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Experiential knowledge is knowledge gained through experience, as opposed to a priori (before experience) knowledge: it can also be contrasted both with propositional (textbook) knowledge, and with practical knowledge.[1]

Experiential knowledge is cognate to Michael Polanyi's personal knowledge, as well as to Bertrand Russell's contrast of Knowledge by Acquaintance and by Description.[2]

A priori[edit]

In the philosophy of mind, the phrase often refers to knowledge that can only be acquired through experience, such as, for example, the knowledge of what it is like to see colours, which could not be explained to someone born blind: the necessity of experiential knowledge becomes clear if one was asked to explain to a blind person a color like blue.

The question of a priori knowledge might be formulated as: can Adam or Eve know what water feels like on their skin prior to touching it for the first time[citation needed]?

Religion[edit]

Zen emphasises the importance of the experiential element in religious experience,[3] as opposed to what it sees as the trap of conceptualization:[4] as D. T. Suzuki put it, “fire. Mere talking of it will not make the mouth burn”.[5]

Experiential knowledge has also been used in the philosophy of religion as an argument against God's omniscience, questioning whether God could genuinely know everything, since he (supposedly) cannot know what it is like to sin.[6] On the other hand, that God is omniscient squarely lays the foundation of experiential knowledge, lies at its roots and acts as the cornerstone of its theory: In the beginning. It would be impossible for God to relate to a mortal human being with only finite knowledge and capabilities to understand the concept of being God and being omniscient. Therefore, it could be argued that it is the epitome of experiential knowledge.

Ecology[edit]

Writer Barry Lopez writes about experiential knowledge and how it relates back to the environment,[7] arguing that without experiencing nature, one cannot fully "know" and understand the relationships within ecosystems.

Therapy[edit]

Carl Rogers stressed the importance of experiential knowledge both for the therapist formulating his or her theories, and for the client in therapy[8] - both things with which most counsellors would agree.[9]

As defined by Dr. Thomasina Borkman (Emeritus Professor of Sociology, George Mason University) experiential knowledge is the cornerstone of therapy in self-help groups,[10] as opposed to both lay (general) and professional knowledge. Sharing in such groups is the narration of significant life experiences in a process through which the knowledge derived thereof is validated by the group and transformed into a corpus that becomes their fundamental resource and product.

Neville Symington has argued that one of the central features of the narcissist is a shying away from experiential knowledge, in favour of adopting wholesale a ready-made way of living drawn from other people's experience.[11]

Culture[edit]

Helen Vendler has characterised Seamus Heaney's art as, in one respect, recording an experiential learning curve: “we are earthworms of the earth, and all that / has gone through us is what will be our trace”.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Philip Burnard, Counselling Skills for Health Professionals (2005) p. 64
  2. ^ Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic (1954) Ch. 5
  3. ^ Dadid K. Reynolds, The Quiet Therapies (1982) p. 95
  4. ^ C. Cheng-Chi, The Practice of Zen (1951) p. 71
  5. ^ Quoted in Reynolds, p. 95
  6. ^ experiential knowledge
  7. ^ Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams (1999)
  8. ^ Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (1961) p. 184 and p. 103
  9. ^ Burnard, p. 64-5 and p. 78
  10. ^ K. Humphries, Circles of Recovery (2003) p. 15
  11. ^ N. Symington, Narcissism (1993) p. 88
  12. ^ Heaney, quoted in H. Bloom ed., Seamus Heaney (1986) p. 174

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiential_knowledge — Please support Wikipedia.
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409 news items

Livemint

Livemint
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:30:00 -0700

Ali says the era depicted in the movie was always part of his culture, and that the rest of the film stemmed from his sense of nostalgia and experiential knowledge. Immense detailing has gone into the film. From carpets loaned from friends to shoes and ...

Pulse

Pulse
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:37:46 -0700

Self-managed work team is effective in drawing tacit and experiential knowledge of individuals because it offers the motivational incentives, organizational flexibility, and dynamism required for learning and sharing knowledge. Self-leadership ...

Boston Business Journal

Boston Business Journal
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:26:19 -0700

The prospect of a 2024 Olympics in Boston promises to be a game-changer for the city, but the spoils from a locally hosted Games will be most concentrated in two specific neighborhoods: Widett Circle, or Midtown as the area is now known, and Dorchester ...

The National Interest Online

The National Interest Online
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:12:55 -0700

However, there's little question that China has stepped up its efforts at building experiential knowledge through improving its realistic training procedures (China's version of Red Flag) and by conducting more overseas deployments of air, land, and ...

KTAR.com

KTAR.com
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:19:38 -0700

Experiential knowledge is the best way to learn…She is ready.” Johnston joined the U.S. soccer program in 2006 when she attended a National Identification Camp at 14. She continued to play for several youth national teams and was the captain of the U ...

FOXSports.com

FOXSports.com
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:47:13 -0700

Experiential knowledge is the best way to learn...She is ready." Johnston first joined the U.S. Soccer program in 2006 when she attended a National Identification Camp at the age of 14. She continued to play for several youth national teams and was the ...

Arizona Daily Sun

Arizona Daily Sun
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 23:22:30 -0700

Experiential knowledge is the best way to learn…She is ready.” Johnston first joined the U.S. Soccer program in 2006 when she attended a National Identification Camp at the age of 14. She continued to play for several youth national teams and was the ...

East Valley Tribune

East Valley Tribune
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:17:20 -0700

Experiential knowledge is the best way to learn…She is ready.” Johnston first joined the U.S. Soccer program in 2006 when she attended a National Identification Camp at the age of 14. She continued to play for several youth national teams and was the ...
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