Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Lived Experienced

I've always chafed at the barbarism "lived experience," which I gather came in to usage to reflect a concept of Erlebnis rather than Erfarhung. I happen to like the word "Erfarhung" and think it should be able to do anything "Erlebnis" can do and then some. And I like the word "experience" too, and think it's stupid to flirt with pleonasm in the name of making clear distinctions when one could just as easily indicate precisely what is meant.

But what is meant by "lived"?

Candid looks at the statement by Erich Fromm, "Man has to live his life. He is not lived by it." I think of the distinction Fromm makes as homologous to a distinction between existing and inhabiting, or habitation--actually there's no reason to dress up Fromm; call it being and having. Well, if you made the same sort of distinction regarding "experience," you wouldn't have to resort such petty atrocities as "lived experience."

And yet, trumpets and violins I can hear in the distance... Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful....

posted by Fido the Yak at 6:59 AM.


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