Activism

Discipline: Philosophy

Theory of the German-American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm (1900-1980).

Rarely used in psychology, this is the doctrine that any relationship between thought and reality is characterized by continuous activity on the part of the mind rather than passive sensory receptivity.

Source:
A J Chapman and D M Jones, eds, Models of Man (Leicester, 1980)

Discipline: Political Science

Theory of political tactics.

Argument and persuasion are limited by existing circumstances. In order to change those circumstances action is necessary which either achieves real change or demonstrates possible changes.

At its best, activism can avoid pessimism and resignation; at its worst, it can encourage the belief that action is an alternative to thought.

Source:
Alan Bullock, Oliver Stallybrass and Stephen Trombley, eds, The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, 2nd edn (London, 1988)

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