Ethics Glossary


Latin meaning is ‘to come up against’.  To encounter is to come upon another person face to face, often unexpectedly.  To encounter is to meet another person suddenly, often violently.  Each day is a series of encounters – turning hallway corners, crossing lanes, reaching for an object, getting in line, looking up from a table, chasing a prize, competing for a position.  Encounters make concrete and visible the set of values and the sense of purpose out of which we decide what ought to be done.