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Aristotle Bilingual Anthology : KNOWLEDGE OF PRINCIPLES AND CAUSES

from Aristotle's Metaphysics, * 980a-982a, translated by W. D. Ross, Greek Fonts


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Page 3

With a view to action experience seems in no respect inferior to art, and men of experience succeed even better than those who have theory without experience. (The reason is that experience is knowledge of individuals, art of universals, and actions and productions are all concerned with the individual; for the physician does not cure man, except in an incidental way, but Callias or Socrates or some other called by some such individual name, who happens to be a man. If, then, a man has the theory without the experience, and recognizes the universal but does not know the individual included in this, he will often fail to cure; for it is the individual that is to be cured.) But yet we think that knowledge and understanding belong to art rather than to experience, and we suppose artists to be wiser than men of experience (which implies that Wisdom depends in all cases rather on knowledge); and this because the former know the cause, but the latter do not. For men of experience know that the thing is so, but do not know why, while the others know the 'why' and the cause. πρὸς μὲν οὖν τὸ πράττειν ἐμπειρία τέχνης οὐδὲν δοκεῖ διαφέρειν͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ μᾶλλον ἐπιτυγχάνουσιν οἱ ἔμπειροι τῶν ἄνευ τῆς ἐμπειρίας λόγον ἐχόντων (αἴτιον δ΄ ὅτι ἡ μὲν ἐμπειρία τῶν καθ΄ ἕκαστόν ἐστι γνῶσις ἡ δὲ τέχνη τῶν καθόλου͵ αἱ δὲ πράξεις καὶ αἱ γενέσεις πᾶσαι περὶ τὸ καθ΄ ἕκαστόν εἰσιν· οὐ γὰρ ἄνθρωπον ὑγιάζει ὁ ἰατρεύων ἀλλ΄ ἢ κατὰ συμβεβηκός͵ ἀλλὰ Καλλίαν ἢ Σωκράτην ἢ τῶν ἄλλων τινὰ τῶν οὕτω λεγομένων ᾧ συμβέβηκεν ἀνθρώπῳ εἶναι· ἐὰν οὖν ἄνευ τῆς ἐμπειρίας ἔχῃ τις τὸν λόγον͵ καὶ τὸ καθόλου μὲν γνωρίζῃ τὸ δ΄ ἐν τούτῳ καθ΄ ἕκαστον ἀγνοῇ͵ πολλάκις διαμαρτήσεται τῆς θεραπείας· θεραπευτὸν γὰρ τὸ καθ΄ ἕκαστον)· ἀλλ΄ ὅμως τό γε εἰδέναι καὶ τὸ ἐπαΐειν τῇ τέχνῃ τῆς ἐμπειρίας ὑπάρχειν οἰόμεθα μᾶλλον͵ καὶ σοφωτέρους τοὺς τεχνίτας τῶν ἐμπείρων ὑπολαμβάνομεν͵ ὡς κατὰ τὸ εἰδέναι μᾶλλον ἀκολουθοῦσαν τὴν σοφίαν πᾶσι· τοῦτο δ΄ ὅτι οἱ μὲν τὴν αἰτίαν ἴσασιν οἱ δ΄ οὔ. οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἔμπειροι τὸ ὅτι μὲν ἴσασι͵ διότι δ΄ οὐκ ἴσασιν· οἱ δὲ τὸ διότι καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν γνωρίζουσιν.
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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-Greece/aristotle_wisdom.asp?pg=3