Apples and Oranges and Peaches

In Aristotle’s “Metaphysics,” Aristotle’s claims have a lot to do with splitting different forms of knowledge and experience into categories and classes. For example, according to him, animals live by appearances and memories, while humans live by art and reason.  He clearly makes a distinction that while experience is more of an individual mentality, art is something universal because experience, which made of many memories, lead to art. Therefore, art is more knowledgeable than experience since artists can teach. He then proceeds to lay out a hierarchy of who is wiser, which includes the class of inventors.

This is an argument I found interesting because it’s hard to classify and categorize levels of intelligence, wisdom, and experience. According to Aristotle, he says that just having experience isn’t enough because artists at least have knowledge and understanding of “why” and “how” things work. I tried to move this into more contemporary settings; for example, if a man who grew up in a certain setting, it would be called having experience. However, would/could this experience compare to the skills contained within the mind of a higher position?

Socrates believes that artists can at least teach; however it’s puzzling because can it be really concluded that just because you can teach why and how, it’s concluded that an artist is automatically wiser than those who have experience. For me, it’s hard to picture that someone, who maybe traveled around the world, fought in war, or perhaps immersed himself in hundreds of different sources of knowledge can be inferior in wisdom to an artist. Or is my argument a fallacy because if a person is accomplished in all these areas, would he still be “just a person with experience?” There are different classes of experience, and I don’t think anyone can just decide on who is greater.

This brings me to  another point; Aristotle even believes that inventors are wiser. Is this really true? Sometimes, I believe that people confuse being “smart” with being “knowledgeable.” Sure, a scientist/inventor might be more creative, innovative, and overall more successful with his mind’s products, but can that really triumph someone with experience, or even artists? In today’s modern times, I can perhaps acquiesce to that notion. However, it’s even stranger to think  this point during Aristotle’s times, where art, and overall, experience would be considered invaluable.

We are currently in an era that adores sciences and technical accuracy. Science seems to triumph over art, but does it make either one superior to the other? I don’t think so.

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