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Full text of "I And Thou"

between things. It is Buber's signal achievement to
have so expressed the nature of the personal that it
may now reclaim its right to be taken seriously.
In the first place, this right affects our understanding
of the characteristic modern organisations of politics
and industry. J. H. Oldham, in his pamphlet, Church,
Community9 and State, shows clearly that the reality of
our status as persons, living in mutual personal relation,
is a controlling factor distinct from our " rights as
individuals" and our inherited racial and cultural
gifts. This basic recognition on the part of one of the
leaders of the oecumenical Church movement shows
the explicit influence of Buber's thought in the sphere
of " practical" Christianity*
In the second place, this new awareness has had far-
reaching effects on philosophical thought.   Hitherto,
what we have known about the mutual relation oJ
persons has been relegated in theories of knowledge tc
a position subordinate to the contemplation of the om
subject.   The investigation was conducted within at
impersonal system, a continuum regulated by the lawi
of cause and effect.   The relation of the one observing
subject to the other observing subjects within the same
closed system was not seriously considered.   Buber has
given intellectual status to the problem of the relation
between persons, and has thus called in doubt the
massive monistic system within which idealist philosophy
has worked.
The direct influence of Buber on philosophical thoughl
is nowhere more clearly shown than in the work oi
Professor Karl Heim. His book, fflaube und DenJcen
the third edition of which has already appeared ii
viii