Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Article excerpt

Universities warn that even those with top A-levels may not get in, such is the pressure on places. But are A-levels the right criteria for university entrance? In his Metaphysics Aristotle begins by arguing that memory is the means by which humans acquire experience (empeiria). From this they learn that something is the case. But they can then go on to gain episteme - 'knowledge' based on logical reasoning, and techne - the 'skill' to produce something with an awareness of the principles underlying the process. Such people know why and how something is the case and can draw general conclusions from specific experiences.

But applying this requires phronesis , 'practical wisdom' - the capacity for intelligent deliberation about putting one's 'knowledge' and 'skill' to the best possible use, including ensuring that morally acceptable ends are achieved by moral means. From such beginnings Aristotle goes on to speculate on fundamental questions of 'being', 'cause', and 'gods'.

The first sentence of Aristotle's Metaphysics makes a famous assertion: 'All humans instinctively reach out/hunger for knowledge', though with different degrees of success. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.