Martin Buber and Daoism on Interhuman Philosophy
Keywords:Martin Buber, Daoism, genuine person, non-deliberate action (wuwei), dialogue, interhuman philosophy
For Martin Buber, a person participates in two kinds of relationship: the I-Thou and the I-It. In the case of the former, the wholeness of being is employed resulting in genuine dialogue, while the latter objectifies things and is thus devoid of anything genuine. Among the influences on Buber’s thought, that of Daoism has not gone unnoticed by scholars of comparative philosophy. This paper will contribute to said discourse by examining Buber’s concept of the interhuman and its employment of the following themes: oneness and the genuine person, non-deliberate action (wuwei) and the in-between, and genuine dialogue as a turning towards being. What our analysis will show is that Buber’s interhuman philosophy bears witness to the transcendence of words by bringing to life the silence from which they arise and recede, attuning participants in genuine dialogue to the spiritual resonance between themselves and the primal Thou, while elevating their faith in human life in the process. The interhuman was seen by Buber as a viable solution for the societal ills of his time and it remains so half a century after his passing.
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