The Articulation and Hierarchy of Knowledge in Aristotle's Thought

Diogenes 45 (178):23-31 (1997)
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Aristotle's endeavor, at least insofar as we can judge from the way it has been transmitted to us and from the titles of the lost works, is often presented as the first work of an encyclopedic nature, as it seems to embrace and order all of the elements of knowledge. Does Aristotle not advance a classification of sciences, in Metaphysics, E, 1, as well as a systematic outline of the “sciences of nature” in his Meteorologica, I, 1? And again, although logic is often presented as not belonging to the system of sciences since it is not counted as a science in Metaphysics, E, 1, is Aristotle not generally considered the inventor of this discipline? The impression is all the stronger in that Andronicus of Rhodes, in the first century b.c., edited Aristotle's works by roughly adopting the threefold division of philosophy into Logic-Physics-Ethics, a division that had become common during the Hellenistic period though more particularly proper to the Stoic system. Since then, all the editions of Aristotle, in every language, have been made to serve the order in which Aristotle's treatises were thus edited.



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