussion with considerations of Erich Fromm - the thesis that the modern world relation is dominated by the fear of existential isolation and loneliness, from which three problematic strategies of world processing result: A first and dominant reaction to the threat of isolation consists in the development of an aggressive world relation whose goal is to render the world available (limitless). The second form of reaction consists in striving for a de-individualizing fusion with a collective whole. Finally, a depressive relationship to the world can be observed as a third form of reaction, which is linked to the loss of any hope of self-efficacy.

In contrast to this, the lecture then tries to sketch the contours of an alternative world relation that, between the fantasy of omnipotence of the first strategy and the experience of powerlessness of the third, realizes a 'mediopassive' form of world relation in which subjects understand themselves neither as omnipotent perpetrators nor as powerless victims, but as partially powerful, self-effective, and responsive participants. In this way, political, ecological and biographical world relations can be rethought.