Volume 14 · Number 2 · Pages 187–189
The Surprise of the Other: What about Radical Asymmetry, Surprise, Passivity and Emotions in Inter-Subjective First Encounters?

Natalie Depraz

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Open peer commentary on the article “Meeting You for the First Time: Descriptive Categories of an Intersubjective Experience” by Magali Ollagnier-Beldame & Christophe Coupé. Abstract: I argue that when focusing on first encounters (as the target article does), the unique pristine character of such encounters should be dealt with. In particular, it would be necessary to include as main components surprise, emotions and passivity. Another issue addresses intersubjectivity: While the article considers shared reciprocity as a main invariant feature of intersubjectivity, many phenomenologists have stressed the structural asymmetry of the relation between oneself and the other: am I not the only one who is able to experience (perceive, know) the other? Finally, since the very technique of micro-phenomenological explicitation interviews is based on a clear asymmetry between the interviewer and the interviewee, one may ask to what extent the model of intersubjectivity presented in the article can be representative of first encounters.


Depraz N. (2019) The surprise of the other: What about radical asymmetry, surprise, passivity and emotions in inter-subjective first encounters? Constructivist Foundations 14(2): 187–189. https://constructivist.info/14/2/187

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