chapter  VI
Pages 34

The motive which inspires Aristotle throughout the Metaphysics is the wish to acquire that form of knowledge which is most worthy of the name of wisdom. The desire to know, he points out, is innate in man. It is seen, at the lowest level, in the delight we take in the use of our senses. The first stage above this in the direction of completer knowledge is that involved in the use of memory, which distinguishes us from the lowest animals. The next stage - and one to which only man attains - is ‘experience,’ whereby through the coalescence of many memories of the same kind of object (e.g. of what helped Callias and Socrates and others when ill of a certain disease) we acquire, without knowing the reasons for it, a rule of practice. One stage higher is ‘art,’ the knowledge of practical rules resting on general principles. Highest of all comes ‘science,’ the pure knowledge of causes; this is highest because it is not, like art, limited in its interest by having some ulterior practical end, but is knowing for knowing’s sake. This is the last and highest product of civilisation.’