Behavior: Fromm on Aggression

Is man an instinctive killer, fated by his genes to be cruel and aggressive? Or is he a product of his environment who, with proper conditioning, would be gentle, peaceful and loving? Perhaps the most notable advocate of the "instinctivist" theory is Konrad Lorenz (On Aggression), co-winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Lorenz found instinctive aggression in animals and suggested that man is similarly programmed by evolution. Behaviorist B.F. Skinner, conversely, has long argued that man can be conditioned to forsake his violent ways. Now Erich Fromm, 73, social...

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