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Michel Foucault's (1926–1984) thought is widely used in the humanities and social sciences for investigating experiences of madness, illness, marginalization and social conflicts. However, the meaning of the word "experience" is not always clearly defined, and the French word expérience has a whole variety of meanings. In this article I explicate Foucault's most relevant concepts of experience and their theoretical functions. He refers to experience throughout his career, especially in hisdoi:10.1515/opphil-2019-0032 fatcat:ps2a25nbgrdthmzgiql5hd4lsy