With respect to ancient Greece, you are mistaken. I was specifically referring to the knowledge domains as the classical Greeks understood and used them
Since we are writing in English for an international readership, I used English-language terms. I know the Greek terms. I described techne even though I used the terms "fine and applied arts." This was the realm of techne. Techne was a domain of knowledge that was unwritten, often tacit, and nearly never described except by masters to apprentices. Even then, techne was more often transmitted by modeling through physical example, much as a ballet master teaches dance. Navigators, smiths, artisans, sculptors, physicians and others practiced techne, and this is how they passed their knowledge on.
Some who practiced a techne were organized in special groups that resembled guilds. Some even took guild oaths vowing to keep their teaching secret within the fraternity of the guild. They agreed to teach the arts of the guild to the children of other guild members and to a few indentured apprentices, revealing these arts to no one outside the fraternity.
This was the case with the Oath of Hippocrates, the physician. Each new physician swore to honor his teacher as a second father, to share his income with his teacher as a partner, to help his teacher financially in times of need. He was to consider his teacher's sons as his own brothers, and to teach them the art of medicine should they want to learn it with no fee and without indenture. The oath bound him to teach the medical precepts, oral instructions, and all other instruction to his own sons, the sons of his teacher, and to pupils who also took the physician's oath — but teach them to nobody else.
Other applied arts were organized in similar ways, some formally, some less formally. A navigator learned specific routes from a master navigator, sailing by landmarks, tides, and other indicators. If you read Mark Twain's description of a riverboat pilot reading the water, you can see a modern rendition of the ancient navigator's education. Peter Drucker's 1993 book Post-Capitalist Society explains some of these issues, distinguishing the modern view from that of classical Greece.
The fine and applied arts were the opposite of those branches of philosophy that one might teach openly to all men. However, the philosophical education taught in such institutions as Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum were mainly available to the sons of wealthy families who could afford tuition. This elite philosophical education prepared young men for careers in public life as civic leaders, as leaders in war and peace, as rulers, and members of the government, as well as preparing those who would go on to govern and practice law.
Ancient Greek philosophy was not a matter of gaining wisdom through contemplation. These were not monks. They polished their skills through dialectic and argument more than contemplation. There are famous contemplative incidents, such as the time that Socrates stood all night in the snow, thinking. We remember this because it was unusual. It was a testimony to Socrates's power of concentration and his detachment from bodily concerns such as cold, hunger, or the need to sleep. Most Greek philosophers lived a normal life, not the vita contemplativa resembling the life of a medieval monastic. Many were active rhetors and sophists who made a living in the market-place selling their argumentative skill, much like lawyers and management consultants today.
Philosophical education rested on rhetoric, analysis, and logic, including geometry and mathematics. Young men also engaged in sport and athletics in the context of their development, so that they would be ready to serve as warriors if the city should call.
Philosophical education had several dimensions. One was episteme — the study of what we may know and how we may know it. The other was phronesis — the study of wise action, how we should behave and what we should do. Such topics as rhetoric, dialectic, argumentation theory, and the branches of mathematics rounded out a full education.
Neither the Parthenon nor Tragedy provide evidence for these issues. The Parthenon and the other great physical monuments were built by specialists in the practice of a techne, a technical and artistic skill.
The great tragedians were poets, but they were citizens and gentlemen first. The tragedies had a sacred and civic dimensions. While prizes were awarded for the great works, they had a special role in classical Greek life unlike anything we know today. Only the literate and well educated had the skill required to compete writing tragic drama for the festivals — or, to be precise, writing the three tragedies and a comic satyr play that constituted each entry.
Those who practiced a techne did not participate in the art of tragedy as the poets who wrote the plays, though craftsmen and artisans may have taken part in plays as actors or members of a chorus.
Even this was not the most important aspect of life, not for the greatest of the playwrights. Consider the life of Aeschylus, one of the two greatest, along with Sophocles. Aeschylus won the first prize more than often any playwright other than Sophocles, but he defined himself before everything else as a citizen who fought the Persians at Marathon in 490 BCE to defend democracy and he likely fought again at Salamis in 480 BCE.
For Aeschylus, pride in Athens and a sense of the common good were the heart of what it was to be a man of distinction. The words that he composed for the epitaph on his tombstone – he probably wrote them himself – commemorated his service as a soldier and citizen. He said nothing of his stature as the foremost poet of dramatic tragedy or the many honors he won at the festivals.
"This memorial covers Aischylos son of Euphorion –
an Athenian, though he died at wheat-bearing Gela.
Of his glorious prowess the sacred land of Marathon can tell –
and the long-haired Mede (Persian) who knows it well."
