Experience
Overview
 
Experience as a general concept
Concept
The word concept is used in ordinary language as well as in almost all academic disciplines. Particularly in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences the term is much used and much discussed. WordNet defines concept: "conception, construct ". However, the meaning of the term concept is much...

 comprises knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 of or skill in or observation
Observation
Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses, or the recording of data using scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity...

 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
Experiment
An experiment is a methodical procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results...

.
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
Procedural knowledge
Procedural knowledge, also known as imperative knowledge, is the knowledge exercised in the performance of some task. See below for the specific meaning of this term in cognitive psychology and intellectual property law....

, rather than propositional knowledge: on-the-job training rather than book-learning.
Quotations

Experience is the teacher of all things.

Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili|Commentarii de Bello Civili (Commentaries on the Civil War), 2. 8 (50s or 40s BC)

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.

Benjamin Franklin, Maxims prefixed to Poor Richard’s Almanac (1757)

The experience of every past moment but belies the faith of each present.

Henry David Thoreau, Letter to Lidian Jackson Emerson (June 20, 1843); in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 88, Houghton Mifflin (1906)

Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.

Henry James, The Art of Fiction (1884)

Experience comprises illusions lost, rather than wisdom gained.

Joseph Roux, Meditations of a Parish Priest, pt. 4, no. 28 (1886)

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan|Lady Windermere's Fan, Act III (1893)

Experience. The wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1881-1906)

Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.

Minna Antrim, Naked Truth and Veiled Allusions, p. 99 (1901)

...what we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, [and] of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real...

George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman|Man and Superman, Epistle dedicatory. (1903)

‘Pure experience’ is the name I gave to the immediate flux of life which furnishes the material to our later reflection with its conceptual categories.

William James, The Thing and Its Relations, Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912)

Encyclopedia
Experience as a general concept
Concept
The word concept is used in ordinary language as well as in almost all academic disciplines. Particularly in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences the term is much used and much discussed. WordNet defines concept: "conception, construct ". However, the meaning of the term concept is much...

 comprises knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 of or skill in or observation
Observation
Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses, or the recording of data using scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity...

 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
Experiment
An experiment is a methodical procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results...

.
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
Procedural knowledge
Procedural knowledge, also known as imperative knowledge, is the knowledge exercised in the performance of some task. See below for the specific meaning of this term in cognitive psychology and intellectual property law....

, rather than propositional knowledge: on-the-job training rather than book-learning. Philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

s 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
Philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard's philosophy has been a major influence in the development of 20th century philosophy, especially existentialism and postmodernism. Kierkegaard was a 19th century Danish philosopher who has been called the "Father of Existentialism"...

. The German term Erfahrung, often translated into English as "experience", has a slightly different implication, connoting the coherency of life
Personal life
Personal life is the course of an individual's life, especially when viewed as the sum of personal choices contributing to one's personal identity. It is a common notion in modern existence—although more so in more prosperous parts of the world such as Western Europe and North America...

's experiences.

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

Certain religious traditions (such as types of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Surat Shabd Yoga
Surat Shabd Yoga
Surat Shabd Yoga or Surat Shabda Yoga is a form of spiritual practice that is followed in the Sant Mat and many other related spiritual traditions...

, mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 and Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

) and educational paradigms with, for example, the conditioning
Physical exercise
Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, as well as for the purpose of...

 of military recruit-training
Recruit training
Recruit training, more commonly known as Basic Training and colloquially called Boot Camp, is the initial indoctrination and instruction given to new military personnel, enlisted and officer...

 (also known as "boot camps"), stress the experiential nature of human epistemology. This stands in contrast to alternatives: traditions of dogma
Dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

, logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 or reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

ing. Participants in activities such as tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, extreme sports and recreational drug-use
Recreational drug use
Recreational drug use is the use of a drug, usually psychoactive, with the intention of creating or enhancing recreational experience. Such use is controversial, however, often being considered to be also drug abuse, and it is often illegal...

 also tend to stress the importance of experience.

Types of experience

The word "experience" may refer, somewhat ambiguously, both to mentally
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

 unprocessed immediately perceived events as well as to the purported wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

 gained in subsequent reflection on those events or interpretation
Interpretation (logic)
An interpretation is an assignment of meaning to the symbols of a formal language. Many formal languages used in mathematics, logic, and theoretical computer science are defined in solely syntactic terms, and as such do not have any meaning until they are given some interpretation...

 of them.

