, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 7-23
Date: 21 Oct 2012

The Importance of Being Experienced: An Aristotelian Perspective on Experience and Experience-Based Learning

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‘The importance of being experienced’ plays a central part in the ethical philosophy of Aristotle. An experienced person is a person who has acquired a coping skill, an appropriate attitude and a sense of situation. According to Aristotle the soul and the body are interdependent, which indicates a close connection between human activity, human cognition and human character. By insisting on the primacy of action, Aristotle changes the educational focal point from an epistemological discussion of knowledge to an ethical discussion of practice. The paper discusses what Aristotle can offer contemporary education in relation to his understanding of experience. The frame of the discussion is organised according to the three notable elements that are contained in Aristotle’s notion of ‘the importance of being experienced’: a practice, an appropriate hexis or character and a sense of the situation. As a background for and framing of the discussion, the paper will outline some of the many variants as well as substantial differences of the notion of experience and experience-based learning and categorise them in three different understandings.