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, Surat Shabd Yoga, mysticism and Pentecostalism) and educational paradigms with, for example, the conditioning of military recruit-training (also known as "boot camps"), 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.
Famous quotes containing the word experience:
“In his comprehensive delight in all experience Dickens resembles Walt Whitman, but he was innocent of that nebulous transcendentalism that blurred Whitmans universe into vast misty panoramas and left him, for all his huge democratic vistas, unable to tell a story or paint a single concrete human being.”
—Edgar Johnson (19121990)
“I have great faith in ordinary parents. Who has a childs welfare more at heart than his ordinary parent? Its been my experience that when parents are given the skills to be more helpful, not only are they able to use these skills, but they infuse them with a warmth and a style that is uniquely their own.”
—Haim Ginott (20th century)
“We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied beliefs we thought were ours.”
—James Baldwin (19241987)