Chapter

The Desire to Know The Desire to Know <i>Metaphysics</i> A 1

Giuseppe Cambiano

in Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639984
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743337 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639984.003.0001

Series: Symposia Aristotelia

The Desire to Know The Desire to Know Metaphysics A 1

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This chapter analyses how Aristotle explains and justifies his initial statement that all men by nature desire to know. In particular, it aims at clarifying how Aristotle argues that human knowledge differs from the animals' one and develops from sense perception to memory, experience (empeiria) and technê. This development coincides with a development from knowledge of individuals to knowledge of universals, reaching its peak in sophia, defined as epistêmê of first principles and causes, which is the highest form of knowledge desired by men. These Aristotelian arguments are further clarified by a location in their intellectual context and a comparison with views expressed, above all, by Hippocratic physicians, Plato and Isocrates.

Keywords: desire to know; experience and knowledge; individual-universal; memory; sense perception; wisdom; technê; theoretical; practical and productive knowledge; philosophy as project

Chapter.  21511 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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