Thor-André Skrefsrud: On the Significance of Distance in Buber

The article draws attention to the significance of distance in Martin Bubers philosophy of dialogue. As the trustful interpersonal relation between human beings is seen as Bubers major contribution, the article argues that also distance plays a constitutive part in the I-Thou-relationship. Furthermore, it elaborates how the interrelation between distance and nearness forms an answer to Levinas’ critic of Buber, claiming that Bubers encounter violates the other in favour of an egocentric formation process.

Keywords: Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas, encounter, relational distance, dialogue