Aristotle on the Different Types of Knowledge by Gregory Salmieri (Aristotle’s Theory of Knowledge)

Aristotle on the Different Types of Knowledge by Gregory Salmieri (Aristotle's Theory of Knowledge)

Aristotle on the Different Types of Knowledge


In this article, we will explore Aristotle’s view of knowledge and delve into the various types of knowledge he emphasizes. Aristotle’s philosophy had a significant influence on civilization, and understanding his perspective on knowledge is crucial to gaining a deeper understanding of his overall philosophy. This article aims to provide an overview of Aristotle’s view of knowledge, focusing on the concepts of Epistēmē (scientific understanding) and Technē (art, craft, or skill).

Epistēmē: Scientific Understanding

Aristotle places great importance on Epistēmē, which refers to scientific understanding. According to Aristotle, this type of knowledge involves a systematic and logical examination of the world around us. It goes beyond mere observations and seeks to uncover the underlying causes and principles that govern various phenomena. Epistēmē enables us to grasp the universal truths and laws that govern the natural world. It allows us to make predictions, draw conclusions, and acquire reliable knowledge.

Key Points:

  • Epistēmē involves systematic and logical examination.
  • It goes beyond mere observations.
  • Epistēmē uncovers underlying causes and principles.
  • It enables us to grasp universal truths and laws.

Technē: Art, Craft, or Skill

Another important concept in Aristotle’s view of knowledge is Technē. Technē refers to art, craft, or skill. Unlike Epistēmē, which focuses on scientific understanding, Technē is concerned with the practical application of knowledge. It involves the ability to perform a specific task or operate within a certain domain effectively. This type of knowledge is acquired through practice, experience, and repeated engagement with a particular craft or skill. Technē allows individuals to master a discipline and develop expertise in a specific area.

Key Points:

  • Technē involves the practical application of knowledge.
  • It is acquired through practice and experience.
  • Technē enables individuals to develop expertise.

Epistēmē and Technē: Superior to Mere Experience

Both Epistēmē and Technē are considered superior to mere experience in Aristotle’s view. While experience plays a crucial role in acquiring knowledge, Aristotle argues that true understanding can only be achieved through Epistēmē and Technē. Mere experience lacks the systematicity and reliability that characterize these types of knowledge. Epistēmē and Technē elevate knowledge to a higher level, allowing individuals to make sound judgments, draw accurate conclusions, and possess a deeper understanding of the world.

Key Points:

  • Epistēmē and Technē are superior to mere experience.
  • Mere experience lacks systematicity and reliability.
  • Epistēmē and Technē enable sound judgments and accurate conclusions.

Handout and Additional Resources

As you delve into the intricacies of Aristotle’s view of knowledge, it is helpful to have additional resources at hand. A handout is included with this lesson, providing correspondences between Greek and English words, optional readings, and further insights. Reading the primary texts by Aristotle will provide more context and enhance your understanding of his philosophy.


Understanding Aristotle’s view of knowledge is crucial to gaining a comprehensive understanding of his philosophy. Through Epistēmē and Technē, Aristotle emphasizes the importance of scientific understanding and practical skills. These types of knowledge go beyond mere experience, enabling individuals to acquire reliable knowledge and make sound judgments. Explore more resources on Ayn Rand’s works and ideas through ARI’s YouTube channel, Ayn Rand University app, and other platforms. Stay connected with ARI through social media and sign up for email updates to stay updated with their latest content and programs. Delve into cultural issues from an Objectivist perspective with ARI’s online publication, New Ideal, and join upcoming virtual or in-person events. Visit ARI’s website for a wealth of content and programs to further your understanding of Aristotle’s philosophy and other related topics.

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