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‘And all sciences and arts imply the possibility of the existence or generation of their objects’. The sciences, as natural history, moral and political philosophy, chemistry, geology, &c., have facts or phenomena, actually existing, which are to be observed and generalized, for their objects; the practical arts produce, or bring into being, their objects, as painting, sculpture, and the fine arts in general, also the useful and mechanical arts. This I think is the distinction here intended. Moral and political philosophy come under the head of sciences which have facts, moral and social, for the objects of their study; though they belong to the practical department of knowledge, and have action for their end and object. ἐπιστήμη and its object τὸ ἐπιστητόν, are relative terms, the one necessarily implying the other, Categ. c. 10, 11 b 27, καὶ ἡ ἐπιστήμη δὲ τῷ ἐπιστητῷ ὡς τὰ πρός τι ἀντίκειται; and often elsewhere. This may help to establish the necessary connexion which is assumed between knowledge, science, art, and their objects. But I do not suppose that Ar. here means to assert the existence of a natural law which connects them; but only that, as a matter of fact, men never do choose as an object of study in science, or try their hand at producing by art, anything which they know in the one case to have no real existence, and in the other to be incapable of being produced.
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