Martin Buber (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

  • Posted on: 28 May 2017
  • By: mlg4035

Martin Buber (1878–1965) was a prolific author, scholar, literary translator, and political activist whose writings—mostly in German and Hebrew—ranged from Jewish mysticism to social philosophy, biblical studies, religious phenomenology, philosophical anthropology, education, politics, and art. Most famous among his philosophical writings is the short but powerful book I and Thou (1923) where our relation to others is considered as twofold. The I-it relation prevails between subjects and objects of thought and action; the I-Thou relation, on the other hand, obtains in encounters between subjects that exceed the range of the Cartesian subject-object relation. Though originally planned as a prolegomenon to a phenomenology of religion, I and Thou proved influential in other areas as well, including the philosophy of education. The work of Martin Buber remains a linchpin of qualitative philosophical anthropology and continues to be cited in fields such as philosophical psychology, medical anthropology, and pedagogical theory. Buber's writings on Jewish national renaissance, Hasidism, and political philosophy also made him a major twentieth-century figure in Jewish thought and the philosophy of religion.

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  1. Zank, M. and Braiterman, Z. Martin Buber. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2014. BibTeX