Some wisdom-experience accumulates over a period of time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

,
though one can also experience (and gain general wisdom-experience from) a single specific momentary event.

One may also differentiate between (for example) physical
Body
With regard to living things, a body is the physical body of an individual. "Body" often is used in connection with appearance, health issues and death...

, mental
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

, emotional, spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

, vicarious
Vicarious
Vicarious may refer to:* Vicarious arousal, when someone witnessing a strong display of emotion begins to feel a similar emotion themselves.* Vicarious abuse , abuse committed on behalf of somebody else...

 and virtual
Virtual reality
Virtual reality , also known as virtuality, is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds...

 experience(s).

Physical experience


Physical experience occurs whenever an object or environment changes.
In other words, physical experiences relate to observable
Observable
In physics, particularly in quantum physics, a system observable is a property of the system state that can be determined by some sequence of physical operations. For example, these operations might involve submitting the system to various electromagnetic fields and eventually reading a value off...

s. They need not involve modal properties
Modal property
A modal property is a property representing possession of the qualities required to do something or get something done. It is a base concept, one of the base concepts mentioned as base types in the WordNet ontology of semantics. It is not a mental property. It is not a physical property....

 nor mental experiences
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

.

Mental experience

Mental experience involves the aspect of intellect
Intellect
Intellect is a term used in studies of the human mind, and refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true or real, and about how to solve problems...

 and consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

 experienced as combinations of thought
Thought
"Thought" generally refers to any mental or intellectual activity involving an individual's subjective consciousness. It can refer either to the act of thinking or the resulting ideas or arrangements of ideas. Similar concepts include cognition, sentience, consciousness, and imagination...

, perception
Perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

, memory
Memory
In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing memory....

, emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

, will
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

and imagination
Imagination
Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses...

, including all unconscious cognitive processes. The term can refer, by implication, to a thought process. Mental experience and its relation to the physical brain form an area of philosophical debate: some identity theorists originally argued that the identity of brain and mental states held only for a few sensations. Most theorists, however, generalized the view to cover all mental experience.

Mathematicians can exemplify cumulative mental experience in the approaches and skills with which they work. Mathematical realism, like realism in general, holds that mathematical entities exist independently of the human mind. Thus humans do not invent mathematics, but rather discover and experience it, and any other intelligent beings in the universe would presumably do the same. This point of view regards only one sort of mathematics as discoverable; it sees triangles, right angles, and curves, for example, as real entities, not just the creations of the human mind. Some working mathematicians have espoused mathematical realism as they see themselves experiencing naturally-occurring objects. Examples include Paul Erdős
Paul Erdos
Paul Erdős was a Hungarian mathematician. Erdős published more papers than any other mathematician in history, working with hundreds of collaborators. He worked on problems in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, classical analysis, approximation theory, set theory, and probability theory...

 and Kurt Gödel
Kurt Gödel
Kurt Friedrich Gödel was an Austrian logician, mathematician and philosopher. Later in his life he emigrated to the United States to escape the effects of World War II. One of the most significant logicians of all time, Gödel made an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the...

. Gödel believed in an objective mathematical reality that could be perceived in a manner analogous to sense perception. Certain principles (for example: for any two objects, there is a collection of objects consisting of precisely those two objects) could be directly seen to be true, but some conjectures, like the continuum hypothesis
Continuum hypothesis
In mathematics, the continuum hypothesis is a hypothesis, advanced by Georg Cantor in 1874, about the possible sizes of infinite sets. It states:Establishing the truth or falsehood of the continuum hypothesis is the first of Hilbert's 23 problems presented in the year 1900...

, might prove undecidable just on the basis of such principles. Gödel suggested that quasi-empirical methodology such as experience could provide sufficient evidence to be able to reasonably assume such a conjecture. With experience, there are distinctions depending on what sort of existence one takes mathematical entities to have, and how we know about them.

Emotional experience

Humans can rationalize falling in (and out) of love
Falling in love
In romantic relationships, "falling in love" is mainly a Western term used to describe the process of moving from a feeling of neutrality towards a person to one of love...

 as "emotional experience". Societies which lack institutional arranged marriages can call on emotional experience in individuals to influence mate-selection.
The concept of emotional experience also appears in the notion of emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a skill or ability in the case of the trait EI model, a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. Various models and definitions have been proposed of which the ability and trait EI models are the most...

 and empathy
Empathy
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

.

