By David Bronstein
'All educating and all highbrow studying turn out to be from pre-existing knowledge.' So starts Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, some of the most very important, and hard, works within the historical past of western philosophy. David Bronstein sheds new mild in this hard textual content through arguing that it really is coherently established round topics of putting up with philosophical curiosity: wisdom and studying.
The Posterior Analytics, on Bronstein's interpreting, is a sustained exam of medical wisdom: what it really is and the way it truly is received. Aristotle first discusses important varieties of clinical wisdom (epist?m? and nous). He then presents a compelling account, in opposite order, of the categories of studying one must adopt with a purpose to collect them. The Posterior Analytics therefore emerges as an elegantly geared up paintings during which Aristotle describes the mind's ascent from sense-perception of details to medical wisdom of first rules.
Bronstein additionally highlights Plato's impression on Aristotle's textual content. for every kind of studying Aristotle discusses, Bronstein uncovers an example of Meno's Paradox (a puzzle from Plato's Meno in response to which inquiry and studying are most unlikely) and an answer to it. moreover, he argues, opposed to present orthodoxy, that Aristotle is dedicated to the Socratic photograph of inquiry, in line with which one may still search what a thing's essence is prior to looking its demonstrable attributes and their causes.
Aristotle on wisdom and Learning could be of curiosity to scholars and students of historical philosophy, epistemology, or philosophy of science.
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Extra info for Aristotle on knowledge and learning : the posterior analytics
63 (71a17–21)64 In T5a, Aristotle states that it is possible to acquire simultaneously more than one item of knowledge starting from prior knowledge of other things. 19, 99b22–7. Sections 8–9 summarize, and in a few places depart slightly from, Bronstein 2010, where I examine T5–7 in more detail than I am able to here. 63 Ἔστι δὲ γνωρίζειν τὰ μὲν πρότερον γνωρίσαντα, τῶν δὲ καὶ ἅμα λαμβάνοντα τὴν γνῶσιν, οἷον ὅσα τυγχάνει ὄντα ὑπὸ τὸ καθόλου οὗ ἔχει τὴν γνῶσιν. ὅτι μὲν γὰρ πᾶν τρίγωνον ἔχει δυσὶν ὀρθαῖς ἴσας, προῄδει· ὅτι δὲ τόδε τὸ ἐν τῷ ἡμικυκλίῳ τρίγωνόν ἐστιν, ἅμα ἐπαγόμενος ἐγνώρισεν.
18 He does not, however, deﬁne what learning (mathēsis) is, nor does he explain what intellectual learning (mathēsis dianoētikē) in particular is. A plausible view is that learning occurs if and only if one acquires knowledge (gnōsis),19 and intellectual learning in particular occurs if and only if one acquires knowledge of either a universal truth or a particular truth in light of a known universal truth. 20 It seems likely, then, that in 16 For a different view, see Fine 2014: 77–8. 1, 71a11–17 (T36), where Aristotle identiﬁes two types of prior knowledge required for intellectual learning.
Since the geometer learns this on his own without the aid of a teacher, this is an example of non-didactic learning. ) Immediately after T5, Aristotle identiﬁes the prior knowledge the geometer must possess in order to learn in this way: T6 (a) Before making the inference or grasping the syllogism, perhaps we ought to say that in one way he knows (epistasthai),70 but in another way he does not. (b) For, if he did not know without qualiﬁcation (ē(i)dei . . haplōs) whether [the triangle in the semi-circle] exists, how did he know without qualiﬁcation (ē(i)dei .