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Experience

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This article discusses the general concept of experience. For the concept in roleplaying games, see experience point.

Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation 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.

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

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

Certain religious traditions (such as in certain types of Buddhism and mysticism) and educational paradigms ( la the conditioning of boot camps) stress the experiential nature of human epistemology in contrast to traditions of dogma, logic or reasoning. Activities such as tourism, extreme sports and recreational drug use also tend to stress the importance of experience.

Contents

Types of experience

The word "experience" may refer (somewhat ambiguously) both to mentally unprocessed immediately-perceived events as well as to the purported wisdom gained in subsequent reflection on those events or interpretation of them.

Most wisdom-experience accumulates over a period of time, though one can also experience (and gain general wisdom-experience from) a single specific momentary event.

One may also differentiate between physical, mental, emotional and spiritual experience(s).

Immediacy of experience

Someone able to recount an event they witnessed or took part has " first-hand 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-perception and in personal interpretation.

Second-hand 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.

Third-hand experience, based on indirect and possibly unreliable rumour or hearsay, can potentially stray perilously close to blind honouring of authority.

Games

Role-playing games treat experience (and its aquisition) as an important and valuable commodity. See experience point.

Writing

The American author Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a 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.

Quote

"Only the foolish learn from experience - the wise learn from the experience of others." - Attributed to Rumanian folk wisdom as recorded by Rolf Hochhuthit:esperienza ja:経験

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