I won't be doing true or full justice to this question in my limited and relatively brief answer. But essentially & simply, the I-Thou relationship is that in which the full. In the I-Thou relationship, human beings are aware of each oher as having a unity of being. In the I-Thou relationship, human beings do not perceive each other. He is best known for his book, Ich und Du (I and Thou), which distinguishes .. The “I-Thou” relation is the pure encounter of one whole unique entity with.
It is a relation in which the I approaches the other not in a direct and living immediacy, but as an object, either to be used or known. Here the I rather than enter into the immediate relation with the other stands over and against it and so analyzes, compares, or manipulates it as a mediated object of my consciousness.
Buber uses an example of a tree and presents five separate ways we might experience it.2. Lecture Martin Buber I and Thou
The first way is to look at the tree as one would a picture. Here one appreciates the color and details through an aesthetic perception. The second way is to experience the tree as movement.
The movement includes the flow of the juices through the veins of the tree, the breathing of the leaves, the roots sucking the waterthe never-ending activities between the tree, earth and airand the growth of the tree.
I-Thou - New World Encyclopedia
The third way is to categorize the tree by its type, and so classify it as species and from there study its essential structures and functions. The fourth way is to reduce it to an expression of law where forces collide and intermingle. Finally, the fifth way is to interpret the tree in mathematical terms, reducing it to formulas which explain its molecular or atomic make-up. In all these ways, though, the tree is approached as an It: For such knowledge can be used for practical purposes as well as having various speculative, scientific, or artistic value in our intellectual knowledge or aesthetic experience.
Nonetheless, Buber does refer to the inevitable transition of all I-Thou relations into an I-It as a kind of sadness or tragedy.
But he who lives with It alone is not a man. Despite the separation of "I" from the "It" and "Thou" in this very sentence describing the relationship, there is to Buber's mind either an I-Thou or an I-It relationship. Every sentence that a person uses with "I" refers to the two pairs: Each It is bounded by others and It can only exist through this attachment because for every object there is another object.
Thou, on the other hand, has no limitations. What does it mean to experience the world? One goes around the world extracting knowledge from the world in experiences betokened by "He", "She", and "It". One also has I-Thou relationships. Experience is all physical, but these relationships involve a great deal of spirituality.
The twofold nature of the world means that our being in the world has two aspects: Examples[ edit ] Buber uses an example of a tree and presents five separate relations: Looking at the tree as a picture with the color and detail through the aesthetic perception. Identifying the tree as movement.
The movement includes the flow of the juices through the veins of the tree, the breathing of the leaves, the roots sucking the water, the never-ending activities between the tree and earth and air, and the growth of the tree.
Categorizing the tree by its type; in other words, studying it. Exercising the ability to look at something from a different perspective.
Interpreting the experience of the tree in mathematical terms. God is the Thou who sustains the I-Thou relation eternally. In the I-Thou relation between the individual and God, there is a unity of being in which the individual can always find God.
In the I-Thou relation, there is no barrier of other relations which separate the individual from God, and thus the individual can speak directly to God.
I and Thou - Wikipedia
The eternal Thou is not an object of experience, and is not an object of thought. The eternal Thou is not something which can be investigated or examined. The eternal Thou is not a knowable object. However, the eternal Thou can be known as the absolute Person who gives unity to all being.
Buber also explains that the I-Thou relation may have either potential being or actual being. However, the I-Thou relation between the individual and God does not become, or evolve from, an I-It relation, because God, as the eternal Thou, is eternally present as actual Being. Buber contends that the I-Thou relation between the individual and God is a universal relation which is the foundation for all other relations.
If the individual has a real I-Thou relation with God, then the individual must have a real I-Thou relation with the world.
Thus, the philosophy of personal dialogue may be an instructive method of ethical inquiry and of defining the nature of personal responsibility. Translated by Ronald Gregor Smith.