In his work, The Metaphysics of Aristotle, Copleston discusses Aristotle’s claim that people who pursue knowledge for its own sake are above those who pursue knowledge solely to find some sort of solution or practicality concerning a specific situation. This is an approach which is confusing to me, for I would think using knowledge for its useful qualities, like discovering cures and solutions to other problems, would be not only logical but intelligent.

Aristotle bases this belief that knowledge should be pursued for its own sake on the foundation of his idea that “all men by nature desire to know”, and that, although this is true, there are different degrees of knowledge which people can attain. One can use and search for knowledge in order to discover specific and ordered results. However, Aristotle believes this type of knowledge does not constitute as “Wisdom”. Knowledge becomes wisdom not when one searches for an explanation solely to reveal a sought-after result, but when one truly desires to view the knowledge they are attaining in a more in-depth manner. This a a manner in which they not only come to understand the cause and effect of a universal, but they want to learn more about a certain thing for the sake of obtaining as much knowledge, whether pertinent to the situation at hand or not, as possible.

While I can understand what Aristotle means through his claim that supports a hierarchy of certain types of knowledge, I am still not thoroughly convinced that knowledge learned solely to obtain a certain result, for example, through trial and error, does not constitute as wisdom. I have always considered wisdom to be an extension, or even a deeper understanding, of knowledge which comes about through either teaching or experience, but, I also always felt discovering the cause and effect of situations for the sake of finding an ordered solution included that. Aristotle, though, explains obtaining wisdom requires more than a scientific view concerning knowledge, it requires a philosophical view. I seems to be that, for Aristotle, wisdom is nonexistent in the presence of knowledge without qualification.

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