Does the concept of ‘experience’ require a subject/object distinction? Can the mind be called the subject of experience, or the phenomenon the object? Peirce does call it the ‘object of thought’ (CP 1.343, 1903). But he also declared in 1902 (CP 7.364) that ‘feeling is nothing but the inward aspect of things, while mind on the contrary is essentially an external phenomenon.’ He often makes ‘mind’ and ‘thought’ pretty much synonymous, as also are ‘feeling’ and ‘consciousness.’

Only take care not to make the blunder of supposing that Self-consciousness is meant, and it will be seen that consciousness is nothing but Feeling, in general,— not feeling in the German sense, but more generally, the immediate element of experience generalized to its utmost.

CP 7.365

But the polyversity of such terms continues to prevail a century later.

If experiencing is the interplay of subject bodymind and its world, perception is the collision and/or collusion of subject and object. But when we speak of experience, we often think of it as internal, while the world consists of external objects. We say that your capacity to experience is your ‘inner life.’ The image schema or root metaphor of the container seems to be involved here, but its role is ambigous (as Heidegger pointed out in Being and Time).

What sense does it make then to attach the prefix ex-, meaning ‘out,’ to the original Greek root -peir-, as Latin did to produce the verb experior and the nouns experientia and experimentum? The ex- prefix can serve as a reminder that the “view from within” is naturally oriented outwards. It’s like the e- of emotion:

The departure from a state of calm rest without anticipation is aptly named: e(x)motion (‘ex’ = ‘outward’). An emotional state need not be revealed in immediate overt actions, but it certainly implies the high probability of actions that will soon be directed outward from an individual into the world.

— Walter Freeman (2000, 213)

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