February 8, 1878

– June 13, 1965

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Martin Buber

Full Name: Martin Buber Place of Birth: Vienna, Austria Era: 20th Century Philosophy Religion: Western Philosophy School: Existentialism Main Interests: Ontology Notable ideas: Ich-Di & Ich-Es Influenced by: Immanuel Kant, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gustav Landauer, Fredrich Heinrich Jacobi Influenced: Walter Kaufmann, Paul Tillich, Gershom Scholem, Emil Brunner, Emmanuel Levinias, Luwig Binswanger, Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy

-“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware”

Interesting Facts
        Most famous for his thesis of dialogical existence  Described in book I and Thou. 4000+ pages published Writings divided into philosophy, bible, Hasidism, and Judaism Editor of a renowned Jewish magazine Lectured Jewish religion philosophy at University of Frankfurt (1924-1929) Translated the Old Testament into German with Fran Rosenzweig Was a scholar, interpreter, and translator of Hasidic lore. During WWI young men wrote to him for guidance in moral, religious, and political crisis.

Famous Ideas
Ich-Du (“I-Thou” or “I-You”)
     Stresses the mutual, holistic existence of two beings. Concrete encounter where beings meet one another in their authentic existence w/o any qualification or objectification of one another. Imagination and ideas do not play a role in this relation Infinity and universality are made actual. Buber argued that this was only way to interact with God.  Person has to be open to idea  Doesn’t have to actively pursue it.

-Ontology (Metaphysics)  What can be said to exist?  Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?  What are the meanings of being?  What are the various modes of being entities?

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Ich-Es (“I-It”)
Opposite of Ich-Du. Beings don't meet. “I” confronts and qualifies an idea or concept. Individuals treats people, things, etc. as objects to be used and experienced. Buber argued that human life consists of an oscillation between Ich– du and Ich-Es.

Related Interests