|Experience: a) reflected perception, which can be compared with prior perceptions and can be processed linguistically. See also events, perception, sensations, empiricism.|
b) an event that is processed in the consciousness of a subject. No mere imagination. See also events, imagination, consciousness._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.
Hans-Georg Gadamer on Experience - Dictionary of Arguments
Experience/"Erlebnis"Gadamer: The investigation of the appearance of the word in German literature leads to the surprising result that it has first become commonplace in the 1970s of the 19th century. In the 18th century it is still completely missing, but even Schiller and Goethe do not know it.
The earliest proof(1) seems to be a letter by Hegel(2). The word appears just as seldom in the fifties and sixties and only in the seventies [of the 19th century] it suddenly appears frequently(3). Its general introduction into common usage seems to be related to its use in biographical literature.
Gadamer: to experience means first of all to be "still alive when something happens". From there, the word carries the tone of immediacy with which something real is grasped - in contrast to that of which one also beliefs to know, but for which the authentication by one's own
experience is missing, whether it is taken over from others or comes from hearsay (...) Experience is always self-experience.
Content: but at the same time the form "the experienced" is used in the sense that
the lasting content of what is experienced is designated by it.
Biography/Gadamer: It corresponds to this double direction of the meaning of "experience" that
it is the biographical literature through which the word "experience" first becomes naturalized. The essence of biography, especially the biography of artists and poets in the 19th century, is to understand the work from life. Its achievement consists precisely in conveying the two directions of meaning that we differentiate, or in recognizing them as a productive connection. Something becomes an experience, provided that it has not only been experienced, but that its being experienced has had a special emphasis that gives it lasting meaning.
Historical development of the terms "life"/"experience"/Gadamer: Schleiermacher's appeal to the living feeling against the cold rationalism of the Enlightenment, Schiller's call for aesthetic freedom against the mechanism of society, Hegel's opposition of life (later: of the spirit) - against these things stands the prelude to a protest against modern industrial society, which at the beginning of our century made the words experience and experiencing rise to watchwords of an almost religious sound. The revolt of the youth movement against civic education and its way of life was under this sign.
The influence of Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson also worked in this direction. In addition an "intellectual movement" such as that around Stefan George and last but not least the seismographic fineness with which Georg Simmel's philosophising reacted to these processes testify the same. Thus the philosophy of life of our days ties in with its romantic predecessors.
Art Experience/Gadamer: The aesthetic experience is not just one kind of experience among others, but represents the very essence of experience. Just as the work of art as such is a world of its own, so the aesthetic experience as an experience is removed from all contexts of reality. It seems to be the very purpose of the work of art to become an aesthetic experience (...).
In the experience of art, a wealth of meaning is present that does not belong to this particular content or object alone, but rather represents the meaning of life as a whole.
Experience/Gadamer: All experience is (...)
only valid as long as it is confirmed. In this respect, its dignity is based on its fundamental repeatability. This means, however, that experience, by its very nature, cancels out its history and thus erases it. This already applies to the experience of everyday life, and even more so to every scientific event of it. In this respect, it is not a coincidental one-sidedness of modern philosophy of science, but rather factually justified that the theory of experience is completely teleologically related to the acquisition of truth that is achieved in it. >Experience/Husserl.
That experience is valid as long as it is not disproved by new experience (ubi non reperitur instantia contradictoria) seems to characterize the general nature of experience, whether it is its scientific event in the modern sense or the experience of daily life as it has always been. Thus this characterization corresponds entirely to the analysis of the concept of induction given by Aristotle in the appendix to his second analytics.(4) >Induction/Aristotle.
GadamerVsAristoteles: What Aristotle is interested in experience is merely its contribution to the formation of concepts. (>Experience/Aristotle). If experience is thus considered in terms of its result, then the
Gadamer I 359
the actual process of experience is skipped.
Gadamer: Because this process is a much more negative one.
It cannot be described simply as the seamless formation of typical generalities. Rather, this formation happens by constantly refuting false generalizations through experience, by de-typing what is seen as typically.(5)
Negative experience/Gadamer: (...) the actual experience is always a negative one.
If we have an experience with an object, it means that we have not seen things properly up to now and now we know better how things are. The negativity of experience therefore has a peculiarly productive meaning. It is not simply a deception that is seen through and thus a correction, but a far-reaching knowledge that is acquired.
Dialectical Experience/Gadamer: So it cannot be an arbitrarily picked up object on which one makes an experience, but it must be such that one gains a better knowledge not only about it, but about what one thought to know before, i.e. about something general. The negation by which it achieves this is a certain negation. We call this kind of negation dialectical. >Experience/Hegel.
(...) the application that Hegel makes to history by seeing it conceived in the absolute self-consciousness of philosophy (>Experience/Hegel), [does not do justice to the hermeneutic consciousness (...)].
Hermeneutics/Gadamer: The essence of experience is thought here from the outset from that in which experience is transcended. Experience itself can never be science. It stands in an irrevocable contrast to knowledge and to that instruction that flows from theoretical or technical general knowledge.
Openness: The truth of experience always contains the reference to new experience. Therefore, the one who is called experienced has not only become one through experience, but is also open to experience. But in this way the concept of experience, which is now at issue, contains a qualitatively new moment. It does not only mean experience in the sense of the instruction it gives about this or that. It means experience as a whole.
The actual experience is the one in which the human becomes aware of his or her finiteness. This is where the ability to do and the self-confidence of his or her planning reason finds its limits. It turns out to be mere appearance that everything can be reversed, that always for everything is
time and everything somehow returns. Rather, the person standing and acting in history constantly experiences that nothing returns. Recognition of what is does not mean here: recognition of what is once there, but insight into the limits within which the future is still open to expectation and planning - or, more fundamentally, that all expecting and planning finite beings is a finite and limited one. Actual experience is thus experience of one's own historicity. >Text/Gadamer, >I-You-Relation/Gadamer.
(...) the negativity of experience [implies] logically the question. In fact, it is the impulse that is represented by the one who does not fit into the pre-opinion through which we experience. Questioning is therefore also more a suffering than an action. The question suggests itself. It can no longer be evaded and we can no longer remain with the usual opinion. >Question/Gadamer.
Experience/Gadamer: Experience is not at first wordless and is then made an object of reflection by naming it, for instance in the way of subsumption under the generality of the word. Rather, it belongs to experience itself that it seeks and finds the words that express it. >Language and Thought/Gadamer.
Experience/Discovery/Gadamer: The linguistic nature of our experience of the world is prior to anything that is recognized and addressed as being. The basic reference of language and world therefore does not mean that the world becomes the object of language. Rather, what is the object of cognition and statement is always already enclosed by the world horizon of language. The linguistic nature of human experience of the world as such does not mean the objectification of the world.
1. Cf. Konrad Cramer in J. Ritter's „Historischem Wörterbuch der Philosophie“ (Vol. 2, p. 702-711)
2. In the report of a journey Hegel writes "my whole experience" (Letters, ed. Hoffmeister, III 179). One has to keep in mind that this is a letter...
3. In Dilthey's Schleiermacher-Biography (1870), in Justi in the Winckelmann-Biography (1872), in Hermann Grimm's „Goethe“ (1877) and probably more often.
4. An. Post. B 19 (99ff.).
5. This is similarly described by Karl Popper's pair of concepts of trial and error - with the restriction that these concepts start all too much from the voluntary, all too little from the passionate side of human experiential life. GadamerVsPopper: That is justified as far as one has the "logic of research" in mind alone, but certainly not if one means the logic that is effective in the experiential life of humans._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977