Experience  

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Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event.

The history of the word experience aligns it closely with the concept of experiment. For example, the word experience could be used in a statement like: "I have experience in fishing".

The concept of experience generally refers to know-how or procedural knowledge, rather than propositional knowledge: on-the-job training rather than book-learning. Philosophers dub knowledge based on experience "empirical knowledge" or "a posteriori knowledge".

The interrogation of experience has a long tradition in continental philosophy. Experience plays an important role in the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard. The German term Erfahrung, often translated into English as "experience", has a slightly different implication, connoting the coherency of life's experiences.

A person with considerable experience in a specific field can gain a reputation as an expert.

Certain religious traditions (such as types of Buddhism, mysticism and Pentecostalism) and educational paradigms stress the experiential nature of human epistemology. This stands in contrast to alternatives: traditions of dogma, logic or reasoning. Participants in activities such as tourism, extreme sports and recreational drug-use also tend to stress the importance of experience.

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Alternatives to experience

Immanuel Kant contrasted experience with reason:

"Nothing, indeed, can be more harmful or more unworthy of the philosopher, than the vulgar appeal to so-called experience. Such experience would never have existed at all, if at the proper time, those institutions had been established in accordance with ideas." --The Critique of Pure Reason

Writing

The American author Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote an essay entitled "Experience" (published in 1844), in which he asks readers to disregard emotions that could alienate them from the divine; it provides a somewhat pessimistic representation of the Transcendentalism associated with Emerson.

Art

In 2005 the art group Monochrom organized a series of happenings that ironically took up the implications of the term "experience."

Etymology

From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin experientia (“a trial, proof, experiment, experimental knowledge, experience”), from experiens, present participle of experiri (“to try, put to the test, undertake, undergo”), from ex (“out”) + *periri (“to go through”), in past participle peritus (“experienced, expert”); see expert and peril.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Experience" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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