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Martin Buber (1878–1965) was a prominent 20th-century philosopher, Jewish religious thinker, and cultural Zionist whose well-known distinction between I–Thou and I–It relations formed the basis for a unique philosophy of education, with distinctive conceptions of learning for meaning, teacher–student relations, and the role of education in the cultivation of community. In addition to its impact on Jewish thought and education in Israel and abroad, Buber’s philosophy of dialogue exercised considerable influence on Nel Noddings’s (1984) ethics of care, Emmanuel Levinas’s (1998) ethics of responsibility, and the work of Protestant theologians such as Paul Tillich (1948, 1952).

Born in Vienna in 1878, Buber was raised by his paternal grandparents in Lemberg (Lvov). His grandfather, Solomon Buber, was an important Jewish communal leader and scholar who edited the ...

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