I And Thou

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Free Press, 1970 - Philosophy - 185 pages
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100 years after its original publication, Martin Buber’s landmark work of philosophy and theology I and Thou remains one of the most important books of Western thought and a seminal work of 20th-century intellectual history.

Considered to be one of the most influential books of Western thought since its original publication in 1923, Martin Buber’s slender volume I and Thou influenced the way we think about our relationships with one another and with God. Buber unites currents of modern German philosophy with the Judeo-Christian tradition, powerfully updating faith for modern times.

I and Thou is Martin Buber’s pioneering work and the centerpiece of his groundbreaking philosophy. In it, Buber—one of the greatest Jewish minds of the 20th century—lays out a view of the world in which human beings can enter into relationships that enhance their mutual existential dignity (I–Thou relations). These “dialogical” relations contrast with those that tend to prevail in modern society, namely the treatment of others as objects to advance personal and collective interests (I–It relations). Buber demonstrates how I-Thou interhuman meetings reflect and embody the human meeting with God. For Buber, the essence of biblical religion affirms the possibility of a dialogue between man and God.

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Contents

Acknowledgments
1
A PROLOGUE by Walter Kaufmann
7
A Plan Martin Buber Abandoned
49
Copyright

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About the author (1970)

Walter Kaufmann is Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. Born in Germany in 1921, he graduated from Williams College in 1941, and returned to Europe with U.S. Military Intelligence during World War II. In 1947 he received his Ph.D. from Harvard and joined the Princeton faculty. He has held visiting professorships at many American universities, and Fulbright professorships at Heidelberg and at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

His books include Nietzsche, Critique of Religion and Philosophy, From Shakespeare to Existentialism, The Faith of a Heretic, Cain and Other Poems, Hegel, andTragedy and Philosophy. Several of these books have been translated into various foreign languages.

Kaufmann's own translations of ten of Nietzsche's works, of Leo Baeck's Judaism and Christianity, and ofTwenty German Poets have won wide recognition. Of his verse translation of Goethe'sFaust, Stephen Spender said in The New York Times Book Review: "The best translation of Faust that I have read." And theVirginia Quarterly Review said: "There is little question that this is the translation of Goethe's Faust, both in poetic beauty and in comprehension of the original.

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