This book, with a foreword by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, incorporates Prof. Maurice Friedman's lectures, discussions and exchanges which took place in the Intercultural Dialogue at many levels. The integral dialogical approach of Prof. Friedman within the framework of the human image, coincides with the holistic vision of the ongoing work at the IGNCA.
Prof. Friedman's major contribution in philosophy is in providing continuity to the new dialogical trend of thought. There was a time when philosophy was conceived as purely thought-oriented, self-oriented, and too far removed from the existential, natural order of human existence. The image of man that emerged from this abstraction was also a conceptual 'I'. The new trend, gives priority to existence, experience, and an image of the human that precedes and develops through every type of personal encounter we have with the other. This experiential framework gives an orientation to philosophical anthropology, philosophy of art, philosophy of social sciences, philosophy of religion and moral philosophy. It rejects the distinction between first order and second order level and sees thought and reflection as in the process of existential becoming of the human.
Professor Friedman's original contribution to philosophy may be indicated at different levels: 1) Developing a complete yet open-ended dialogical framework by pointing to the image of the human as central; 2) Bringing out, in a thoroughgoing way, the implications of the image of man for moral philosophy. This existential ethics, which is different from Sartre, is of great significance in our times; 3) Suggesting a new philosophy of literature by stressing the human image as a direction and not as an ideal in the literary works of Aldous Huxley, T.S.Eliot, Hermann Hesse; and, 4) Pointing to the important dimension of dialogical psychotherapy where the relationship between the therapist and the client is central; and, it is this meeting alone which may heal the atrophied personal center.