This page is about the general concept of experience. For the concept in roleplaying games, see experience point.
Experience comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event.
Most experience accumulates over a period of time, though one can also experience a single momentary event. Experience generally refers to know-how or procedural knowledge, rather than propositional knowledge. Philosophers dub knowledge based on experience "empirical knowledge" or "a posteriori knowledge". A person with considerable experience in a certain field can gain a reputation as an expert.
Immediacy of experience
Someone able to recount an event they witnessed or took part has " first-hand experience". First-hand experience of the "you had to be there" variety can seem especially valuable and privileged, but it often remains potentially subject to errors in sense-perception and in personal interpretation.
Second-hand experience can offer richer resources: recorded and/or summarised from first-hand observers or experiencers or from instruments and potentially expressing multiple points of view.
Third-hand experience, based on indirect and possibly unreliable hearsay, can potentially stray perilously close to blind honouring of authority.