Strangers in the Hands of an Angry “I”: On the Immediacy of Other Persons
In the first of two essays on the ontological ground of otherness, and its phenomenological availability, we argue that what we call the “occasion” within the encounter of others are sources as well as re-sources for disclosing the results of a construction and concealment of a secret identity, one we keep from ourselves even though we have created it. Yet, individuals are capable of returning their encounters to the well of sensus communis, and that sensus communis is as natural as it is cultural. Human beings are not compelled to interpret strangeness as threat, even if we are culturally compelled to interpret strangeness itself. Narrative lives in our sensus communis, and it is open, revisable, even danceable. Immediacy is person, the person that is community, and it is sublime, is both liked and disliked.