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I-You relationship: The I-You relationship is a philosophical concept developed by Martin Buber. It is a relationship of mutuality, directness, presentness, intensity, and ineffability. In it, we encounter the other person as a whole being. We see the other person as a subject, not an object. See also Dialogue, Communication, Person, Subjects, Autonomy.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Hans-Georg Gadamer on I-You-Relationship - Dictionary of Arguments

I 363
I-You-Relationship/Gadamer: Tradition is (...) not simply an event that one learns to recognize and control through experience, but
I 364
it is language, i.e. it speaks from itself like a "you". A you is not an object, but behaves towrds one.
Experience: A. It is clear that the experience of the you must be a specific one, as long as the you is not an object but behaves towards one. In this respect, the structural moments of experience that we have highlighted will find a variation here.
Since here the object of experience itself has the character of the person, such experience is a moral phenomenon and the knowledge acquired through experience, the understanding of the other, is also a moral phenomenon. Now there is an experience of the you, which sees something typical out of the behaviour of the fellow human being and wins foresight of the other person on the basis of the experience. We call this: knowledge of human nature. Morally, such behaviour towards the you means pure self-reference and is contrary to the moral destiny of the human.
>Intersubjectivity, >Subjectivity, >Communication, >Dialogue,
>Self-knowledge, >Self-consciousness.
I 365
B. A second way of experiencing the you and understanding the you is to acknowledge the you as a person, but to understand the you as a way of being self-centered despite the person's involvement in the experience of the you. Such self-reference arises from the dialectical appearance that the dialectic of the I-you-relationship carries with it.
The I-you-relationship is not a direct relationship, but a reflective one. All claims correspond to counterclaims. In it arises the possibility that each of the partners in the relationship reflects on the other. He or she claims to know the claim of the other person, even to understand him or her better than he or she understands him- or herself. In this way the you loses the immediacy with which it makes its claim on someone. It is understood, i.e. it is anticipated from the point of view of the other person and intercepted in a reflective manner.
Historicity: The inner historicity of all living conditions between people consists in the fact that mutual recognition is constantly contested. It can take on very different degrees of tension, up to the complete domination of one ego by the other ego.
But even the most extreme forms of rule and bondage are a true dialectical relationship of the structure that Hegel has worked out(1).
Consciousness/Self-Awareness: The experience of the you, which is acquired here, is factually more appropriate than the knowledge of human nature, which only seeks to calculate the other person. It is an illusion to see in the other a tool that can be overlooked and controlled. Even in the servant, there is still the will for power who turns against his master, as Nietzsche rightly said(2). This dialectic of reciprocity, which dominates all I-you-relationships, is, however, necessarily hidden from the consciousness of the individual. The servant, who tyrannizes his master through service, certainly does not believe that he or she wants him- or herself in it. Yes, one's own self-consciousness consists almost entirely of
I 366
escaping the dialectics of this reciprocity, to reflect oneself out of the relationship to the other and thus become unreachable for this person. By understanding the other, by claiming to know him or her, one takes away any legitimation of one's own claims. In particular, the dialectic of care asserts itself in this way, penetrating all human relations as a reflected form of the striving for power.
>Dialogue, >Dialectics.

1. Cf. the excellent analysis of this reflective dialectic of I and you in Karl Löwith, Das Individuum in der Rolle des Mitmenschen (1928) and my review Logos X V 111 (1929), pp. 436-440 vol. 4 of the Ges. Werke
2. Thus spoke Zarathustra (Of overcoming oneself)

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977

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