Social Philosophy of Martin Buber

Martin Buber was an educator and a Jewish philosopher. He had a great significant in the broad phenomena of the pedagogical ideas that rose during the early years. His main idea and contribution was in the concept of social dialogue. He had an understanding of pedagogical linkage to the idea of persuasive dialogue which provides a rational learning perspective. In his philosophy, Buber often stressed on the individualism of the human beings which encompasses the aspect of spiritual dialogue with such a God as well as the social liberation credited to marginalized groups of human population.

He had a philosophy based on personal mantra, which made him to lead through example. He was born on February in 1978 at Vienna In Austria. He was schooled at his grand parents place till at the age of ten years. The most essential part of his education was during the era of adult as education. He had a fascination into the adult education compromised by character.

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This was through his understanding that an individual person was important in bringing a sense of unique perspective within the frontiers of learning environments.

Through exploration into the adult learning, he managed to influence his work contributions which included the areas of social philosophy, education, religion, marriage and ethics. 1 The context of social philosophy by Martin Buber is highly influential in the manner and sense with which it is made to influence in the society. To him, he philosophized on the insecurity and repression allied to the modern man.

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This modern man is passively isolated from the other people though clinked within the phenomenological collectivity, which provides him with trust for personal protection from the effect of the external world.

The man has internal subdivisions within his soul, which comprise repressions, sublimations, spirits and also instincts. From these social phenomena, such modern man is incapable of having a direct positive relationship with the other persons including those allied to body-politic senses as well as members within the social community. 2 Basically, Buber philosophy is founded on collective tremendous power in which to him forms the basics of his social ally.

However, such aspect of collective power does not hitherto provide him with a concrete clear-cut outlay in the scope of being either within the context of social relationship or having the mandate of social freedom. This double social tragedy however brings sterilization in the alteration symmetry that grows between armed peace and the universal war. To him, the development of his social philosophy is built on the principle that modern crisis has social effect both relating the human individual as well as the broad societal concept.

By and large, the Buber’s social philosophy has attracted a broad autonomy of social reformation of great thinkers in regard to the aspect of his double characterized philosophical crisis. 1 To many, the initial change of the society is important which will ultimately produce changes to the individual person. However, the opposers of this objective provide that a splendid change to the individual person forms the benchmark support towards the final change of the broad’s societal outlay.

To these propagators, the society will ultimately provide changing social portfolio, which is characterized by changing social relationships. However, Martin Buber escaped from this philosophical dilemma through his refusal of the aspects of both collectivism and individual autonomies. 4 The philosophical resolution to this dilemma by Buber has been captured through the creation of a third party alternative, which is the man-to-man relationship.

The emphasis of this relationship is not biased only towards ‘I- Thou’ essence of person’s meeting, but is use to bring in the essence of ‘We’ within the community. According to him the man-to-man relationship caters both aspect of individuals personal wholeness as well as the society’s social restructing. According to his philosophy, good human relationship forms the benchmark for the support of individual’s integration as well as the fundamentals of personal wholeness.

Based on these conditions, the society therefore undergoes a series of social transformations which brings out social changes in the society. 3 To Buber, the foundations of both the social and also moral philosophy would only be determined through the believe of an individual in regard to the other individual person, complex organic group as well as whether a dialogue is projectivity between two or more men. However, the standard scope and the basic determinant in the authenticity of these standard points is whether the interrelationships meet the requirement of social value and contemporary reality.

According to him, radical individualism which could be through both the broad societal relationship and smaller interpersonal relation amounts to the relational effects from a separate individual . Elsewhere, an individual means a basic derivative concept towards the aspect of value and reality. Within the individual autonomy, their social relationships is indirect and provided by the mediation figuration that corresponds to the common relationship figured by the society. The aspect of dialogical philosophy is however different.

This provides the view that the society and the individual exists in terms of value and reality though its derivation is from the essence of meeting the relationship between a man and another . This is to imply that the society and the individual are only abstractions that does not call for the existence of reality. According to Buber, an individual form a benchmark of existence in regard to the steps he takes to imply the relationship that he has with the other people. Elsewhere, the aggregate grouping of individuals is a facet towards existence as long as it has relational units in its build up.

This is to signify the idea and importance that exists between the man and the other. It seeks to rationalize the idea of what a man is. 4 In his social philosophy designation, Buber comes up with ‘essential We’ which he uses as a correspondence towards the binary relationship between men in correspondence to ‘essential Thou’ which ultimately exists in the self being . Since the primitive idea of Thou has consciousness proceed to individual consciousness, then ‘essential Thou’ would follow and grow ultimately from the same consciousness.

3 It would imply that ‘primitive We’ is a precedent of the true individuality as well as personal independence while ‘essential We’ has its occurrence when different people are brought together through social relations. Therefore, essential We has the potentiality of Thou but which is only true within men who can say Thou in a true perspective to each other is what is brought out within such a relation. Therefore, the man can only escape the entangles of the ‘impersonal one’ through the implicit implication of the actions and motives of the ‘essentials We’.

