March 29, 2011
•Childhood isn’t a state, but a relation – a responsibility that goes from adult to child.
•She says that we value children and fear them for the same reasons
Martin Buber (1878-1965)
•Takes the same issue with progressivist education like both Dewey and Arendt do
•He is described as a dialogical philosopher
Ich und Du (I and Thou)
•Conceived in 1916, published in 1923
•Translated to English in 1937
•I and Thou was not best translation of its German Title. But it is the way in which it
•Thou: an intimate form, a friend type. Like tu in French
•This relationship that goes from the ‘I’ to the ‘You’ is one of intimacy
•For Buber we are being of relation. To be human is to be in relation. Fall into two
categories: interpersonal relationships and objective relationships (between a subject
and a thing). When we are in an I-You relationship is when we are human; when we
are in an interpersonal relation.
Why “You” and not “Thou”
•Another vocabulary warning: “spiritual beings”
•Buber is not speaking here of angels or ghosts, but of works of genuine art, in both
its intellectual and aesthetics forms (see for ex., p. 60-61)
I-You and I-It
•He is not talking about two things with different ontological realities.
•Our relationship to it is determined by the relationship to it
•The world as experience belongs to the basic word I-It.
•The basic word I-You established the word of relation (I and Thou, 56)
•Two ways of being a subject to the word
•We can’t think of ourselves without implying these two words pairs
•Genuine encounters between people are always possible
•Monodirectional and bidirectional (reciprocity)
•Reciprocity is a very important word for Buber