Transformative Experience

L.A. Paul
Yale University

Going to war, having a baby, being spiritually reborn, betraying your lover, emigrating to a new country—all of these are experiences that can transform you. By transforming you, they change you, and in the process, they restructure the nature and meaning of your life. I’ll discuss the nature of transformative experience, and show how exploring its epistemic structure can help us to understand the special and distinctive ways that new experiences can form and change us, and how this relates to how we make life choices, both big and small.