Bernard Knox once wrote that the paper monuments of ancient Greece have stood longer and in better condition than the stones, and I have studied them more carefully than I have studied the Parthenon.
It is fair to say that I understand Greek tragedy. Or at least it is fair to say that I have read the tragedies. Only a few survive of the many that Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides wrote, though. Translations differ, from the florid 19th century translations to the excellent modern translations of Richmond Lattimore, the powerful renditions of Robert Fagles, and the contemporary versions of Ruby Blondell.
The tragedies contain very little about knowledge domains. These are quasi-sacred works, sacred in the sense that they were written for the great sacred occasions of civic life. The tragedies concern the deep qualities of human being, the acts of gods, human obligations toward the gods, human obligations toward one another, and the obligation to understand and to do what is right — often at a high cost.
What I wrote yesterday was that the Greeks established knowledge domains, and that these domains were not unified. This is not a backward look imposing 15th century views or 21st century views on the men and women of the 5th century BCE. It is an account of their view as they saw it in their own time. The classical Greeks taught and transmitted techne and episteme in different ways to different kinds of people. These people did not generally share their knowledge with one another. A small farmer with a freehold and some olive groves might need to know more about managing the farm and instructing the work of his slaves than the sons of wealthy aristocrats would need to know for the management of far larger estates, but they learned none of this in the formal knowledge of the schools.
There have been many different ways that different societies defined knowledge and organized it. These involved very different kinds of distinctions about what knowledge was, who might practice different kinds of knowledge, how knowledge was to be maintained, preserved and transmitted. I am not imposing 15th-century ideas on earlier cultures. I am reporting what those cultures said of themselves.
And, yes, I know that Galileo worked for universities founded by Papal decree. It is nevertheless incorrect to say that theologians funded Galileo. The church had many arms, and the church often appointed priests to manage them. Since all ordained priests were required to study theology within their formative education, all were theologians in some sense. Relatively few, however, were professional theologians.
Since Galileo received patronage from high prelates at different points in his career, it is in a sense true that theologians funded his work — but *not* in their capacity as theologians.
When Galileo's research moved beyond the bounds of acceptable doctrine, the Inquisition made a case against Galileo on theological grounds. The inquisitors are the theologians to whom I referred. The inquisitors acted as professional theologians within the scope of their assigned theological duties. These theologians were not the same people who funded Galileo's earlier work.
Before dispensing advice on the research that I should do, I'd suggest that you catch up on your own reading. The Pandidakterion was, for all practical purposes, a university, and many historians describe it as a university. It did not have the university structure of the medieval Western universities, but it did have the same kinds of professional schools where people could study law and medicine, as well as other disciplines. Like many Western universities, the role of the Pandidakterion was to produce an educated professional bureaucracy to serve the needs of the state.
In the West, cathedral schools grew into universities with the right to deliver the Studium Generale, and Papal foundations generally meant this at the start. The Pandidakterion was a direct imperial foundation, and there was no papal oversight. It had two or three dozen professorial chairs. The professors functioned by teaching through a structure of disciplines organized within schools. In this, the Pandidakterion partly resembled the Library and Museion of Alexandria, which also functioned as a university-like organization. The Library had a much larger staff than the Pandidakterion, with over 80 permanent professorial chairs at its greatest extent.
If you are proposing The Pandidakterion as an example of holistic, undivided knowledge, it is the wrong example. You can study nearly every subject under the sun at The University of California, or at Oxford, or Edinburgh. But you cannot study all this knowledge in one place, and you are obliged to work your way through the disciplines before you are admitted to higher study. Pandidakterion does not mean "holistic education." Rather, it refers to an institution that has responsibility for all the branches of learning in one place, much as a Pantheon is a place that gathers all the gods of one tradition or religion.
The Pandidakterion produced scholars, scientists, administrator, lawyers, physicians, and bureaucrats. Most of these were specialists dedicated to one profession or another, one discipline or another, much like the graduates of the modern university. Ekphrasis is something else entirely — the mission of the Pandidakterion was to graduate experts, not to produce ekphrasis.
Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-and-innovation/
Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia
> On Jun 3, 2017, at 11:37 PM, Katreina Karoussos <email@example.com> wrote:
> Dear Ken,
> It would never seem correct if you are using the standards generated after the 15th century.
> Concepts as "practical, fine and applied arts", "domains" "universities" are maybe the ones that confuse you in finding the way to acknowledge the "unified knowledge".
