"The primary word I–Thou can only be spoken with the whole being. that “Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you. The concept of the I-Thou relationship was put forward by a prominent twentieth century philosopher named Martin Buber (). The I-Thou relationship. Ich und Du, usually translated as I and Thou (You), is a book by Martin Buber, published in The attitude of the "I" towards "Thou", in a relationship in which the other is not separated by discrete bounds. One of the major themes of the book is .
I and Thou
I —Thou relationships occur during relations with nature, humans or with spiritual beings. It arises both at moments of genuine dialogue or indifference.
For example, it takes place when the eyes of two strangers meet on the bus before one gets off at his stop. An I —Thou relationship makes one completely human by building up our wholeness and encompasses a world of personal acquaintance.
In this relationship there is close bonding that emerges from a natural association. This is the realm of freedom. Here You alone is impossible. It regards others as objects with which one interacts to gain knowledge or experience. The focus is on conceptualizing, manipulating and accumulating things. The relationship is one—sided, there is control and occurs in space and time. I—It establishes a world of experience and is rooted in the past. In It, a human can feel something, imagine something or want something from the object.
For example, I sit on a chair because it gives me rest, I buy milk from him because he sells milk, and she sells me the book because I would like to read it. He, she and it are serving my needs and therefore I use them.
The other is objectified. An I —It relationship provides a number of practical benefits in our lives and encompasses a world of first-hand knowledge. In this relationship there are degrees of separations from others that emerge from a natural discreteness. This is the realm of determinism. Here It alone is alienating.
I-Thou v I-It relationships, Opinion News & Top Stories - The Straits Times
Implication for Communication Theorists The concept of I and Thou in the field of communication is important for its focus on the power of dialog. For I-Thou is not a means to some object or goal, but a relation of presence involving the whole being of each subject.
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. 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.
I-Thou v I-It relationships
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.
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. For both systematic approaches to God are I-It relations that reduce God to an object which is known and understood.
God, however, can only be approached in lovewhich is a subject-to-subject relation.
Like all I-Thou encounters, love is not the experience of an object by a subject; rather it is an encounter in which both subjects mutually share in the immediacy of the relation. Since the ultimate Thou is God, in the eternal I-Thou relation there are no barriers when man relates directly to the infinite God.
Finally, Buber saw the relation to the eternal Thou as the basis for our true humanity.
Like other twentieth-century thinkers, Buber was concerned with the scientific and technological forces that can lead to dehumanizing aspects of contemporary culture.