Spiritual experience

Newberg and Newberg provide a view on spiritual experience.

Experiencee

The experience experiencor. Mystics
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 can describe their visions as "spiritual experiences". However, psychology may explain the same experiences in terms of altered states of consciousness, which may come about accidentally through (for example) very high fever, infections such as meningitis, sleep deprivation, fasting, oxygen deprivation, nitrogen narcosis (deep diving), psychosis, temporal-lobe epilepsy
Temporal lobe epilepsy
Temporal lobe epilepsy a.k.a. Psychomotor epilepsy, is a form of focal epilepsy, a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures. Over 40 types of epilepsies are known. They fall into two main categories: partial-onset epilepsies and generalized-onset epilepsies...

, or a traumatic accident. People can likewise achieve such experiences more deliberately through recognized mystical practices such as sensory deprivation
Sensory deprivation
Sensory deprivation or perceptual isolation is the deliberate reduction or removal of stimuli from one or more of the senses. Simple devices such as blindfolds or hoods and earmuffs can cut off sight and hearing respectively, while more complex devices can also cut off the sense of smell, touch,...

 or mind-control
Mind control
Mind control refers to a process in which a group or individual "systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator, often to the detriment of the person being manipulated"...

 techniques, hypnosis
Hypnosis
Hypnosis is "a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination."It is a mental state or imaginative role-enactment . It is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary...

, meditation
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

, prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

, or mystical disciplines such as mantra meditation, yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

, dream yoga
Dream yoga
Dream Yoga or Milam — the Yoga of the Dream State are a suite of advanced tantric sadhana of the entwined Mantrayana lineages of Dzogchen...

, or surat shabda yoga
Surat Shabd Yoga
Surat Shabd Yoga or Surat Shabda Yoga is a form of spiritual practice that is followed in the Sant Mat and many other related spiritual traditions...

). Some "primitive religions" encourage spiritual experiences through the ingestion of psychoactive drug
Psychoactive drug
A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, or psychotropic is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior...

s such as alcohol and opiates, but more commonly with entheogen
Entheogen
An entheogen , in the strict sense, is a psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context. Historically, entheogens were mostly derived from plant sources and have been used in a variety of traditional religious contexts...

ic plants and substances such as cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

, salvia divinorum
Salvia divinorum
Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant which can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of "visions" and other hallucinatory experiences...

, psilocybin
Psilocybin
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug, with mind-altering effects similar to those of LSD and mescaline, after it is converted to psilocin. The effects can include altered thinking processes, perceptual distortions, an altered sense of time, and spiritual experiences, as well as...

 mushrooms, peyote
Peyote
Lophophora williamsii , better known by its common name Peyote , is a small, spineless cactus with psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline.It is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico...

, DXM
Dextromethorphan
Dextromethorphan is an antitussive drug. It is one of the active ingredients in many over-the-counter cold and cough medicines, such as Robitussin, NyQuil, Dimetapp, Vicks, Coricidin, Delsym, and others, including generic labels. Dextromethorphan has also found other uses in medicine, ranging...

, ayahuasca
Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca is any of various psychoactive infusions or decoctions prepared from the Banisteriopsis spp. vine, usually mixed with the leaves of dimethyltryptamine-containing species of shrubs from the Psychotria genus...

, or datura
Datura
Datura is a genus of nine species of vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae. Its precise and natural distribution is uncertain, owing to its extensive cultivation and naturalization throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the globe...

. Another way to induce spiritual experience through an altered state of consciousness involves psychoacoustics
Psychoacoustics
Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception. More specifically, it is the branch of science studying the psychological and physiological responses associated with sound...

, binaural beats
Binaural beats
Binaural beats or binaural tones are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain for specific physical stimuli...

, or light-and-sound stimulation.

Social experience

Growing up and living within a society can foster the development and observation of social experience.
Social experience provides individuals with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own societies, as a society itself is formed through a plurality of shared experiences forming norms
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

, customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages.

Virtual experience and simulation gaming

Using computer simulations can enable a person or groups of persons to have virtual experiences in virtual reality
Virtual reality
Virtual reality , also known as virtuality, is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds...

