Korean J Med Hist.  2011 Jun;20(1):163-180.

Art-Chance and Art-Experience in Classical Greece

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Liberal Arts, Woosuk University, 330 Samrae-Up, Wanju-Gun, Jeonbuk, Korea, 565-701. djban21@hanmail.net

Abstract

In Classical Greece, works defining the nature of art appeared in the various disciplines like medicine, rhetoric, dietetics, architecture and painting. Hippocratic authors tried to show that an art of medicine existed indeed. They contrasted the concept of art with that of chance, not experience that Plato and Aristotle distinguished from art. In fact there are similarities and discrepancies between Hippocratic epistemology and Platoic epistemology. Hippocratic authors maintained that the products of chance were not captured by art. They distinguished the domain of art charactered by explanatory knowledge and prediction from the domain of chance ruled by the unexplained and the unforeseeable. They minimized the role of luck and believed the role of art. Hippocratic authors thought that professional ability contained both knowledge and experience. In Hippocratic corpus, experience is a synonym of competence and usually has a positive meaning. But Plato gave empirical knowledge the disdainful sense and decided a ranking between two types of knowledge. Both Hippocratic authors and Plato held that a genuine art had connection with explanatory knowledge of the nature of its subject matter. A common theme that goes through arguments about art-chance and art-chance is the connection between art and nature. Hippocratic authors and Plato regarded art as a highly systematic process. Art provides us with general and explanatory knowledge of human nature. Art and nature is a mutual relationship. The systematic understanding of nature helps us gain the exactness of art and an exact art helps us understand nature well.

Keyword

Hippocratic authors; Plato; Aristotle; art; chance; experience

MeSH Terms

*Art/history
Greece
Hippocratic Oath
History, Ancient
Humans
Philosophy, Medical/*history
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