The Jury Talks Back

2/7/2009

Practical Knowledge

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fritz @ 1:07 pm

The radical difference between the two kinds of knowledge is that the object of speculative knowledge is the necessary, while the object of practical knowledge is the contingent and variable.  It follows from this, says Smiglecki, that no practical knowledge is truly and properly a science, because science, as Aristotle had taught, is knowledge of the necessary.  It would seem to further follow that any attempt to make politics a science on the model of metaphysics or mathematics was foredoomed to failure.  The significance of this for Burke’s thought is obvious.   (Canavan, 1960, 207)

As one of my professors never tired of putting it, it’s one thing to know how to clone a human being.  It is  quite another to know whether we should clone Hitler or Churchill.


Powered by WordPress.