.
Role-playing game
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

s treat "experience" (and its acquisition) as an important, measurable, and valuable commodity. Many role-playing video game
Role-playing video game
Role-playing video games are a video game genre with origins in pen-and-paper role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, using much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. The player in RPGs controls one character, or several adventuring party members, fulfilling one or many quests...

s, for instance, feature units of measurement used to quantify or assist a player-character's progression through the game - called experience point
Experience point
An experience point is a unit of measurement used in many role-playing games and role-playing video games to quantify a player character's progression through the game...

s.

Immediacy of experience

Someone able to recount an event they witnessed or took part in has "first hand
First hand
Firsthand is obtained directly from the original source. The phrase may also refer to:* First Hand , the debut album released by Steven Curtis Chapman* First Hand Foundation, a non-profit organisation...

 experience". First hand experience of the "you had to be there" variety can seem especially valuable and privileged, but it often remains potentially subject to errors in sense
Sense
Senses are physiological capacities of organisms that provide inputs for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology , and philosophy of perception...

-perception
Perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

 and in personal interpretation
Interpretation (logic)
An interpretation is an assignment of meaning to the symbols of a formal language. Many formal languages used in mathematics, logic, and theoretical computer science are defined in solely syntactic terms, and as such do not have any meaning until they are given some interpretation...

.

Second-hand
Second Hand
Second Hand is the title of an album by Mark Heard, released in 1991, on Heard's own Fingerprint Records. The album was listed at #4 in the book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music ....

 experience can offer richer resources: recorded and/or summarised from first-hand observers or experiencers or from instruments, and potentially expressing multiple points of view
Perspective (cognitive)
Perspective in theory of cognition is the choice of a context or a reference from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another...

.

Third-hand experience, based on indirect and possibly unreliable rumour or hearsay
Hearsay
Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience. When submitted as evidence, such statements are called hearsay evidence. As a legal term, "hearsay" can also have the narrower meaning of...

, can (even given reliable accounts) potentially stray perilously close to blind honouring of authority
Authority
The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area .-Authority in Philosophy:In...

.

Subjective experience

Subjective experience can involve a state of individual
Individual
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Being self expressive...

 subjectivity
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

, perception
Perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

 on which one builds one's own state of reality
Reality
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible...

; a reality based on one’s interaction
Interaction
Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect...

 with one's environment. The subjective experience depends on one’s individual
Individual
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Being self expressive...

 ability to process data
Data
The term data refers to qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which...

, to store and internalize it. For example: our senses collect data, which we then process according to biological programming (genetics), neurological network-relationships and other variables such as relativity etc., all of which affect our individual experience of any given situation in such a way as to render it subjective.

Changes in experience through history

Some post-modernists suggest that the nature of human experiencing (quite apart from the details of the experienced surrounds) has undergone qualitative change during transition from the pre-modern through the modern
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

 to the post-modern.

Alternatives to experience

Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 contrasted experience with reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

: "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."

Writing

The American author Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

 wrote an essay entitled "Experience
Experience (Emerson)
"Experience" is the name of an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was published in the collection Essays: Second Series in 1844.The essay is preceded by a poem of the same title....

" (published in 1844), in which he asks readers to disregard emotion
Emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

s that could alienate them from the divine; it provides a somewhat pessimistic
Pessimism
Pessimism, from the Latin word pessimus , is a state of mind in which one perceives life negatively. Value judgments may vary dramatically between individuals, even when judgments of fact are undisputed. The most common example of this phenomenon is the "Is the glass half empty or half full?"...

 representation of the Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the New England region of the United States as a protest against the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian...

 associated with Emerson.

Art

In 2005 the art group Monochrom
Monochrom
monochrom is an international art-technology-philosophy group, founded in 1993. Its offices are located at Museumsquartier/Vienna ....

organized a series of happening
Happening
A happening is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered art, usually as performance art. Happenings take place anywhere , are often multi-disciplinary, with a nonlinear narrative and the active participation of the audience...

s that ironically took up the implications of the term "experience": Experience the Experience.
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See also

  • Customer experience
    Customer experience
    Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. From awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy...

  • Empiricism
    Empiricism
    Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

  • Experience economy
  • Experiential education
    Experiential education
    Experiential education is a philosophy of education that describes the process that occurs between a teacher and student that infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content. The term is mistakenly used interchangeably with experiential learning...

  • Experiential marketing
  • Perception
    Perception
    Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

  • Thrill
    Thrillseeker
    Thrillseeker may refer to:* Adrenaline junkie, one who appears to favor stressful activities* Thrillseeker , a defunct steel roller coaster at Sea World, AustraliaMusic* The Thrillseekers, an English trance DJ...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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