Implied here is that an individual would get saved from ‘one’ not through mere physical separation but rather having a bound up within a genuine communion. 5 However, the societal reality has the characteristic of another complex social pattern which is defined within dialogical relationship in his consciousness. Buber has fundamentally warned against the fatal implications of Blurring the very philosophical distinction that exists in the contexts of the social aspect found within the general diasporas and the essence of social togetherness that exists in a true dialogue.

In his philosophical modeling of the word ‘das Zwischenmenschliche’ Buber is convinced of social-psychologicall phenomena in general. He posits about the action of human life as men living together within the scope of their different actions and forms of life. To him, this forms the social scenery for the formulation of psychological process that regulates the relationship between men. However, Buber later restricted the meaning and use of this term to imply the aspect of human life with which dialogical relations are provided.

Contrary to the former usage of the terminology, he took the term ‘social’ to imply the phenomena of huge groups of people that exist in a group bound on a special commonality in regard to contextual experiences as well as various social reactions. 4 However, this does not imply the ideality of personal relations that could however exist between the people within such a group. Accordingly, Buber philosophizes on the general structure of the modern society as making true dialogue rationally difficult.

To him, the implicative tremendous force that operates within the psychological and social imagery of a society is what yields closeness within such a society. This would consequently ignite the reservation towards social determinism as well as social structure of the organic society which could otherwise accept the rationale behind the reality. This condition however yields a very important question of whether anything can be done to shape the nature and outlook of the level of value and also reality that exists within the society.

To him, if the effect and nature of value and reality were in response to dialogical relations that exists between men, an importance towards restructuring of the society would thus be fundamental. Thereby, Buber proposed for socialist restructuring aspect towards the society which would be shaped in regard to a community which houses social communities. Consequently, the restructuring process is what has brought out the affirmative importance towards the people not confusing what could be implied by both ‘political’ and ‘social’ principles.

This is from the basic need by the people towards the transformation of the political essence of the society which is part of the social outlook of the same society. 3 Both the political and the social principles are of great importance in Buber’s social philosophy. To him, social principle is taken to mean dialogical reasoning. The political principle is meant to imply the ordered and necessary realm found within the world of social principles. The social principle is hitherto used to ignite reservation of freedom to fellowship and also cognitive association between the people within the society.

Elsewhere, political principle is used to imply domination and compulsion authorities found within the scope of such a society. In his opinion, social restructuring towards the society’s imagery is ideally important. This is because the effects of capitalism are made to gesture a poor modeled society. However, the implication of Marxist socialism is not worthy adequate in providing a concrete remedy to such poverty from its tool of centralization and unity within the society. Any socialism within a bias of political principle implies starting from the top most positions down the ladder with a system of uniformity in the political order.

However, the socialism which has its bias on social principle is the best since it has the bottom point as its starting point with a discovery of genuine community as important towards societal development. 2 However, such effects of social restructuring does not call for the effects of various economic forces. The demand for the will and consciousness by the people is important towards setting the demands and goals which correspond to definite efforts of their acquisition. The goals are based on the desire and longing for the individuals rightness.

It is important to incorporate the facet of ‘Utopian’ socialism which has the regard of corporate society forms that can even provide the most vulnerable tools for support in social restructuring. This provides that consumer corporative societies can become capitalistic bureaucracies, large scale to be specialized in providing the functionality of the society. The essence of utopian socialism has been provided through village communes in which case the same takes the imagery of industry, agriculture and also communal production.

Though Buber has done a lot to philosophize on social restructuring of the society, much criticism can be pin-pointed to the broad nature of his methodology in which he uses the relationship between men themselves and the society. Broadly, his philosophy is built on dogmatism by modeling the relative relationship between individual persons and the society. His philosophy is specifically blended on the conception of the social framework that could be the restructuring point of view towards the society.

However, socialism is just one of the many facets that ignites a changing modality towards the societal imagery. 5 However, the tool of both political and economic implications remains vital in providing consequential effects to the society. It remains important to incorporate these factors in determining the responsive changes within the society. However much he has argued on the aspect of social restructuring, his philosophy calls for great criticism on why he should disregard both the political and economic influences on the societal social changes. Bibliography

Donald, M (1996) Martin Buber: Prophet of Religious Secularism. New York, Fordham University Press Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue by Mourice S. Friedman. Retrieved on 22nd April 2007 from, http://www. religion-online. org/showchapter. asp? title=459&C=393 Mourice, F (1991) Encounter on the Narrow Ridge: A life of Martin Buber. London, Paragon Press. Paul, A & Mourice , F (1967) The Philosophy of Martin Buber. Open Court Publishing Ronald, A (1986) Communication and Community. Implications of Martin Buber’s Dialogue. Carbondale, IL, Southern Illinois University Press

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Social Philosophy of Martin Buber. (2016, Aug 09). Retrieved from

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