Plato's Sophist [28-29]

1. ἐπιστημονικόν ἐπιστήμη σοφία 2. λογιστικόν τέχνη φρόνησις

It seems at first that νοῦς is not included here. Yet it must be noted that νοεῖν is present in all four modes of ἀληθεύειν; they are determinate modes in which νοεῖν can be carried out; they are διανοεῖν.

The distinction between the ἐπιστημονικόν and the λογιστικόν is made in reference to what is disclosed in such speech and discourse; it is taken from the beings themselves, the beings appropriated in the ἀληθεύειν. The ἐπιστημονικόν is that, ᾧ θεωροῦμεν τὰ τοιαῦτα τῶν ὄντων ὅσων αἱ ἀρχαὶ μὴ ἐνδέχονται ἄλλως ἔχειν (a6ff.); it is that "with which we regard beings whose ἀρχαί cannot be otherwise," beings which have the character of ἀίδιον (b23), of being eternal. The λογιστικόν is that, ᾧ θεωροῦμεν, with which we regard beings that ἐνδεχόμενον ἄλλως ἔχειν (cf. 1140a1), "that can also be otherwise." These are beings τέχνη and φρόνησις deal with. Τέχνη has to do with things which first have to be made and which are not yet what they will be. Φρόνησις makes the situation accessible; and the circumstances are always different in every action. On the other hand, ἐπιστήμη and σοφία concern that which always already was, that which man does not first produce.

This initial and most primitive ontological distinction does not arise primarily in a philosophical consideration but is a distinction of natural Dasein itself; it is not invented but lies in the horizon in which the ἀληθεύειν of natural Dasein moves. In its natural mode of Being, Dasein busies itself with the things that are the objects of its own production and of its immediate everyday concerns. This entire surrounding world is not walled off but is only a determinate portion of the world itself. Home and courtyard have their Being under heaven, under the sun, which traverses its course daily, which regularly appears and disappears. This world of nature, which is always as it is, is in a certain sense the background from which what can be other and different stands out. This distinction is an entirely original one. Therefore it is wrong to say that there are two regions of Being, two fields, as it were, which are set beside one another in theoretical knowledge. Rather, this distinction articulates the world; it is its first general ontological articulation.

That is why Aristotle says immediately with reference to the principle of the distinction between the ἐπιστημονικόν and the λογιστικόν: the distinction must take its orientation from the beings. πρὸς γὰρ τὰ τῷ γένει ἕτερα καὶ τῶν τῆς ψυχῆς μορίων ἕτερον τῷ γένει τὸ πρὸς ἑκάτερον πεφυκός, εἴπερ καὶ καθ᾽ ὁμοιότητά τινα καὶ οἰκειότητα ἡ γνῶσις ὑπάρχει αὐτοῖς (1139a8ff.). I translate starting from the end: "If indeed to these two parts of the soul (the two modes of ἀληθεύειν of the human ψυχή, i.e., the ἐπιστημονικόν and the λογιστικόν) is to be ordered the familiarity with the things (γνῶσις, which is not theoretical knowledge but in a quite broad sense any sort of ἀληθεύειν) and precisely in the sense of a certain appropriateness to the beings, in such a way that these two modes of ἀληθεύειν are as it were at home with the beings they uncover, then, following the differentiation of the beings, each mode of comportment of the soul (of uncovering) must also be different, as regards the structure of its Being, according to its respective beings."