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I and Thou
Book I, aphorisms 1–8: Basic Words and the Mode of Experience
Part I, aphorisms 9–19: Relation
Part I, aphorisms 19–22: Love and the Dialogical
Part I, aphorisms 23–29: Arguments for the Primacy of Relation
Part II, aphorisms 1–6: The It-World
Part II, aphorisms 6–8
Part II, aphorisms 9–13
Part III, aphorisms 1–4: Encountering the Eternal You
Part III, aphorisms 5–14: What Religion is Not
Part III, aphorisms 15–17: Revelation through Action
Philosophical Themes, Arguments, Ideas
Suggested Essay Topics
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1. Which of the following best characterizes Buber's writing style?
2. According to Buber, which of the following does modern man ignore to his detriment?
3. Which of the following does not accurately describe the mode of experience?
4. Which of the following can man
None of the above
5. What is a You according to Buber?
Something that you encounter
Something that you experience
Something that you have faith in
Something that you fear
6. According to Buber, what are the most basic words?
I and Thou
I and It
It and You
I–It and I–You
7. According to Buber, what indelible psychological trait does a human being receive from his time in the womb?
The neurotic desire to mate with his mother
A need for physical tenderness
A yearning for relation
A dislike of enclosed spaces
8. What is the "innate You"?
The inherent yearning that we all have to relate to another human being
The inner source of self-completion
An obstacle that must be overcome
9. What comes first in human development, the I–You or the I–It?
They both come simultaneously
It depends on the depth of attachment between mother and child.
10. Aside from developing children, Buber looks at one other group to confirm his theory of relation. What is that group?
The ancient Isrealites
The mystical Hasidic sect
Famous lonely philosophers
11. Which would Buber consider the most accurate metaphor for encounter?
12. Which of the following statements about spirit would Buber not agree with?
Spirit is word
Modern society needs more spirit
Spirit is like the blood circulating in man's veins
Man lives in spirit when he is able to respond to his You
13. What is a theomaniac according to Buber?
A man who believes he is God
A man who cannot open himself up to divine encounter
A man who is only concerned with his personal connection to God
A man who is so obsessed with finding God, that he is unable to do so
14. Which of the following famous historical figures does Buber not bring forward as an example of almost pure person?
15. What is ego according to Buber?
An inflated sense of self
The I of I–It
The I of I–You
The I of the theomaniac
16. Which of the following is not oppressive to modern man, according to Buber?
The psychological idea that innate drives constitute the entire human soul
The belief in fate
The historical notion that history follows certain set and inexorable patterns
The biological theory that life is a universal struggle
17. Which of the following would Buber think most accurately describes the religious moment?
Man becomes wholly dependent on God
Man and God become one
God becomes the entire Universe
Man relates to God and, through Him, to the entire Universe
18. What does Buber mean when he says that man must "concentrate his soul" in order to prepare for an encounter with God?
That man must strip away all superfluous aspects of himself, leaving only the purest desire to commune with God
That man must hold together all contradictory aspects of himself
That man must let go of his ego
That man must let go of the I
19. Which of the following would not be an accurate description of revelation according to Buber?
Revelation involves a special kind of knowledge
Revelation comes to exist through action
Revelation crucially involves love for one's fellow creatures
Revelation cannot be communicated through words
20. Which of the following does one not lose after encounter with God?
21. What is the true site of religion according to Buber?
22. What transformation does a man undergo when he has encountered God?
He is able to understand the meaning of the world order
He is able to say "You" to the entire world
He loses interest in the trivialities of human life, and focuses all of his attention on God
He becomes unable to bear the weight of human suffering and will ultimately go mad
23. What need does faith come in to fill?
The need for continuity
The need for a personal relationship to God
The need for a replacement of the mother's womb
The need for community
24. What is the holy man's mission?
To spread the word of God
To punish wrongdoers
To record his experiences for posterity
To actualize God in the world through loving responsibility
25. Why are we not satisfied with human encounters?
Because they are necessarily fleeting
Because they are not entered into with the whole self
Because they do not involve a response
Because they are tainted by impure love
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