The Four Types of Knowledge

What types of knowledge are there?

In his Nicomachean Ethics (Book VI), Aristotle famously describes several intellectual virtues. There is Techne, or Art; Episteme, or Knowledge, Phronesis, or Prudence, Sophia, or Wisdom, and Nous, or Intellect. He considered Sophia a combination of Nous and Episteme, but some others think it stands alone. Nous also seems to be more subjective, as well as supplying Phronesis with its aims, but is complicated. So are there three types, or five? I would like there to be four, thank you very much.

In Venharanta and Markopoulos’s paper, Phronesis seems to be the balance or sum of Techne, Episteme, and Sophia. In Carsten Pedersen’s web article, Techne, Episteme, Sophia, and Phronesis form a fourfold, with Nous in the center. Jon Alan Schmidt, a member of Virtuous Engineers, distinguishes between kinds of knowledge (Techne, Episteme, and Phronesis) and forms of human activity associated with them (Poiesis, Theoria, and Praxis). I like this distinction. What is the activity associated with Sophia?

Not knowing any Greek puts me at a disadvantage. Nous is linked to Noesis as a type of knowledge and Noein which seems to be the activity. I will present the following table and see how I like it!

Forms of
Human Activity
Types of
Knowledge
Theoria Episteme Science
Praxis Phronesis Prudence
Poiesis Techne Craft
Noein Sophia Wisdom

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomachean_Ethics

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/episteme-techne/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nous

https://www.age-of-the-sage.org/nous-noesis-noetic.html

https://www.psychsoma.co.za/learning_in_vivo/2009/09/techne-episteme-poiesis-praxis.html

https://sites.google.com/site/praxisandtechne/Home/architecture/knowledge/episteme

It’s all Greek to me: The terms ‘praxis’ and ‘phronesis’ in environmental philosophy

Knowledge for Aristotle & Plato

Kurt von Fritz / ΝΟΥΣ, Noein, and Their Derivatives in Pre-Socratic Philosophy (Excluding Anaxagoras):
Part I. From the Beginnings to Parmenides, Classical Philology, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Oct., 1945), pp. 223-242 https://www.jstor.org/stable/265805

Kurt von Fritz / ΝΟΥΣ, Noein, and Their Derivatives in Pre-Socratic Philosophy (Excluding Anaxagoras):
Part II. The Post-Parmenidean Period, Classical Philology, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 1946), pp. 12-34
https://www.jstor.org/stable/267530

Vanharanta H., Markopoulos E. / Visualization of the Wisdom Cube Scientific Knowledge Space for Management and Leadership. In: Kantola J., Nazir S. (eds) Advances in Human Factors, Business Management and Leadership. AHFE 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 961. Springer https://doi.org/10.1007
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-20154-8_2

In Danish (English via Chrome translation):
http://omsigt.dk/hvad-er-praksisfilosofi/

Bent Flyvjerg / Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How it Can Succeed Again
https://www.librarything.com/work/185825/reviews/11378122

Interesting Anime:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noein:_To_Your_Other_Self

[*3.34, *11.130]

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2 Responses to “The Four Types of Knowledge”

  1. Gilbert Kirk Says:

    Interesting to find Praxis mentioned here, as that is the name of an exam testing potential teachers’ general (Praxis I) and specific (Praxis II) knowledge of academic areas in the realm of high school and below in the Commonwealth of Virginia while pursuing qualifications to teach at that level.

  2. Gilbert Kirk Says:

    The Virtuous Engineers web site is REALLY good! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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