Experiential Knowledge

Experiential knowledge is knowledge gained through experience as opposed to a priori (before experience) knowledge. 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. See also qualia. A priori knowledge is can Adam or Eve know what water feels like on their skin prior to touching it for the first time?

The phrase also crops up in philosophy of religion, as an argument against God's omniscience - here it is questioned whether God could genuinely know everything, since he (supposedly) cannot know what it is like to sin.

Writer Barry Lopez writes about experiential knowledge and how it relates back to the environment. He explains that without experiencing nature, one cannot fully "know" and understand the relationships within ecosystems. One can exploit the problems with non-experiential based knowledge and make someone understand the necessity of experiential knowledge by asking them to explain a color (like blue). This is a perfect example of the flaws of interpersonal communication because of our inability to allow a blind man to feel the essence of colors.

As defined by Dr. Thomasina Borkman (Emeritus Professor of Sociology, George Mason University) experiential knowledge is the cornerstone of therapy in self-help groups. 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.

Other articles related to "experiential knowledge, knowledge":

Peer Support - Underlying Theory
... of psychosocial processes described best by Mark Salzer in 2002 social support, experiential knowledge, social learning theory, social comparison theory and ... Experiential knowledge is specialized information and perspectives that people obtain from living through a particular experience such as substance abuse, a physical disability, chronic physical or ... Experiential knowledge tends to be unique and pragmatic and when shared contributes to solving problems and improving quality of life ...
Omniscience - Controversies - God Created Knowledge
... Some theists argue that God created all knowledge and has ready access thereto ... invokes a circular time contradiction presupposing the existence of God, before knowledge existed, there was no knowledge at all, which means that God was unable to possess knowledge prior ... Alternately if knowledge was not a "creation" but merely existed in God's mind for all time there would be no contradiction ...

Famous quotes containing the word knowledge:

    Test of the poet is knowledge of love,
    For Eros is older than Saturn or Jove;
    Never was poet, of late or of yore,
    Who was not tremulous with love-lore.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)