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The experience of meeting Volume 89, issue 6, Juin-Juillet 2013

Author
Professeur honoraire de philosophie, Archives Husserl de Paris, École normale supérieure

In everyday life, we constantly deal with others, but the relationships we establish with them are not always self-evident. This is particularly the case for those who are going through an identity crisis, adolescents or psychotics, and those who have particular difficulties in their relationship with others. Psychology and psychoanalysis, these disciplines focus on the behaviour and experiences of individuals, assume the task of explaining and solving the problems that occur when meeting others. However, before arriving at the explanations and solutions, it is important to understand the phenomenon of the meeting itself. It is here that we must request the help of philosophical analysis. There are indeed in the works of some contemporary French philosophers, Sartre, Levinas and Merleau-Ponty, a description and a concept, which is different each time they meet with others, which can be experienced by the type of domination, submission or peaceful coexistence. Therefore, there will be an attempt to show how their analysis will permit us to better understand the challenges inherent in a meeting with others.