The introduction presents the idea that motivates the collection as whole, namely, that the historiographical opposition between rationalism and empiricism obscures the many ways in which German philosophers sought to emancipate experience from its classical subordination to the intellect. From Tschirnhaus and Wolff onward, it is argued, philosophers explored and reassessed the role of the senses in the natural sciences, psychology, religion, art, and the various branches of philosophy itself. To frame this ‘experiential turn’, the introduction sketches the history of the concept of experience from the Aristotelian account to the eighteenth-century emphasis on both the role of experiments and various types of inner experience. The introduction further explains how German philosophers engaged with the experimental scientific practices of their contemporaries as well as with Baconian, Newtonian, Lockean, and Humean theories, and sought to navigate the tension between, on the one hand, a variety of anti-intellectualist appeals to sensation, inner experience, and the experimental method and, on the other hand, the idea that universal truths can be discovered by the intellect alone.