There's a word I learned in a philosophy lecture and a YouTube video a long time ago regarding the feeling of being there to experience a thing first-hand. For example, being at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa with your own eyes in contrast to looking at a really detailed image from a computer screen. While the latter lets you zoom in every nook and cranny of the painting, there's a "feeling" on just being there physically in the presence of the Da Vinci painting.

  • Virtual reality, or déjà-vu? Sep 16, 2020 at 10:23
  • No, those are different to what I'm describing. Deja-vu is a sense of familiarity to something that isn't familiar, and virtual reality is something about computer simulations.
    – janreggie
    Sep 16, 2020 at 13:24
  • I can think of a number of words. I'm not 100% sure what you are asking but how about a feeling of immersion in the phenomenon? Jan 25, 2021 at 0:51
  • There is a philosophy SE. It would help to know what the philosophy lecture was on. Walter Benjamin talked about the aura of an original artwork. There are also various philosophical terms such as Dinglichkeit and Haecceity which refer to the uniqueness of an object. But I'm just guessing.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 19, 2022 at 19:21
  • Was it an “ephemeral” experience? Apr 9 at 22:57

3 Answers 3


I'd use '[a sense of] immediacy'.

Oxford languages describe this:

immediacy [noun]

the quality of bringing one into direct and instant involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement.

  • email works because it has the immediacy of a scribbled memo

and Cambridge Dictionary:

immediacy [noun] [non-count]

the fact that something seems real and important, so that you feel involved with it:

  • Pre-recorded TV programmes have so much less immediacy and warmth than live theatre.

and another example, from the Cambridge English Corpus:

  • A greater sense of immediacy would have been obtained generally had the workers been allowed to speak themselves instead of the authors speaking on their behalf.

Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning 'the right, critical, or opportune moment'. In modern Greek, kairos also means 'weather' or 'time'.



You are probably thinking of existentialism, which Britannica.com describes in the following way:

Existence is always a being-in-the-world—i.e., in a concrete and historically determinate situation that limits or conditions choice. Humans are therefore called, in Martin Heidegger’s phrase, Dasein (“there being”) because they are defined by the fact that they exist, or are in the world and inhabit it.

One concept existentialism deals with is situatedness:

Situatedness is the necessity of viewing or understanding life and existence from the ‘inside’. Human existence cannot be abstracted from its world because being-in-the-world is part of the ontological structure of that existence. (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Related to the meaning you are giving is the term empirical which means:

Based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience (WordHippo)

Note that Merriam Webster defines empiricism as

a theory that all knowledge originates in experience

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.