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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E pistemology, philosophy of mind [from Greek empirie and Latin experientia ] That which contrasts to what is merely thought or to what is accepted on the basis of authority or tradition. In philosophy, experience is generally what we perceive by the senses (sensory experience), what we learn from others, or whatever comes from external sources or from inner reflection . In this sense, experience is associated with observation and experiment. Empiricism stresses that our knowledge must be based on experience, but rationalism claims that experience is a potential source of error and prefers rational certainty to mere empirical generalization. In ordinary usage, for every experience there must be something experienced that is independent of the subject of experience. But in philosophy, the relation between experience as a state of consciousness and independent objects of experience becomes a focus of debate. There must be something given in experience, yet the status of the given is very controversial. Different answers respectively ground positions such as realism , idealism , and skepticism . The different ways of understanding the given also involve different ways of understanding the notion of sense-data . There is also debate about the relation between experience and theory. Starting with Kant , there has been a tendency to deny an account of experience as ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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