Volume 16 · Number 3 · Pages 245–253
The Lived Experience of Being Fragile: On Becoming more “Living” During the Pandemic

Natalie Depraz

Log in download the full text in PDF

> Citation > Similar > References > Add Comment

Abstract

Context: The topic of my article, fragility, is a theme that has been little broached in philosophy and phenomenology, except by Ricœur, in the fifties, and recently Chrétien. I aim to bring it into light, anew, with a micro-phenomenological approach. Problem: How does fragility, far from referring to a weak living being, makes us feel more alive, and how does the pandemic time we are going through intensify our feeling of being “living? Method: I chose to use a first-person method related to micro-phenomenology, self-explicitation. As a writing method, it fits the time of loneliness in which we were immersed in lockdown better. I produced two small self-explicitations referring to two salient moments of awareness of my fragility. They reveal a contrasted feeling of fragility, negative/positive, an existential loneliness leading to a time regained, a huge difficulty to breathe awakening an imminent death feeling and then an amplified breathing. Results: Not only is fragility not a weakening of my being, but it results in my being more alive. Moreover, the article shows that fragility is not a mere state: it entails a peculiar micro-dynamics made of two phases, negative/positive. Implications: This contribution offers a first insight into the dynamics of lived fragilization from a micro-phenomenological viewpoint. It needs to be developed further with other self-explicitations and interviews. Another challenge is to compare the philosophical results with the micro-phenomenological ones. Constructivist content: This article links to the constructivist perspective founded by Vermersch. It puts to the fore the first-person self-explicitation method as a precious tool to uncover limit experiences of loneliness and imminent dying, sometimes hard to broach during an interview.

Key words: Micro-phenomenology, self-explicitation, lived experience, living, fragility, pandemic, time, house, lockdown, awakening.

Citation

Depraz N. (2021) The lived experience of being fragile: On becoming more “living” during the pandemic. Constructivist Foundations 16(3): 245–253. https://constructivist.info/16/3/245

Export article citation data: Plain Text · BibTex · EndNote · Reference Manager (RIS)

Similar articles

Vörös S. (2014) The Uroboros of Consciousness: Between the Naturalisation of Phenomenology and the Phenomenologisation of Nature
Weber S. (2008) The Object of Description is the Description of the Object So Far: Non-dualism and Beyond
Vörös S. & Bitbol M. (2017) Enacting Enaction: A Dialectic Between Knowing and Being
Froese T., Gould C. & Barrett A. (2011) Re-Viewing from Within: A Commentary on First- and Second-Person Methods in the Science of Consciousness
Glasersfeld E. von & Ackermann E. K. (2011) Reflections on the Concept of Experience and the Role of Consciousness. Unfinished Fragments