> Techne, episteme and philosophy governed the entire era of classical Greece. If you want evidence, you can study a bit more the Parthenon and/or Greek tragedy. No one speaks about "fine and applied arts" neither about the way philosophy was recorded from the Enlightenment and on. Philosophia means to be a friend with wisdom and for the ancient Greeks wisdom was the process of contemplation.
> As for Byzantium there wasn't any University but a Pandidakterion which literally means holistic education. You should go through an extended research to examine how they managed to incorporate all fields of knowledge and manifest it to a single Ekphrasis.
> When i am referring to economy, I don't mean finance, although i should mention here that the ones you called "theologians" who thought that the sun stands still, were the people who funded Galileo. You should consider economy as the process of provision by which one is able to select their investment in human capital.
> And this is actually where one can find the restore point. Hence, it is not about the quantity of knowledge, or else we should refer to ourselves as encyclopedists. It is more about what economy we use to acknowledge and to use this knowledge.
>> On 02 Jun 2017, at 17:04, Ken Friedman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Dear Katerna,
>> This account of an era of unified knowledge does not seem correct to me.
>>> On Jun 1, 2017, at 10:55 PM, Katerna Karoussos <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> What seems strange to me is why, since we are discussing about cultural heritage and art - science alliance, we consider them as separate. The fragmentation in knowledge happened after the 15th century and had been established in modern era, as knowledge economy. Before that, geometry, physics, astronomy, medicine, arts, rhetoric and philosophy consisted the body of knowledge which was indivisible.
>>> Hence, if we go back, searching for this specific restore point, in where the holistic knowledge was the common process of learning, researching, creating and producing, we will find all the necessary elements for retrieving the ways that this knowledge can be activated in nowadays.
>> First, there have been different accounts of the divisions of knowledge domains over the centuries. There has never been a time anywhere in which the several kinds of knowledge were considered whole and indivisible. The divisions of knowledge domains that dominated classical Greece and the post-Alexandrian Hellenic world did not include the practical arts or professions in the domains of philosophy. Things changed again in the medieval university, but even there, the trivium and quadrivium did not include the fine or applied arts — while the lower faculty of philosophy was different to the higher faculties of medicine, law and theology. Medicine itself distinguished between the medical theory taught at university and the work of barber-surgeons who actually worked on patients.
>> Second, the changes that took place in the 15th century did not come about because of any shift in economic models. What happened was the scientists began to look at the world. 15th-century physics was a branch of natural philosophy. 15th-century physics accepted much of Aristotle's often-mistaken account translated through the lens of Ptolemy. The Copernican model that arrived in the 16th century, followed by the work of Galileo, Kepler, and Newton meant a different world. This was not a "fragmentation" of some unified knowledge that could be "restored." New facts made it impossible to think of the world in a fuzzy way governed by Aristotelian physics and a version of astrophysics dominated by Biblical theology. Literalist theologians argue that the sun stood still in Joshua 10. If the Biblical account is true, it cannot be true that the earth revolves around the sun. Talking about this as "holistic" knowledge doesn't make sense.
>> Third, there is significantly more to know than there was to know in the 15th century. In the 15th century, we had fewer books than the number of volumes held in the Library of Alexandria when Callimachus organized the great library catalogue known as the Pinakes. Today, we have far more. Since the time of Gutenberg's printing press, there have been millions of books published. While I cannot track the numbers from Shanghai, I gather that Google's estimate of the world's books runs to nearly 129,000,000 volumes not counting the same volume more than once. If you add journal articles and other material, we're talking about an amount of information that makes a single knowledge domain impossible.
>> Fourth, even within recognized disciplines, it is no longer possible for anyone in any field to cover more than a tiny fraction of what there is to know. When Henri Poincaré died in 1912, he was probably the last human being to know and understand the complete mathematical corpus of the time in which he lived. As for physics or even philosophy, the notion is incredible.
>> If my view is pessimistic, I'd be curious to know two things.
>> First, what evidence is there for an era of unified knowledge? It seems to me that a great deal of this idea is an optimistic notion based on an inadequate understanding of the world by people who were simply wrong about how much they knew, and just as wrong about how much of what they knew was incorrect.
>> Second, just how one can "restore" this era in a world where there is simply too much to know. I'm not asking how we can restore the illusion of unified knowledge. Too me, that's like the Bible museum diorama in which you can see human beings living side by side with dinosaurs, rather like a new version of the Flintstone cartoon series. I'm asking for a credible account of how it is possible for anyone to restore an era of unified knowledge in a world where nearly no one can credibly manage to know what there is, even in their own field.
>> It is one thing to argue in favor of interdisciplinary research. It is another to do so without accounting for what we do not know, and cannot know.
>> Ken Friedman
>> Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-and-innovation/
>> Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia
>> Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn
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