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Aristotelian "Scientia" And The Medieval "Artes"

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Chapter Summary

Scientia in the most strict, Aristotelian sense can be had only of the eternal and unchangeable. The formula "science means the certitude of knowledge which is gained by demonstration" - which Thomas Aquinas took, almost literally, from the Arabic philosopher Averroes - sums up the scholastic understanding of speculative science. The result of Aristotle's analysis of 'scientific' knowledge is justified negative, both for philosophy and the medieval application of it to "theological truth". This chapter considers the way in which Aristotle's doctrine of art was developed in the philosophical tradition, and first especially how it developed in ancient medicine. The Aristotelian 'scientific' methods of attaining true knowledge by proof begin with propositions; an Aristotelian 'art' takes simple concepts as its beginnings and seeks to produce real things in accordance with them.

Keywords: Aristotelian scientia; Averroes; medieval art; Thomas Aquinas



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