References

Aristotle (2000) Politics. Penguin, London. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Beauvoir S. de (1949) Le deuxième sexe. Volume 1. Folio, Paris. English translation: Beauvoir S. de (1997) The second sex. Vintage Classics, New York. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Beauvoir S. de (2020) La vieillesse [Old age]. Gallimard, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Beck U. (1986) Risikogesellschaft: Auf dem Weg in eine andere Moderne [Risk society: On the way to a different modern age]. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Binswanger L. (1960) Melancholie und Manie: Phänomenologische Studien [Melancholy and mania: Phenomenological studies]. Verlag Günther Neske, Pfullingen. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Blanchot M. (1994) L’Instant de ma mort. Gallimard, Paris. English translation: Blanchot M. (2000) The instant of my death. Stanford University Press, Redwood City CA. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Camus A. (1985) Le mythe de Sisyphe [The Myth of Sisyphus]. Gallimard, Paris. Originally published in 1942. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Chrétien J.-L. (2017) Fragilité [Fragility]. Minuit, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Cioran E. (1987) De l’inconvénient d’être né [The disadvantage of being born] Folio, Paris. Originally published in 1967. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Deleuze G. & Guattari F. (2015) Capitalisme et schizophrénie I: L’anti-œdipe. Minuit, Paris. Originally published in 1972. English translation: Deleuze G. & Guattari F. (2009) Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Penguin Classics, New York. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N. & Cosmelli D. (2003) Empathy and openness: Practices of intersubjectivity at the core of the science of consciousness. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33(supp. 1): 163–203. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N. & Desmidt T. (2019) Cardiophenomenology: A refinement of neurophenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18(3): 493–507. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N. (2013) D’une science descriptive de l’expérience en première personne: Pour une phénoménologie expérientielle [A descriptive science of first-person experience: For an experiential phenomenology]. Studia Phaenomenologica 13(1): 387–402. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N. (2013) Vie et risque: Le végétal au risque du mouvement [Life and risk: The vegetal at the risk of moving]. Alter, Revue de phénoménologie 21: 51–71. http://journals.openedition.org/alter/795
Depraz N. (2016) De l’événement à la surprise: Le trauma et son expression [From event to surprise: Trauma and its expression]. Lectures du Monde Anglophone 2: 123–141. http://eriac.univ-rouen.fr/de-levenement-a-la-surprise-le-trauma-et-son-expression/
Depraz N. (2018) La surprise du sujet: Un sujet cardial [The surprise of the subject: A cardial subject]. Zeta Books, Bucarest. [§30] ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N. (2018) Trauma and phenomenology. Eidos: A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 2(4): 53–74. http://dx.doi.org/10.26319/4716
Depraz N. (2021) Microphenomenology of chronicity in psychosomatic diseases: Diabetes, anorexia, schizophrenia. In: Tewes C. & Stanghellini G. (eds.) Time and Body: Phenomenological and psychopathological approaches. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 82–97. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N., Varela F. J. & Vermersch P. (2003) On becoming aware: A pragmatics of experiencing. John Benjamins, Amsterdam. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Foessel M. (2012) Après la fin du monde: Critique de la raison apocalyptique [Beyond the end of the world: Critique of the apocalyptical reason]. Seuil, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Freud S. (1920) Jenseits des Lustprinzips. Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Vienna. English translation: Freud S. (2001) Beyond the pleasure principle. Complete psychological works, Volume 18. Vintage Books, New York. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Gamber K. (1993) The reform of the Roman liturgy: Its problems and background. Una Voce Press, Harrison NY. German original published in 1979. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Garcia M. (2018) On ne naît pas soumise, on le devient [You are not born submissive, you become submissive]. Flammarion, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Garrau M. (2018) Politiques de la vulnérabilité [Politics of vulnerability]. CNRS Editions, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Heidegger M. (1927) Sein und Zeit. Max Niemeyer, Tübingen. English translation: Heidegger M. (2010) Being and time. Revised edition. State University of New York Press, New York. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Husserl E. (1939) Erfahrung und Urteil: Untersuchungen zur Genealogie der Logik. Meiner, Hamburg, English translation: Husserl E. (1975) Experience and judgment. Edited and translated by Ludwig Landgrebe. Northwestern University Press, Evanston IL. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
James W. (2000) Principles of psychology. Dover, New York. Originally published in 1890. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Jonas H. (1966) The phenomenon of life: Towards a philosophical biology. Harper & Row, New York. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Kessler D. (2002) Ulrich Beck et la société du risque [Ulrich Beck and the society of risk]. Commentaire 100: 889–892. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Levinas E. (1998) Otherwise than being: Or beyond essence. Translated by Alphonso Lingis. Kluwer, Dordrecht. French original published as: Levinas E. (1978) Autrement qu’être ou au delà de l’essence. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Locke J. (1997) An essay concerning human understanding. Penguin Classics, London. Originally published in 1690. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Lordon F. (2010) Capitalisme, désir et servitude [Capitalism, desire and servitude]. La Fabrique Editions, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Merleau-Ponty M. (2003) Nature. Course Notes from the Collège de France, Northwestern University Press, Evanston IL. French original published as: Merleau-Ponty M. (1995) La nature: Notes, cours du Collège de France. Seuil, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Nussbaum M. (2001) The fragility of goodness: Luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Originally published in 1986. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Popper P. (1959) The logic of scientific discovery. Hutchinson & Co, London. German original published in 1934. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Ricœur P. (1987) Fallible man: Philosophy of the will. Fordham University Press, New York. French original published as: Ricœur P. (1960) La philosophie de la volonté. Volume 2: Finitude et culpabilité. Seuil, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Sophrony (2016) Saint Silouane l’Athonite (1866–1938): Vie, doctrine, écrits. Cerf, Paris. English original published in 1991. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Trungpa C. (2010) Meditation in action. Shambhala, Boston. Originally published in 1970. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Vaz N. & Varela F. J. (1978) Self and non-sense: An organism-centered approach to immunology. Medical Hypothesis 4(3): 231–267. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Vermersch P. (1994) L’entretien d’explicitation [The explicitation interview]. ESF, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Vermersch P. (2007) Les bases de l’explicitation 1 [The basics of explicitation 1]. Expliciter Journal 68: 1–31. https://www.grex2.com/assets/files/expliciter/bases_de_l_autoexplicitation_un_expliciter_69_mars_2007.pdf
Vermersch P. (2014) Le dessin de vécu dans la recherche en premiere personne: Pratique de l’auto-explicitation [The drawing of lived experience in first person research: Practice of self-explicitation]. In: Depraz N. (ed.) Première, deuxième, troisième personne. Zetabooks, Bucarest: 195–233. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar

Comments: 0

To stay informed about comments to this publication and post comments yourself, please log in first.