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while Art and Prudence are concerned only with things that admit of variation. Nor is Wisdom the knowledge of first principles either1: for the philosopher has to arrive at some things by demonstration.2 [2]

If then the qualities whereby we attain truth,3 and are never led into falsehood, whether about things invariable or things variable, are scientific Knowledge, Prudence, Wisdom, and Intelligence, and if the quality which enables us to apprehend first principles cannot be any one among three of these, namely Scientific Knowledge, Prudence, and Wisdom, it remains that first principles must be apprehended by Intelligence.4 7.

The term Wisdom is employed in the arts to denote those men who are the most perfect masters of their art, for instance, it is applied to Pheidias as a sculptor and to Polycleitus as a statuary. In this use then Wisdom merely signifies artistic excellence. [2] But we also think that some people are wise in general and not in one department, not ‘wise in something else,’5 as Homer says in the Margites: “ Neither a delver nor a ploughman him
The Gods had made, nor wise in aught beside.

” Hence it is clear that Wisdom must be the most perfect of the modes of knowledge. [3] The wise man therefore must not only know the conclusions that follow from his first principles, but also have a true conception of those principles themselves. Hence Wisdom must be a combination of Intelligence and Scientific Knowledge6: it must be a consummated knowledge7 of the most exalted8 objects. For it is absurd to think that Political Science or Prudence is the loftiest kind of knowledge, inasmuch as man is not the highest thing in the world. [4] And as ‘wholesome’ and ‘good’ mean one thing for men and another for fishes, whereas ‘white’ and ‘straight’ mean the same thing always, so everybody would denote the same thing by ‘wise,’ but not by ‘prudent’; for each kind of beings will describe as prudent, and will entrust itself to, one who can discern its own particular welfare; hence even some of the lower animals are said to be prudent, namely those which display a capacity for forethought as regards their own lives.

It is also clear that Wisdom cannot be the same thing as Political Science; for if we are to call knowledge of our own interests wisdom, there will be a number of different kinds of wisdom, one for each species: there cannot be a single such wisdom dealing with the good of all living things, any more than there is one art of medicine for all existing things. It may be argued that man is superior to the other animals, but this makes no difference: since there exist other things far more divine in their nature than man,

1 i.e., not exclusively: see 7.3.

2 See 3.4, first note.

3 Cf. 3.1. Art is here omitted from the list.

4 νοῦς now receives its special sense (see 2.1, note) of a particular virtue of the intellect, viz. that faculty of rational intuition whereby it correctly apprehends (by process of induction, see 3.3) undemonstrable first principles. It is thus a part of σοφία (7.3,5).

5 The sense rather requires ‘wise in some particular thing,’ but the expression is assimilated to the quotation.

6 See 6.1, 2.

7 Literally ‘knowledge having as it were a head,’ a phrase copied from Plato, Plat. Gorg. 505d.

8 See 7.4, 5, and, for the technical sense of τίμιος, Bk. 1.12.

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