Volume 75, 2018
Theories of Knowledge and Epistemology
José Barrientos Rastrojo
Experiential Reason: Beyond Critical-analytic-discursive Reason
Experiential reason is a kind of reason born on experiences. It includes reasons that subjects discover in its crucial experiences like giving birth to a child, to attend a relative’s death or to recover from a serious illness. Those experiences create a specific knowledge, for instance people understand the essence of the miracle of life or the mystery of our finitude. So, that specific knowledge is not just a theoretical and/or cognitive one. It embraces theoretical information but we can see how a lively awareness is open inside his agent. He will become a new person after living those experiences. This experience, and this knowledge created by it, will transform in an ontological way. A new understanding-light will be got. That one is not opposed to critical or analytical knowledge because ‘experiential understanding’ needs theoretical (critical and analytical) information to be performed. However, ‘experiential knowledge’ is beyond it. Furthermore, it is near to, so called by tradition, wisdom. This paper aims to define experiential reason. It will differentiate it from religious wisdom and from false wisdoms and it will explain how a person can get it. To carry out it, we will be guided by some hermeneutical and metaphysical approaches (Beuchot, Dilthey, Gadamer, Zambrano, Spranger, Ortega, Marías). Our paper will finish with an application of our discoveries to an emergent philosophical discipline: Philosophical Practice.