Eric Fromm’s work – “To Have or to Be” – allows at least some reflection and elaboration of ideas especially as we stand at a certain distance in time of its appearance. We will follow up, based on the main axes provided by the author, possible elaborations of the “to have” and “to be” paradigms. Some fundamentally different existential areas involve different philosophies of life, powered by autogenous backgrounds, self-sufficient, clearly bounded by an area with strong axiological and epistemological accents.
We shall also follow some nuances that enrich the German author's original theses: the shift from having to “to be”, the description of horizons that are specific to both paradigms, conceptual extensions of the sociological perspective (adopted by the author) as possible interpretative returns from the domain of “to be” towards the one delineated by the “to have”. A fruitful direction of our exploration is the highlighting of the impersonality (collectively determined) of the world of “to have” and the need to customize the existence (in a selective and sober philosophical point of view) for a solid settlement of “to be”.
 Erich Fromm (1900-1990) psychoanalyst, sociologist and philosopher; he developed social studies impregnated with Freudian vision on human behaviour. Forced to immigrate into the United States (in 1934), Fromm got to experience the consumer society. Established, at the end of his life, at Locarno (Switzerland), he wrote “To Have or to Be” as an advocacy for re-analyzing the situation of the contemporary human being regarding consumerism.