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The necessity of experience

Author: Edward Reed
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Primary experience, gained through the senses, is our most basic source for understanding reality and learning for ourselves. Our culture, however, favors the indirect knowledge gained from secondary experience, in which information is selected, modified, packaged, and presented to us by others. In this controversial book, Edward S. Reed warns that second-hand experience has become so dominant in our technological
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Edward Reed
ISBN: 0300066686 9780300066685 0300105665 9780300105667
OCLC Number: 34284811
Description: ix, 188 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Prologue: A Plea for Experience --
1. Have You Ever Been Experienced? Philosophy Meets the Real World --
2. The Search for a Philosophy of Experience --
3. Fear of Uncertainty and the Flight from Experience --
4. The Degradation of Experience in the Modern Workplace --
5. Sharing Experience --
6. Experience and Love of Life --
7. Experience and the Birth of Hope --
Epilogue: Fighting for Experience.
Responsibility: Edward S. Reed.

Abstract:

Primary experience, gained through the senses, is our most basic source for understanding reality and learning for ourselves. Our culture, however, favors the indirect knowledge gained from secondary experience, in which information is selected, modified, packaged, and presented to us by others. In this controversial book, Edward S. Reed warns that second-hand experience has become so dominant in our technological workplaces, schools, and even homes that primary experience is endangered. Reed calls for a better balance between firsthand and secondhand experience, particularly in our social institutions. He contends that without opportunities to learn directly, we become less likely to think and feel for ourselves.

Since the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, Western epistemological tradition has rejected primary experience in favor of the abstractions of secondhand experience. Building on James Gibson's concept of ecological psychology, Reed offers a spirited defense of the reality and significance of ordinary experience against both modernist and postmodernist critics. He expands on the radical critiques of work, education, and art begun by William Morris and John Dewey, offering an alternative vision of meaningful learning that places greater emphasis on unmediated experience, and he outlines the psychological, cultural, and intellectual conditions that will be needed to foster that crucial change.

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