Discourse on Experience

This will be a short blog compared to others, but it is a thought that has come across my mind. In the units that we have covered on education, the main keyword that comes up is experience. Experience has such a large discourse in our readings. In John Dewey, experience is something that depends on the quality in order to be educational; Freire believes experience takes its form as active participation in discussion; Rousseau says that experience is good, period, there is no room for experience under human constructs. With all these definitions of experience, I think the reason why there is so much debate about education is that we all confused as to what each other is talking about.

Experience is the keyword that has popped up in discussions based on education. I know that some will argue that there is not one way to teach everyone, therefore experience should be ambiguous, but I feel that there should be some sort of common-ground when it comes to the concept of experiences.

Any thoughts?

3 responses to “Discourse on Experience

  1. The word “experience” is probably the vaguest word ever, next to the word “interesting.” That’s why all those philosophers you mentioned all probably have a different interpretation of the word. Anything can be an experience, and people are very liberal with the use of the word. It’s also probably why it is a keyword that pops up in discussions based on education because education is an experience that people have. So, while people can classify their arguments as all being part of the larger concept of “philosophical experience,” they are also different in what they are arguing, so in the end, no, I do not think that there is a common-ground when it comes to the concept of experience.

  2. I agree with Jacob. I think that everyone has their own different interpretation of the word “experience.” However, I am convinced that we can all agree that experience, or more specifically the experiences we experience, leave us feeling a certain way. Most experiences are followed by some sort of emotional response, whatever that may be, depending on the situation. Although we may not be able to pinpoint what exactly was gained from an experience, we do know that we experienced a emotion, or sometimes multiple emotions, in relation to some sort of experience. Therefore, I conclude that though we might not be able to limit the term to one specific meaning, we can all admit that experience triggers an emotional response of some sort, indicating that it is a means by which emotion is solicited from the human mind or body, and can reach some sort of common ground in that respect.

  3. I think experience is not so hard to define, because it pretty much covers everything that you encounter or everything that you feel in life; those to me are the common-grounds when it comes to experience. Yes, experience is a general term, but it is not vague to me because pretty much everything can be an experience. It might be too general and it might encompass too many things, but it isn’t vague. Also, I don’t think that it is the definition of experience per se that has us all confused, but it is what the philosophers are trying to convey and the flaws in what they are conveying that has us confused.

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