May 6, 2017

Goodness, Beauty and Truth

The statue of DavidAccording to Aristotle, man's thought entails three types of inquiry. (There may be others but none are more important.) They are making, doing, and knowing. "making" is thinking about how to make things and the actual making of those things. Aristotle calls this "productive" thinking because it is about the production of things.

A second type of thinking "doing," involves how we are to act, what is right and what is wrong, vice and virtue, and how we ought to live. Aristotle calls this "practical" thinking because it concerns itself with moral choices.

The third kind of thinking Aristotle highlights is "knowing" Aristotle calls this "theoretical" thinking - acquiring knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

The object of productive thinking is making something that is beautiful or, at the very least, something that works well. The object of practical thinking is virtue or goodness. The object of theoretical thinking is seeing things as they really are or truth.

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