Encounters: A Philosophy
Original title: La rencontre, une philosophie
After his international bestsellers THE VIRTUES OF FAILURE and SELF-CONFIDENCE, Charles Pépin is back with a new practical philosophy essay
Lovers, friends, colleagues: human beings can not live fully without relationships with others. While encounters are crucial to our lives, there are no veritable books of philosophy devoted to the theme, aside from a little-known text by Martin Buber, I and Thou.
What are the signs of a true encounter? Under what conditions can we make ourselves available, leave ourselves open to the unexpected and the dizzying mysteries of an encounter? How can we break free of the prison of our convictions? How can we liberate ourselves from our fear of losing control in order to meet and be truly fulfilled with the other, thanks to the other?
At the core of our existence − which comes from the Latin ex-sistere “come out of oneself” − there is a movement, the need to step outside the self to go towards the other; encountering the other is how we truly come to exist. Thus every true encounter is an encounter with the other, with oneself, with life and life’s very movement.
From Plato to Buber via Hegel and Bachelard, Charles Pépin mobilizes the resources of classical philosophy to enable us to discover the true stakes of encounters, and how to achieve that grace. He does it by analyzing famous and fruitful encounters (Picasso and Éluard, David Bowie and Iggy Pop, and more), and characters and situations from classic literature (Anna Karenina, Belle du Seigneur, The Game of Love and Chance, and others), as well as examples from our hyper-connected daily lives
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