Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Gadamer I 318
Techne/Aristotle/Gadamer: [The human] (...) must have developed an attitude in him- or herself through practice and education, which in the concrete situations of his or her life
Gadamer I 319
is to be adhered to and to be proved by the right behaviour as it remains his or her constant concern(1). It is clear that this is not the knowledge of science. In this respect, the distinction that Aristotle makes between the moral knowledge of the "Phronesis" and the theoretical knowledge of the "Episteme" is simple, especially when one considers that for the Greeks, science, represented by the example of mathematics, is a knowledge of the unchangeable, a knowledge based on proof, and that therefore anyone can learn it.
On the other hand:
"Moral Sciences"/Gadamer: Their object is human and what he or she knows about him- or herself. But he or she knows him- or herself as an actor/doer, and the knowledge the person has of him- or herself in this way does not want to determine what is. Rather, the doer has to do with such a thing that is not always as it is, but that
Gadamer I 320
can also be different. In him or her he or she discovers where this person has to intervene. Let the person's knowledge guide his or her actions. Here lies the real problem of moral knowledge, which Aristotle deals with in his ethics. For guidance of action by knowledge is present above all and in an exemplary way where the Greeks speak of "techne". This is the skill, the knowledge of the craftsman who knows how to produce certain things. The question is whether moral knowledge is also a knowledge of this kind. That would mean it would be a knowledge of how to make oneself (i.e. "built oneself). Should the human learn to make him- or herself what he or she should be, just as the craftsman learns to make what should be according to his or her plan and will? Does the human design him- or herself to be what he or she is, as the craftsman knows how to make what he or she wants to make, and how to represent it in material? >Techne/Plato, >Techne/Gadamer.
Gadamer I 321
(...) even if the brittle material does not always obey the one who has learned a craft, Aristotle can rightly quote the poet's words: "Techne loves Tyche and Tyche loves Techne. What this means is: Happy success is greatest in one who has learned his or her craft. It is real superiority over the thing that is acquired in Techne beforehand, and this is somehow required for moral knowledge. For it is also clear to moral knowledge that experience can never suffice for the right moral decision. >Self-Knowledge/Aristotle, >Morality/Aristotle.


1. The final chapter of the Nicomachian Ethics gives the broadest expression to this demand, thus justifying the transition to the question of "politics".


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-08-11
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