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Complexity and the phenomenological structure of ‘surprise’
Volume: 11, Issue 2
Surprising, unexpected events happen all the time which can be thought of and addressed in a variety of ways. On one hand, surprise can be something that is not desired, something suppressed or controlled for. Or, it can be something that is embraced, sought out or encouraged. Conceptually speaking, conceiving surprise in this fashion is not uncommon. Still, there seems to be an important piece missing from the many discourses on surprise. This paper offers some a possible framework to understand the experience of surprise in relation to a more complexified framing of the lived-experience. Specifically, by drawing upon principles from the complexity sciences, this paper considers the lived human experience of surprise as an emergent phenomenon that arises from a complex system.